Home History Who invented the record player? Who invented the record player?It wasn't long ago that most homes in the country had a record player. But when was it possible to record and play sound? History 2023-05-26 by Space Navy 0 Comment It wasn’t long ago that most homes in the country had a record player. But when was it possible to record and play sound? Humanity owes a lot to the American inventor Thomas Edison. He brought us the light bulb, the microphone and the camera – and he also built the first successful device for storing and playing sound. Edison’s phonograph, as he called the first version of the record player, was first shown in 1877. Edison showed up unannounced at the “Scientific American” paper, where he pulled out his apparatus and turned a crank on its side. “Good day. How are you doing? How do you like the phonograph?” The words came out of this mysterious machine. Edison’s phonograph was an earlier version of the record player Edison’s phonograph was different from later gramophones because it played sound from a metal cylinder rather than a record. A channel revolved around the cylinder which was covered with a thin sheet of tin. As the phonograph turned the cylinder, a needle—the sound box—slipped in the channel, capturing tiny bumps there. They became the sound that poured out of the speakers. Another needle could scratch the tin plate unevenly and in that way it was possible to record sound on the device. Emile Berliner’s gramophone replaced the phonograph Edison started producing the device in 1878 and was constantly refining it. For example, the tin plate was only good for a few plays, so he prepared a wax cylinder that didn’t wear out as quickly. In the early 20th century, however, Edison’s phonograph gave way to Emile Berliner’s “gramophone,” which played from flat black lacquer records. They were much easier to mass produce than Edison’s cylinder. Few of the original recordings made on the phonograph are now found, and most of them are so fragile that they are likely to break apart upon further playback.