November 21, 1877: Thomas Edison Introduces The Phonograph

On November 21, 1877, Thomas Edison introduced the an invention he called the phonograph! Yep, the early beginnings of the record player.

It was the first device in history that could both record and playback sound, and it revolutionized the world of music.

According to, while Edison was working on the the telephone and the telegraph, he decided the technology for both of those could be altered to record sound – something which had never really been considered as a possibility. But he made it happen, with a piece of tin foil wrapped around a cylinder in the first phonograph. The first thing he recorded and played back, was himself reciting some of the lines from "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

As they say, the rest is history. The tin foil didn't hold up very well, so they switched to wax cylinders, and eventually to what we know as vinyl records.

Decades TV Network has a pretty cool video featuring the phonograph, and the invention process was also portrayed in the movie "Edison The Man" that was released back in 1940. Both of those videos are below!

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content