Time to appreciate Thomas Edison’s contributions to entertainment

Today, music has become a universal language as a result of one man’s curiosity.

Yes, it is true that so many things spur creativity, one of which could be the quest to be somebody in life: perhaps, in a profession and/or the drive to prove that something is achievable.

Just like some other inventions (world over), Thomas Edision has helped us with something that can, even, heal from emotional wounds, something that cause emotions to run wide, something that could release tension of stress from the body, and (perhaps, the most lucid of them all) something that makes people mingle together – even, if they were strangers before.

His invention has enhanced the entertainment industry, specifically, the music industry.


Thomas Edison: The idealist phonograph inventor

The phonograph is considered to be the first, great, Thomas Edison invention, as well as, his life-long favourite: the phonograph would record the spoken voice and play it back.

When speaking into the receiver, the sound vibration of the voice would cause a needle to create indentations on a drum wrapped with tin foil. Later, Edison would adopt cylinders and discs to permanently record music.

The first recorded message was of Thomas Edison speaking “Mary had a little lamb”, which greatly delighted and surprised Edison and his staff when they first heard it played back to them.

This should motivate anyone that challenges are not to deter us from becoming what we are to become. When we achieve a vision, it (though surprises us) makes us crave for more.


The phonograph explained

The phonograph is a device, invented in 1877, for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms, it is also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910), or, since the 1940s, a record player.

The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a “record”. To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is, therefore, vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener’s ears through stethoscope-type earphones.

The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison. While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison’s phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet wrapped around a rotating cylinder. A stylus responding to sound vibrations produced an up and down or hill-and-dale groove in the foil. Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta Laboratory made several improvements in the 1880s, including the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a zig-zag groove around the record.

In the 1890s, Emile Berliner initiated the transition from phonograph cylinders to flat discs with a spiral groove running from the periphery to near the center. Later improvements through the years included modifications to the turntable and its drive system, the stylus or needle, and the sound and equalisation system.

The disc phonograph record was the dominant audio recording format throughout most of the 20th century. From the mid-1980s on, phonograph’s use on a standard record player declined sharply because of the rise of the cassette tape, compact disc and other digital recording formats. Records are still a favorite format for some audiophiles and by DJs and turntablists in hip-hop music, electronic dance music and other styles.

Vinyl records are still used by some DJs and musicians in their concert performances. Some electronic dance music DJs and music producers continue to release their recordings on vinyl records. The original recordings of musicians, which may have been recorded on tape or digital methods, are sometimes re-issued on vinyl.


History of the first phonograph

Thomas Alva Edison conceived the principle of recording and reproducing sound between May and July 1877 as a byproduct of his efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone.

He announced his invention of the first phonograph, a device for recording and replaying sound, on November 21, 1877 (early reports appear in Scientific American and several newspapers in the beginning of November, and an even earlier announcement of Edison working on a ‘talking-machine’ can be found in the Chicago Daily Tribune on May 9), and he demonstrated the device for the first time on November 29 (it was patented on February 19, 1878 as US Patent 200,521).

“In December, 1877, a young man came into the office of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, and placed before the editors a small, simple machine about which very few preliminary remarks were offered. The visitor without any ceremony whatever turned the crank, and to the astonishment of all present the machine said: “Good morning. How do you do? How do you like the phonograph?” The machine thus spoke for itself, and made known the fact that it was the phonograph…”, the publication had reported.

Edison presented his own account of inventing the phonograph:

Source: loc.gov

I was experimenting on an automatic method of recording telegraph messages on a disk of paper laid on a revolving platen, exactly the same as the disk talking-machine of to-day. The platen had a spiral groove on its surface, like the disk. Over this was placed a circular disk of paper; an electromagnet with the embossing point connected to an arm traveled over the disk; and any signals given through the magnets were embossed on the disk of paper. If this disc was removed from the machine and put on a similar machine provided with a contact point, the embossed record would cause the signals to be repeated into another wire. The ordinary speed of telegraphic signals is thirty-five to forty words a minute; but with this machine several hundred words were possible.

He had been reported as saying that from his experiments on the telephone, he knew of how to work a pawl connected to the diaphragm; and this, engaging a ratchet-wheel served to give continuous rotation to a pulley. This pulley was connected by a cord to a little paper toy representing a man sawing wood. Hence, if one shouted: ‘Mary had a little lamb’, etc., the paper man would start sawing wood.

He said,. “I reached the conclusion that if I could record the movements of the diaphragm properly, I could cause such records to reproduce the original movements imparted to the diaphragm by the voice, and thus succeed in recording and reproducing the human voice”.

That is the power of imagination, creative thinking and goal oriented mind.


It was, also, reported that the music critic, Herman Klein, attended an early demonstration (1881–2) of a similar machine. On the early phonograph’s reproductive capabilities he writes:

It sounded to my ear like someone singing about half a mile away, or talking at the other end of a big hall; but the effect was rather pleasant, save for a peculiar nasal quality wholly due to the mechanism, though there was little of the scratching which later was a prominent feature of the flat disc. Recording for that primitive machine was a comparatively simple matter. I had to keep my mouth about six inches away from the horn and remember not to make my voice too loud if I wanted anything approximating to a clear reproduction; that was all. When it was played over to me and I heard my own voice for the first time, one or two friends who were present said that it sounded rather like mine; others declared that they would never have recognised it. I daresay both opinions were correct.


What are you dreaming of?

The most stupendous tragedy that you could allow to happen to you is ‘to be held back because of what people might say against your ideas’.

However, we will still advice you to have a space for God ‘in the car’ of your life: do not squeeze Him into the boot, because His presence makes the total difference.

Source: pinterest.com

Possessing and combining perseverance, diligence, hard work, and faith – to your skills and talents are not, merely, templates for your life: they are the most needed things that must not be lacking in your journey of life, and if you thought that we are bluffing on this, then wait, and see how success, so hastily got, could vaporise in a twinkle of an eye – when the tempest of difficulties beats against it.


Culled (but edited by us) from:

  • http://www.edisonmuckers.org/thomas-edison-inventions/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonograph/

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