The Record Player
Who Invented The Record Player?
The record player was originally invented in America by Thomas A. Edison the creator of the light bulb and other inventions. It was invented by Thomas in 1877. The first records were made out of tinfoil which had a spiral groove which went up and down. When he put the disc on the machine, the pin went onto the groove and vibrated according to the texture of the groove. This was called “hill-and-dale” method.
This meant that music which had previously had to be played live by brass bands or orchestras could now be played or reproduced on demand. But it wasn’t as popular as light bulb.
In 1887, Emile Berliner invented the disc record which was later patented in 1896 and was more successful but was on the same basis as the “hill-and-dale” version. But instead of the groove going up and down, the sides of the groove were textured and if you’re a genius you can call it varying lateral direction and just for short VLD. Berliners method out grew Edison’s and caught on very quickly.
Berliner later on invented the matrix record from which unlimited duplicate recordings could be pressed. This meant more people could hear more music than ever before.
The record player works by the handle being rapidly turned in a clockwise direction, but when electricity came into nationwide use in the late 19th century the equipment could be used without any effort at all except from choosing whether you wanted to listen to Puccini or Honky Tonk Town or even the flick of the switch. Then once you’ve had your family discussion on what to play you’d put your record disc onto the revolving pin and set your music needle on the edge of the disc. And depending which song you wanted you picked the pin up again and put it on one of the empty groove between songs. It was like the skip and play buttons of the day. When your record was spinning it had the needle inside the groove vibrating on the lumps and bumps and those vibrations ran up the metal tube all the way up to the speaker where it was magnified to make the sound bigger. But the electric version didn’t have a speaker in the late 20th and early 21st, it did it digitally or if you couldn’t afford a sound system you had to hear a tiny, tiny sound that not everybody coul
What Happened In Its Heyday?
The record player was just an alternative to the Wirelesswhen it first started in the world but in the 1950’s something new was happening. The Teenager arrived. Before children were like miniatures of they’re parents. They thought, behaved and acted exactly like they’re parents. They thought about what jobs they’d have, house, children. The young person didn’t exist. But when the fifty’s came young men at 16 to 18 started hanging out, doing their own thing and then they had an idea. The Idea was that they’d make their own band and music. This lead to jazzy rock n’ roll that everybody loved except the parents. When record companies heard this new sound they caught on and then on music has been the centre of every teenager’s life. ?
What Happened Next?
Later in the late 1980’s to the early 21st century the record player became unpopular. Booted to the back of beyond, given retirement in the history books of music and technology. All because of a shiny, plastic, digital disc that took the world by storm just like record when it came into play. This time you could play it on computer, on your laser disc player; you could rip the files off of it and convert them into mp3 format for portable music. This new gadgetry was the compact disc or CD to you and me.
With the CD the record player was useless; an artifact for the music museums of the world... Or was it? Was help at hand for our nostalgic crazy disc that carried our soles day and night into rock n’ roll heaven? Was the creator/fore father of the teenager going to die? The simple answer was yes but the actual truth is that the record player is still playing. But someone else is using it now. The DJ is rocking and mixing his tunes on it and he’ll never turn to the CD ever again. The record player started out as a forgotten invention from Edison then it turned into beautiful gadget from Berliner and it went onto leaps and bounds until it was unneeded and unloved until it was picked up by the DJ’s of the world and welcomed by club goers of the universe.
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