Music History

Published on November 26th, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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The Evolution of the Turntable from 1877

Mixmag.com has created this timeline of how the turntable evolved from the day Thomas Edison first unveiled his phonograph. It starts like this.

Following ground-breaking experiments in France, it was the great American inventor Thomas Edison who first showed off the Phonograph, the turntable’s earliest precursor, to Scientific American magazine 140 years ago. At his laboratory in Menlo Park, California, Edison had assigned one of his trusted creatives, John Kruesi, to the project (making him the device’s true creator).

A stylus recorded sounds onto thick tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder and the first tune a needle ever dropped onto was Kreusi shouting, “Mary had a little lamb.” Within five years, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, had come up with the Graphophone, which replaced the foil with wax and resulted in higher quality sound reproduction.

It’s a great piece of technological history. Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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