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Gram. Needles Edison Standard 043

Edison

In 1877 Thomas Edison was working on automatic repeaters for telegraph messages when he realised it would be possible to record speech by indenting vibrations into tinfoil. By 1878 he had patented his "Phonograph" but, because of short comings, by 1879 had abandoned the idea'  The baton was taken up by Charles Summer Tainter and Chichester Bell cousin of Alexander Graham Bell who, in 1886, patented an improved phonograph called the "Graphophone" that recorded onto wax rather than tinfoil.  Challenged by this development, Edison returned to work on the phonograph and in 1888 produced the "Perfected Phonograph".  Originally intended as dictation devices for offices the instruments found a market in the more profitable line of music.  The 2 minute limit however proved to be a limiting factor and in 1908 this time was doubled to 4 minutes.

 

In 1913 production of cylinder phonographs using an external horn ceased, to be replaced by expansion of the the Amberola, a cylinder nachine with an internal horn introduced in 1909.

 

Edison had also worked on a flat disc system called the "Disc Phonograph" which went into production in 1912.   Discs for these machines were called "Diamond Discs".   The system, as with cylinders, recorded sound by up and down movements (Hill and Dale) rather than the lateral movements we are more familiar with today.

 

All production of domestic music machines finally stopped at the Edison Works in late 1929.

GEM 2014-10-04 18.18.55 Edison Standard 048 Edison Gem 018 Edison Standard 014