of the Phonograph
Friends of the Phonograph
a common goal:
Phonographia Red-Letter Days
are one way to remember the Phonograph.
Red-Letter Days celebrated by Friends
of the Phonograph
of Thomas Edison (February 11, 1847), inventor of the Phonograph,
the first device to record and playback sound waves.
of the Phonograph celebrate the Phonograph as the invention that
began the personal and home entertainment revolution by capturing
and playing back sound.
celebration: Apple pie and a glass of milk or cup of tea.
Edison, April 18, 1877, Washington, D.C., The Brady Studio
Scott patented his Phonautograph on March 25, 1857. The phonautograph
is the earliest known device for recording sound.
celebration: French macaron cookie with a glass of French wine.
Phonautograph, 1859 with barrel made of plaster of paris
on the Phonautograph
to learn more about Scott's recording that was heard in 2008 for the
first time by anyone.
line of Au clair de la lune, "the earliest clearly recognizable
record of the human voice yet recovered, " was recorded by Édouard-Léon
Scott on his Phonautograph on April 9, 1860.
celebration: Glass of French wine while viewing the moon and
holding one lit candle.
Sounds for more details about this and other Scott Phonautograms.
from "Au Clair de la Lune", traditional French folk song, reprinted
in a French children's book Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants:
Avec Accompagnements by Widor, Charles Marie, 1844-1937 (book text),
Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel,1855-1913 (illustration)- source
of Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville (April 25, 1817) , a French printer
and bookseller, invented the earliest known sound recording device,
celebration: Birthday cake with a glass of French wine.
birthday of Charles Cros (October 1, 1842, Fabrezan, France) is celebrated
first person to conceive a method for reproducing recorded
sound with an invention he named the Paleophone.
celebration: A glass of French wine with salted herring while
viewing Mars and listening to "A Signal from Mars".
of Edison's Phonograph (December 6, 1877), the first device to record
and playback sound waves.
celebration: Sing "Happy Birthday to the Phonograph",
enjoy birthday cake, and listen to Edison's recreated recording
of his first words spoken into the Phonograph. "Mary had a
on the sketch of the first Phonograph
for birthday related information
Letter RPM Birthdays for Phonographians
phonograph record has literally revolved at many speeds which have
come and gone.
currently six "Red Letter RPM Birthdays".
birthdays do a "tip of the hat" to revolutions per minute (rpm) record
speeds(1), as part of a Friend of the Phonograph's
birthday celebration, aka a Phonographian's birthday: "16
2/3" , "33
1/3" . "45"
words, if you are a Phonographian and you have a birthday and your
age is now one of these RPM speeds you need to "tip your hat"
to that RPM and remember the phonograph as part of your birthday celebration.
Phonographia sites that remember the Phonograph
of the Phonograph
of recollections, short stories and memories of the Phonograph by
Friends of the Phonograph.
and Betty Boilesen Legacy Collection
viewing a small collection of phonographs in honor of Axel and
are also available that include their early memories of the phonograph
and growing up in Nebraska in the 1920's and 30's.
honors a unique star in the history of talking machines. Nipper, listening
to his master's voice coming from a machine, epitomized what this
new wonder was introducing to the world.
favorite movies by Friends of the Phonograph is a round-about
way to celebrate the connection between the phonograph and talking
movies, beginning with W. K. L. Dickson's Kinetophonograph which syncronized
film with sound using an Edison cylinder Phonograph.
movies selected by FOTP members don't have to include scenes
with a phonograph (like the Phonograph's star role in the 1940 Spencer
Tracy/Rita Johnson classic "Edison, the Man)".
members, however, are always on the look-out for phonograph-in-movie
scenes, and that list is being developed as a separate project.
is for Album - Favorite LPs
album is a collection of music or sounds. Early records had
only one song per record but they were often put in "albums" that
had multiple pages. These early record albums resembled photograph
albums but contained captured sounds instead of captured sights.
in the 1950's, a long-playing (LP) record had multiple songs on one
record. Packaged inside an artistic cover these single LPs continued
to be called albums since they were still a collection of music.
favorite phonograph LP albums is really just about making a list.
It sounds straightforward enough, but some find this difficult, perhaps
even philosophically against top 5 lists. I know that I've annoyed
my family for years by asking them what their favorite movies are,
or their favorite things we did on a vacation, etc.
like one of the best top five list-makers (John Cusack who is a record
store owner and lover of lists in the movie High-Fidelity), here are
top-five album selections by some members of Friends of the Phonograph.
Top-five list maker John Cusack
in Hi-Fidelity, courtesy Touchstone Pictures
1977, one-hundred years after the invention of the Phonograph, Voyager
1 and Voyager 2 were launched. On the outside of each was attached
a gold plated copper phonograph record - a "kind of time-capsule"
- protected by an aluminum cover. (2)
records used a needle and "grooves" and were not laser discs
although images were viewable on the discs. The record was analog
technology and the audio was played at 16 2/3 rpm with the overall
intent of communicating "a story of our world to extraterrestrials."
information about this Voyager phonograph record sent to the stars,
see Carl Sagan's "Murmurs of Earth" or NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
is the Golden Record?" (2)
to preserving a legacy, Friends of the Phonograph are also
a machine that one can simply wind up and play 100 years after it
was made represents the best of consumer products: a zero carbon
recycled footprint requiring no electricity, with no Edison Phonograph
headed to the landfill.
you see this bumper sticker on a Prius you know who must be driving:
ENERGY - WIND A PHONOGRAPH
of the Phonograph also look for other ways to contribute to
their community and protect the environment.
Colorado chapter of Friends of the Phonograph have adopted
the walking path and pond of one of the city's open spaces known
as Mushroom Pond. Originally inspired by their dog loving Friends
of Nipper (since the adopted trail is a popular place to walk
your dog), the PhonoFriends keep this trail clean for people and
man's best friend.
IT CLEAN - FRIENDS OF NIPPER
Phonograph - It's GREEN
Pond - Westminster, Colorado
"On This Day" - Other noteworthy
- Eldridge Reeves Johnson (February 6, 1867 in Wilmington,
Delaware founded the Victor Talking Machine Company alongside Emile
Berliner, a United States corporation, and built it into the leading
American producer of phonographs and phonograph records and one of
the leading phonograph companies in the world at the time.
- Jesse Harrison Lippincott, born February 18, 1842 (Mt
Pleasant, PA), founder of the North American Phonograph Company (July
- Alexander Graham Bell, born March 3, 1847 Edinburgh, Scotland
- scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with
patenting the first practical telephone; Bell funded the Volta Laboratory
in 1880 which became an experimental facility devoted to scientific
discovery, and the very next year it improved Edison's phonograph
by substituting wax for tinfoil as the recording medium and incising
the recording rather than indenting it, key upgrades that Edison himself
later adopted. The laboratory was also the site where he and his associate
invented his "proudest achievement", "the photophone", the "optical
telephone" which presaged fibre optical telecommunications. - Wikipedia
- Leon Forrest Douglass (March 12, 1869 – September 7, 1940) was an
American inventor and co-founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company
who registered approximately fifty patents, mostly for film and sound
May 15 -
John Kruesi, was a Swiss born machinist (May 15, 1843 – February
22, 1899) and a close associate of Thomas Edison. As Edison's head
machinist at Menlo Park he took the rough drawing from Edison and
constructed the first Phonograph. Kruesi was also involved in many
other Edison inventions, including the quadruplex telegraph, the carbon
microphone, the incandescent light bulb and the system of electric
May 20 - Emile
Berliner (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929), originally Emil Berliner,
was a German-American inventor. He is best known for inventing the
phonograph record (called gramophone record in British English and
originally also in American English) and the phonograph (gramophone
in British English and originally also in American English). He founded
the Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895, The Gramophone Company in
London, England, in 1897, Deutsche Grammophon in Hanover, Germany,
in 1898 and Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada in Montreal in
1899 (chartered in 1904). See Emile
Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry.
August 25 -
Charles Sumner Tainter, born Aug. 25, 1854, Watertown Mass., U.S
- American scientific instrument maker, engineer and inventor, best
known for his collaborations with Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester
Bell, Alexander's father-in-law Gardiner Hubbard, and for his significant
improvements to Thomas Edison's phonograph, resulting in the Graphophone,
one version of which was the first Dictaphone - Wikipedia
August 20 - Voyager
2 launched by NASA on August 20, 1977.
September 5 - Voyager
1 launched by NASA on September 5, 1977.
November 30 -
The birthdate of Chichester Bell, cousin to Alexander Graham Bell,
is unknown other than he was born in 1848. Chichester, Alexander Bell
and Charles Tainter's successful development of the Graphophone led
to the formation of the Volta Graphophone Company of Alexandria, Virginia
in February 1886 by those three principals, along with Chichester's
brother, lawyer and banker, Charles B. Bell.
Overall, Chichester is to be remembered
for his important contributions in developing improved versions of
November 30 has been selected
for Chichester Bell's "On This Day" in recognition of Bell
helping to establish the Edison Bell company on 30 November 1892 in
London to sell phonographs produced by the Edison United Phonograph
it isn't a Phonographia Day, it still can be celebrated!
Friends of the Phonograph look for any excuse to celebrate
a day that has a connection with the Phonograph.
those dates not identified here, the celebration of an Unbirthday
is always an option.
Walt Disney record that can be used to celebrate un-Phonographia birthdays.
Friends of the Phonograph
one of the following Phonographia sites for more Phonographia.
Note: Toys that have
records or recordings in them are also Friends of the Phonograph
who can be visited at the Talking
Toy Hall of Fame gallery.
(1) - Although early disc recordings
were produced in a variety of speeds ranging from 60 to 130 rpm,
and Edison cylinders were 160 rpm, FOTP Red Letter RPM Birthdays
are currently the following:
16 2/3 rpm (first used in early
1930's and subsequently used for 1) spoken word recordings, 2)
car music systems like Chrysler's Hi-Way Hi-Fi 2 of the 1950's
3) background music systems for restaurants and businesses 4)
limited music formats - see Canada Antique Phonograph Society
(CAPS) May 2010 article by Mike Dicecco for history of 16 2/3
33 1/3 rpm (first used by Vitaphone
in 1930 for electrical transcription recordings and introduced
in 1948 by Columbia Records as the Long-Playing Record (LP));
45 rpm (introduced by RCA in 1949);
78 rpm (the standard for early disc
records from 1890s into the 1950's);
80 rpm (for Edison Diamond Disc
90 rpm (for Pathé disc records with
vertically cut grooves requiring a special sapphire ball-shaped
(2) - Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
California Institute of Technology - http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html
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