Facts About Phonographs

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The First Phonograph Was Made By Edison:

Edison built his first phonograph in 1877 and put a patent on it at that same time. He developed the phonograph while working on the telegraph and telephone. A needle was placed against a diaphragm. There was an axle within the cylinder that was turned while someone spoke into the mouthpiece. The needle vibrated and made indentions on the cylinder, the needle was replaced and the cylinder turned and the sound that came back was similar to the original words spoken.

There Were Problems With The Early Models:

The first phonograph design by Edison did have a few problems. First, the cylinder that was used would become worn out after only a few uses and easily become damaged. Also, the handle had to be continually turned while someone was speaking into the mouthpiece. Lastly, the cylinders at this time were hard to create, they later were made from wax.

The Phonograph Is A Combination Of The Telephone and Telegraph:

When Edison first began designing the phonograph, he was already working on the telephone and telegraph and took ideas from these two machines to develop the phonograph. He removed the microphone from the telephone and combined it with the needle from an automated telegraph. Combining these together to use vibrations to capture sound.

Eldridge Johnson Made The Victor-Victrola:

In 1901 Eldridge Johnson created The Victor Talking Machine Company. The phonograph now had a large horn attached to amplify the sound, however it did not look very appealing. Johnson created a cabinet that the horn would fold into and protect the horn as well as was a built in volume control. Johnson began selling the the phonograph in 1906 and only phonographs that have a cabinet for the horn are Victor-Victrolas.

First Machines Sold For $200-:

These first machines were rather costly for the time, selling for $200. Part of the price was the fact that Johnson could not make the cabinet for the horn, so the work was contracted to Pooley Furniture Company in Philadelphia. However, even with the increased cost the Victor-Victrolas sold quickly and Johnson continued on to make further designs and changes to the phonograph machines.

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