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“The Phonograph” Showcase

“The written voice”

Le PhonographeIn this showcase, we discover a beautiful specimen of a phonograph by the brand Edison.

This device, revolutionary for its time, stems from the research of the American Thomas Edison on the telegraph.

Indeed, although partially deaf since childhood, he hears the small repetitive noises of the telegraph stylus on paper and conceives the idea of the technique necessary to record and then broadcast sound.

The telephone had already developed the diaphragm that reproduces the voice and the acoustic horn that directs the sound.

Edison added engraved cylinders, using various depths or engraving, initially on a tin sheet, then on cardboard coated with wax, and finally on celluloid.

The rotation of these cylinders was manually ensured via a crank.

Patented in 1877, the success of this invention was immediate, while the introduction of electric motorization in the 1890’s further increased its distribution and commercial appeal.

The Phonograph is considered at the origin of the record industry, which Émile Berliner developed from 1887 with the Gramophone.
Here, alongside this magnificent specimen of a vintage phonograph, you can admire some engraved cylinders and related cardboard boxes.

Edison himself is represented on both photographs on display:
First in his youth in a “cabinet card” format, while the larger picture shows the engineer among his colleagues at the Edison laboratory (he is seated in the center).