"On this Day" PhonoCalendar
This calendar is a list of days from 1877 to the present with phonograph connections in popular culture.
Select a Month from the above or scroll/search the dates below organized by Months.
January 1 - 1878 Edison exhibits phonograph at Western Union offices in New York. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 4, John Hopkins University Press).
January 3 - 1878 Edison designs flywheel phonograph. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 4, John Hopkins University Press).
January 4 - "On Janary 4, 1929 the Radio Corporation of America bought the Victor Talking Machine Company from its financier owners. Nipper and his Gramophone thus completed a journey from Berliner's June 1900, record catalogue to the world's largest manufacturer of radios. The little fox terrier would continue to represent the RCA Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929, Fabrizio & Paul, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., ©2005, p. 235).
January 6 - 1886 Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter "attempted to share their work with Edison, approaching the Speaking Phonograph Company in 1885 about obtaining a license to make improved Phonographs. When Edison balked, they formed the Volta Graphone Company, on January 6, 1886, to be based in Washington, D.C." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul, p. 16).
January 7 - 1878 Edison licensed two Brooklyn men to incorporate phonographs in clocks and watches for the purpose of calling out the time, waking people, and advertising messages. (Courtesy of A Streak of Luck, Robert Conot).
January 7 - 1894 Fred Ott "sneezes" in Orange, NJ as the star of an Edison kinetoscopic film The Sneeze made by W. K. L. Dickson. This is the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture. A Phonograph was also apparently used to record the sneeze. (See January 9 entry for details).
January 9 - 1894 The Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze received by the Library of Congress. The Sneeze is one of a series of short films made by W. K. L. Dickson in January 1894 to promote Edison's Kinetoscope. The star is Fred Ott, an Edison employee who also was working for Edison at the time of Edison's invention of the Phonograph in 1877.
The 81 image photographic record of the film was received in the mail by the Library of Congress on January 9, 1894 as a copyright deposit from Dickson and is the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture. The five-second motion picture appeared in the March 24, 1894 issue of Harper's Weekly and refers to the sneeze being heard by means of a phonograph acting as an accompanist making sounds of a precise "as-shew."See the 1894 Harper's Weekly article for some "Sneeze-lore" and the 'record' submitted to the Library of Congress for the purpose of copyrighting.
January 10 - 1949 RCA Victor unveiled a new breed of phonograph record -- the 45. Just seven inches across, with a one-and-a-half-inch hole in the middle, the new record played at 45 revolutions per minute, with greater fidelity and clarity than the old 78 rpm record. "Listen, compare, and you, too, will agree that RCA Victor's 45 RPM record is the finest and best ever made," said one record company promo. (transcript Courtesy of CBS Morning Almanac, January 10, 2016).
January 19 - 1967 The Beatles began recording the song "A Day in the Life", with a working title "In the Life of...", on 19 January 1967. The total duration of time spent recording "A Day in the Life" was 34 hours. In contrast, the Beatles' earliest work, their first album "Please Please Me," was recorded in its entirety in only 10 hours. - Wikipedia
January 24 - 1896 Edison organized the National Phonograph Company primarily as an entertainment company. (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xx.)
January 26 - 1857 Leon Scott De Martinville lodged a sealed envelope with the Academie des Sciences in Paris, containing the principles of phonautography, with details of a phonautograph.
January 27 - 1896 Edison forms the National Phonograph Co. with the purpose of manufacturing phongraphs for home use on January 27.
January 27 - 1889 "The voices and very tones of famous orators and musicians" and the best efforts of pianists and comedians" are being accumulated in "Libraries of Phonograms" for "the amusement of their contemporaries and the instruction of generations still unborn." The Observer, London. See for the complete article about the "growing passion for collecting phonograms...reminding men of note that they are mortal."
January 27 - 1933 Betty Boop’s "Crazy Inventions" cartoon was first theatrically released with the Mae West film She Done Him Wrong. One of the inventions, a "Voice Recorder," was demonstrated by Betty Boop. Watch the phonograph connection in this cartoon HERE.
January 28 - 1969 "Don't Let Me Down", the B-Side song from the 7" single by The Beatles with Billy Preston was recorded on January 28, 1969.
January 29 - 1878 With Charles Batchelor, Edison visits Ansonia (Conn.) Clock Co. and experiments with applying the phonograph to clocks.
January 29 - 1964 "Can't Buy Me Love" was recorded on 29 January 1964 at EMI's Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France, where The Beatles were performing 18 days of concerts at the Olympia Theatre.
January 30 - 1969 The Beatles performed in public together for the last time on January 30, 1969 in an event known as the "Rooftop Concert".
February 1 - 1878 William Preece and John Tyndall demonstrate the phonograph at the Royal Institution in London, the first exhibition outside the United States.
February 1 - 1904 Enrico Caruso begins phonographic career with the Victor Company.
February 4 - 1968 "Across the Universe" was recorded on February 4, 1968 at Abbey Road Studios. Written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon/McCartney, the song first appeared on the various artists charity compilation album No One's Gonna Change Our World in December 1969, and later, in modified form, on their final album to be released, Let It Be.
"February 6 - 1867 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.
February 6 - 1878 Edison completes design of small demonstration phonograph to be sold at the Paris Universal Exposition.
February 6 - 1929 "Outside" was a Victor Orthophonic Record recorded in New York on February 6, 1929. Irving Aaronson and his Commanders are remembered primarily today for their wonderful version of Cole Porter's "Lets Misbehave".
February 7 - 1888 British Patent 1851 and 1851A - Improvements in Graphophones or Instruments for Recording and Reproducing Speech and Other Sounds (Volta Graphophone Company ) - Complete Graphophone office apparatus. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl, p. 204).
February 9 - 1878 "The Talking Phonograph on Exhibition," Scientific American, February 9, 1878.
February 9 - 1964 "All My Loving" was The Beatles's opening number on their debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964.
February 11 - 1847 Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) born in Milan, Ohio. An American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. His parents Samuel and Nancy Edison named Thomas after an ancestor and Alva after Captain Alva Bradley, a friend of the family.
February 11 -1899 Francis Barraud completed his "Nipper" painting in 1898 and registered it on 11 February 1899 as "Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph".
February 11 -1912 Berliner patent of 1895 expired, the patent that allowed the reproducer to be driven by the groove of the record.
February 12 - 1924 debut of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue called "A Birthday for American Music."
February 13 -1967 "Only a Northern Song" was initially recorded on February 13 at Abbey Road Studios. Written by George Harrison and performed by The Beatles "Only a Northern Song" has been described as Harrison's "personal denunciation of the Beatles' music publishing business."
February 14 -1913 Olive Kline records "When a Maid Comes Knocking at Your Heart" from the comedy opera "The FireFly." Click postcard for more information and recording.
February 14 -Valentine's Day and the Phonograph
February 14 - 1898. Leon Douglass filed for a U.S. patent for what became marketed as the “Polyphone Attachment.” By arranging two reproducers (and two horns) to track a cylinder record groove about an inch apart, it was claimed the selection would be “Twice as Loud, Twice as Clear, Twice as Sweet.” (Courtesy Antique Phonograph Society)
February 16 -1903 Lambert Indestructible Records log-rolling elephant mascot "appeared for the first time in Kansas City, MO" with the phrase "Can't Break 'Em." (1)
February 17 - 1889 "The Talking Doll," New York Times, February 17, 1889.
February 17 - 1911 British Patent 3813 - Gramophones; Trumpets, Arranging and Supporting: Feed-motions (T.A. Edison)
February 17 - 1933 Dagwood Bumstead and Blondie Boopadoop are married.
Courtesy King Features, 2001
February 18 - 1888 Jesse Harrison Lippincott, born February 18, 1842 (Mt Pleasant, PA), founder of the North American Phonograph Company (July 14, 1888)
February 19 - 1878 Patent 200521 for the Phonograph granted by the United States Patent Office to Thomas Alva Edison. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, p. 204, Frow & Sefl)
February 19 - 1895 Emile Berliner's patent for the "Gramophone" (No. 534,543) was granted after a delay of nearly three years. "Claim Five of this patent would become the cornerstone of an empire: "The method of reproducing sounds from a record...which consists in vibrating a stylus and propelling the same along the record by...the said record..." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul, p. 35)
February 21 - 1889 - An article in The Christian Union quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1851 prediction that photography would be joined by a similiar phenomenon that would capture sound, organizing the echo like we now do with light.
"The sun paints; presently we shall organize the echo, as now we do the shadows."
February 24 - 1886 Edison marries his second wife Mina Miller
February 24 - 1889 The Daily Examiner article titled "Talking Machines - What They Are to Do in the Great Future" predicted that the phonograph will replace newspapers delivered as phonograms in which music critics will be able to provide "whole arias from any opera or movements from a symphony by way of proof or illustration." "I really see no reason why the newspaper of the future should not come to the subscriber in the shape of a phonogram" continued the article.
February 25 -1873 Enrico Caruso born at Naples, Italy. As an Italian tenor Caruso was one of the most significant and renowned singers in any genre in both the 19th and 20th Centuries. His career with the Victor Talking Machine Company from 1904 - 1920 makes him one of the most famous recording pioneers. Touch Caruso postcard to listen to "O Sole Mio."
March 1 - 1928 'Let's Misbehave' was recorded in Camden, New Jersey by Irving Aaronson and his Commanders. The music was written by Cole Porter for the hit musical "Paris".
March 3 - 1847 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
On March 3, in honor of Bell, Friends of the Phonograph answer their phones with an "Ahoy-hoy" or "Ahoy" (which Bell said was the correct way to answer the telephone).
March 3 - 1903 Victor announced the availability in America of the G&Ts European recordings of serious music. These discs were pressed in Camden, New Jersey, using The Gramophone and Typewriter, Limited matrices, and carried red labels, or "Red Seals." At a time when regular 10" listings were $1.00 apiece, the "Red Seals" were $2.50....The "Red Seals" were to lend to the disc talking machine an aura of respectability and refinement which would pay dividends far beyond their actual sales." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
March 10 - 1894 "The Romantic and Practical Use of the Phonograph," Scientific American.
March 11 - 1878 Edison's representative, Mr. Theodore Puskas, gave an audition of the tin-foil phonograph to the Academie des Sciences in Paris. This is the first public demonstration in Continental Europe.
March 11 - 1909 British Patent 5860 - Reproducing Stylus Ground to Shapes Suitable for Cylinders of Different Groove Width (C.T. Hawtree) - The stylus had two V-shaped faces and could be rotated 180 degrees to play either a 2 or 4 minute cylinder, for which the faces were ground to fit. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
March 11 - 1890 Phonograph for Dolls or Other Toys T. A. Edison Patent No. 423,039
March 11 - 1903 "Victor announced the giant 14" "Deluxe" records. These were designed to play for five minutes due to the increased diameter and recommended slower speed of 60 rpm."(Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
March 12 - 1869 Leon Forrest Douglass born (March 12, 1869 – September 7, 1940) an American inventor and co-founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company who registered approximately fifty patents, mostly for film and sound recording techniques.
March 13 - 1878 A private exhibition of the new Phonograph - Item from the Philadelphia Record, reprinted in the Indianapolis News, Mar. 13, 1878.
March 16 - 1878 The Graphic publishes engraving of The Phonograph speaking to Professor Tyndall and Mr. W. H. Preece speaking into the Phonograph
March 22 - 1878 Edison signs agreement, negotiated by Theodore Puskas, with the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Co. for commercial exploitation of the phonograph in Great Britain.
March 22 - 1963 The Beatles release their debut album "Please Please Me" in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of singles "Please Please Me" (number 1 on most lists and "Love Me Do".
March 24 - 1878 "The Phonograph Exhibited. Prof. Arnold's Description of the Machine in Chickering Hall--Various Experiments, With Remarkable Results," New York Times.
March 25 - 1878 "The Talking Machine," New York Daily Tribune, March 25, 1878.
March 25 - 1857 Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville granted Patent No. 31470 for a method of drawing or writing by sound, and for multiplying the result of this graphically with a view to industrial applications.
March 26 - 1955 The "Ballad of Davy Crockett," becomes the #1 record in US.
March 26 - 1894 Birthday of Robert Frost, an American poet whose words were preserved on a record, making him an honorary Friend of the Phonograph. LISTEN to hear Frost reading "The Road Not Taken".
March 28 - 1901 First use of 'the dog' with the word 'Victor' on Victor Disk Talking Machine heading.
March 28 - 1878 "Improving the Phonograph," New York Evening Post. Reprinted in the Indianapolis News, March 28, 1878.
March 29 - 1888 a "contract between Jesse H. Lippincott and American Graphophone was approved, with a very optimistic 15 year duration. Lippincott at once negotiated with Edison to obtain the rights to handle his Phonograph...Had an agreement between the Phonograph and Graphophone factions not been reached, through the intercession of Jesse Lippincott, Volta would have sued Edison for his unlicensed appropriation of the incised wax record, and floating stylus." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul).
March 30 - 1878 Harper's Weekly publishes full page article introducing the public to Edison's Tin-Foil Phonograph.
March 30 - 1878 The Phonograph," Scientific American, March 30, 1878.
March 30 - 1878 "Possibilities of the Phonograph," Cincinnati Commercial, reprinted in the Indianapolis News.
March 31 - 2000 High Fidelity, the movie, released. Starring John Cusask as a self-confessed audiophile, Cusask spends his days at his record store, Championship Vinyl, where he holds court over the customers that drift through. Helping Rob in his task of musical elitism are Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black), the "musical moron twins," as he refers to them. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things musical, they compile "top five" lists for every conceivable occasion, openly mock the ignorance of their customers, and, every so often, actually sell a few records. - Wikipedia
April 1 - 1878 The New York Daily Graphic publishes April Fool's hoax describing Edison's "Food Creator."
April 4 - 1921 a court of appeals decision declared John B. Browning, a former Victor employee, to be the real inventor of hte Victrola. Eldridge Johnson was judged to have appropriated the idea from him. Browning claimed that his 1897 sketches were shown to Johnson and others at the company, and subsequently appeared as Johnson's patent No. 774,435 for a "Cabinet for Talking Machines." Victor pursued appeals unsuccessfully for years, though the only damage done was to Johnson's image." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
April 4 - 1964 During the week of April 4, 1964, two months after their arrival in the US, the Beatles occupied all five of the top positions on Billboard's Top Pop Singles chart, with "Can't Buy Me Love? It's a record that still stands.
April 6 - 1907 "A Time-Controlled Phonograph," Scientific American, April 6, 1907. Read about the Phonograph's ability to awaken you to the sounds of Sousa or Melba
April 7 - 1891 Mr. Berliner exhibited his gramophone to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Sound waves are etched onto a metal plate and Berliner is currently using those plates to correspond with friends in Germany as they are small enough to fit into an envelope and send through the mails for 2 cents postage. See Berliner's Gramophone, The Examiner April 8, 1891 for full article.
April 8 - 1909 British Patent 8512 - Hollow Feed-screw and Planetary Gear for Phonographs (Peter Weber) - The familiar combination gearing system found on phonograph motions of the TRIUMPH layout. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
April 9 - 1860 the first line of Au clair de la lune was recorded by Édouard-Léon Scott on his Phonautograph. This is the "earliest clearly recognizable record of the human voice yet recovered." See First Sounds for a comprehensive story of its creation and restoration.
April 10 - 1878 Dubbed "Wizard of Menlo Park" by the New York Daily Graphic.
April 10 - 1888 Patent 5307 for improvements in the manufacture of Phonogram blanks and phonograms and apparatus therefor (T.A. Edison) - The 'solid wax' cylinder. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
April 10 - 1970 The Beatles announce their breakup on 10 April 1970.
April 11 - 1902 "In February 1902, Fred and Will Gaisberg were sent to Milan, Italy, with instructions to record selections of Italian opera. At a performance of Franchetti's Germania, the Gaisbergs heard a young singer named Enrico Caruso. According to Fred Gaisberg's later account, they disregarded a cable from London forbidding them to pay Caruso 100 pounds for ten recordings. Fred paid Caruso out of his own pocket, recording ten arias on April 11." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
April 13 - 1903 "On April 13, 1903, Victor shipped a "Monarch Special" equipped with the new "Tapering Hollow Arm." This was a significant acoustical improvement over the tubular "Rigid" arm used for the previous six months. In addition, Johnson's patent (No.814,786) for the tapering arm included what would become classic features of Victor machines for decades to come. The elbow-restraining yoke was used in virtually all rear-mount, external-horn Victors made from this point onward. The centering pivot for the tapering arm, and the U-shaped soundbox tube would be used in Victor products for the next twenty-five years." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
April 15 - 1905 On or around 15 April 1905, Charles E. Hill and his associates allegedly* formed the “Duplexophone Company” in Lancaster County, Nebraska with initial capital of $30,000.
April 15 - 1966 "Taxman" is a song written by George Harrison and released as the opening track on The Beatles' 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the government."
April 17 - 1956 Howdy Doody Show #2087: Howdy is building a new machine (Sound-A-Doodle).
April 18 - 1956 Howdy Doody Show #2088: The new machine, a Sound-A-Doodle, can reproduce any sound.
April 18 - 1877 Charles Cros composed a letter to the Academie des Sciences in Paris and wrote on envelope: "packet containing description of a process for recording and reproducing phenomena perceived by ear, addressed to the Academy of Sciences on 18 April, 1877, by Charles Cros, 11 rue Jacob, Paris." (Illustrated History Phonographs, Daniel Marty).
April 18 - 1878 -Edison and Batchelor demonstrated the phonograph and carbon telephone on the afternoon of the 18th at the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington, D.C at the Smithsonian Institute. George Barker had written Johnson on April 6 that he wanted to borrow a phonograph "to show it to some friends here and also to present it before the National Academy of Science at Washington week after next." According to the Washington Press and Union, Barker introduced Edison and described the machine and their development.
April 18 - 1878 On the evening of the 18th, at the invitation of President Hayes, Edison and his party were driven to the White House arriving shortly before midnight. "Mrs. Hayes was roused from bed and came downstairs, and Edison stayed until 3:30 A.M., entertaining and being feted." (Streak of Luck, Robert Conot)
April 19 - 1878 "The Edison Speaking Machine. Exhibition Before Members of Congress--The Practical Uses to Which it May Be Applied." Special Dispatch to The New York Times, dated Washington, April 20.
April 19 - 1878 This tongueless, toothless instrument, without larynx or pharynx, dumb, voiceless matter, nevertheless utters your words, and centuries after you have crumbled to dust will repeat again and again to a generation that will never know you, every idle thought, every fond fancy, every vain word that you choose to whisper against this thin iron diaphragm. Washington Post.
April 19 - 1878 Edison had his photograph taken at the Mathew Brady Studio in Washington, D.C. Seated next to the second model of his tinfoil phonograph this machine would become known to later collectors as the "Brady Phonograph."
April 19 - 1956 Howdy Doody Show #2089: Clarabell takes the Sound-A-Doodle.
April 19 - 2008 First Record Store Day - Celebrates the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally.
April 20 - 1878 Marie Rose, a prima donna, on the cover of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, singing an aria from "Faust" into Edison's tin-foil phonograph.
April 20 - 1956 Howdy Doody Show #2090: Buffalo Bob recovers the Sound-A-Doodle.
April 20 - 1891 - The Public Stock Exchange in San Francisco attempted to introduce a new way to speculate in stocks using the Phonograph to buy and sell "by oral expression or by the reannouncement of orders on a phonograph in the exchange room." The Attorney-General filed a complaint to have the Public Stock Exchange charter forfeited since the Phonograph in the exchange room can be manipulated.
April 23 - 1889 Shortly before opening of the Exposition Universelle in Paris, the "new" Edison phonograph was shown to the Academie des Sciences in Paris.
April 24 - 1878 British Patent No. 1644 granted to Edison for tin-foil phonograph for recording and reproducing sounds. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
April 24 - 1878 Edison Speaking Phonograph Company incorporated in Norwalk, Connecticut (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xiii.)
April 24 - 1941 "Penny Serenade", starring Irene Dunne and Gary Grant, released on this date. Listening to songs on their record player marks episodes of their life -- the title refers to a song of the same name. Watch movie credits and the scene featuring the 78 RPM record album labeled "The Story of a Happy Marriage" for the Movie Phonographia.
April 25 - 1817 birthday of Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville (April 25, 1817) , a French printer and bookseller, who invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph.
April 25 - 1854 birthday of Charles Sumner Tainter (April 25, 1854 – April 20, 1940). Tainter was an American scientific instrument maker, engineer and inventor, best known for his collaborations with Chichester Bell and his work at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Tainter made significant improvements to Thomas Edison's Phonograph which resulted in the Graphophone.
April 26 - 1890 The Scientific American publishes the article "Edison's Phonographic Doll" describing how it works and how its made, with engravings of the factory and doll.
April 26 - 1966 "And Your Bird Can Sing" is a song by The Beatles that was recorded on April 26, 1966 and released on their 1966 album Revolver in the UK and on Yesterday...and Today in the U.S. The songwriting credit is Lennon/McCartney, though the song was written solely by John Lennon.
April 28 - 2003 Apple iTunes Music Store opened offering an easy way to download music for $0.99 per song with no subscription fees. Initial offerings were 200,000 selections.
April 29 - 1878 "The Funny Phonograph. An Actor's Scheme for a Grand Operatic Concert--Edison Makes one More Invention," St. Louis Evening Post.
May 1 - 1878 Universal Exposition, with Edison exhibit, opens in Paris.
May 1 - 1878 "The Future of the Phonograph," Chicago Tribune, May 1, 1878.
May 1 - 1893 "The Columbia Phonograph Company in Washington, D.C., had aspirations beyond being a sales agent for the struggling North American Phonograph Company. On May 1, 1893, Columbia assumed the management of the American Graphophone Company." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
May 2 - 1889 The first mention of a cylinder of a popular song of the day recorded by a professional artist (all earlier cylinders on the demonstrations had been of coronet solos, amateur recitations and the like). The song was "Two Lovely Black Eyes", sung in several languages by Charles Coborn (1852-1945), and was played at public phonograph lectures from this date. - Contemporary newspaper account in Great Britain referenced by George Frow, A Guide to the Edison Cylinder Phonograph (1970).
May 4 - 1878 "Thomas A. Edison. A Tribune Correspondent Visits Him at Menlo Park--Some of His Recent Extraordinary Discoveries and Inventions," Chicago Tribune.
May 4 - 1886 Bell and Tainter USA Patent No. 341214 for new device using cardboard cylinders covered with wax (the graphophone). This patent was noted by Fabrizio and Paul as the patent that yielded "the greatest impact on the history o f recorded sound ("Recording and Reproducing Speech and Other Sounds"). It is likely that the Volta experimenters did not foresee what powerful weapons their patents would become. They could never have envisioned the "talking machine wars" of fiteen years later. In fact, they attempted to share their work with Edison, approaching the Speaking Phonograph Company in 1885 about obtaining a license to make improved Phonographs. When Edison balked, they formed the Volta Graphone Company, on January 6, 1886, to be based in Washington, D.C." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul, p. 16)
May 5 - 1888 Patent granted to Edison for solid wax cylinder and the tapering bore (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xv.)
May 5 - 1878 Phonograph message to to Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil". A Tribune Correspondent Visits Him at Menlo Park--Some of His Recent Extraordinary Discoveries and Inventions," Chicago Tribune.
May 8 - 1900 British Patent 8486 - Method of and Apparatus for Duplicating Phonograph Records (T.A. Edison) -- Duplicating smaller cylinders from an original of large diameter (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, p. 205, Frow & Sefl)
May 8 - 1970 "Let It Be" by the Beatles released.
May 9 - 1889 British Patent 7794 - Improvements in or Applicable to Phonographs and in the Manufacture and Use of Phonogram-blanks or Surfaces for receiving the Sound-record (T.A. Edison) - Including reproducers and recorders, moulding blanks and making flexible cylinders. Although the patent does not stress portability, it suggest simplification of operation and cylinders capable of being flattened for posting; this may have been the basis of the MILITARY Phonograph. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, p. 204, Frow & Sefl)
May 10 - 1878 "How Edison Amuses Himself," Cincinnati Saturday Night, reprinted Chicago Tribune.
May 11 - 1896 Mari Sandoz, the author of The Christmas of the Phonograph Records, is born in Sheridan County, Nebraska. This recollection by Mari contains many references to specific record titles. It was a remarkable Holiday Season week for the Sandoz family as her father Old Jules had purchased an Edison Phonograph and a very large number of cylinder records using inheritance money that probably should have gone to paying the mortgage and buying new shoes for the children. Neighbors and visitors came to their "weathered little frame house" in the Sand Hills from Christmas to New Year's Day to hear the Edison Phonograph play records which they had never heard before.
May 12 - 1900 Edison Gem was improved to play two cylinders, instead of one, on a single winding, and the price was increased to $10.00 (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xxii.)
May 13 - 1888 "Testing the Phonograph," New York Times, May 13, 1888.
May 13 - 1888 The American Graphophone Company was organized to act as a manufacturing and distributing arm for the Volta Graphophone Company. "Principal backs and general agents" were "men such as James O. Clephane, Andrew Devine, and John H. White who were Supreme Court or Congressional reporters. These men, because of their field of work, imagined the potential of the Graphophone for aiding transcription, though no one yet appreciated the importance of pre-recorded music. (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
May 15 - 1843 John Kruesi born (May 15, 1843 – February 22, 1899) a Swiss born machinist 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 lighting.
May 16 - 1878 "The Wonders of the Phonograph," letter to the editor, Chicago Tribune, May 16, 1878. [In response to a skeptical letter to the editor published the day before.]
May 16 - 1888 Emile Berliner "demonstrated his Gramophone, or "writer of sound," before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 16, 1888." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, F&P)
May 17 - 1878 "The history of recorded sound in Canada can be said to have begun on 17 May 1878 with a demonstration of Edison's recently invented talking machine, the phonograph, at the Governor-General's residence in Ottawa. The Earl of Dufferin and his guests spoke Greek and sang popular songs, and listened as the machine reproduced the sound of their voices. Though the new invention was greeted with amazement and delight (and the interest of early ethnologists, who set out to record the speech and music of aboriginal peoples), sound recording would not become a commercially successful medium of entertainment until the advent of Emile Berliner and his gramophone." Courtesy National Library of Canada, The Virtual Gramophone
May 17 - 1894 German patent filed for talking doll. "Doll with Talking Apparatus, a Sound Path to the Head, and Wide-Mesh Screen Beneath the Wig" was the description of the patent. "The Kämmer & Reinhardt talking doll was probably first offered for sale at about this time. It was slightly more than 23" tall, was reportedly a sensation, but the mechanisms were too fragile and unreliable to ensure sustained use. Despite its years of development, the doll was a failure -- one of the most absolute failiures in talking machine history." TOUCH the picture to see the only known surviving example of the 1894 doll. (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
May 18 - 1880 Edison Phonograph Patent No. 227,679
May 18 - 1911 British Patent 3814 - Diaphragms; Stylus Mountings (T.A. Edison) - the Diamond Model B Reproducer, but still with the stylus mounted by its shank, as on the Model C. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, p. 206, Frow & Sefl)
May 19 - 1987 Teddy Ruxpin Patent No. 4,665,640 granted. ABSTRACT: A controller including a servo to time movement of an animated character with audible sounds reproduced in synchronism with control signals for the servo.
May 20 - 1851 Emile Berliner birthday (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929), originally Emil Berliner A German-American inventor 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.
May 25 - 1890 THE PHONOGRAPHIC CALL. Mr. Edison’s Most Valuable Invention Put to a Practical Use Which Will Make All Lovers Tremble. By Homer Bassford, from Detroit Free Press, in Boston Daily Globe.
May 25 - 1877 Birthday of Billy Murray, born in Philadelphia to Irish immigrant parents. His family moved to Denver and he would later be known as the Denver Nightingale. Murray was probably the most popular recording artist of the acoustic era (that is, before microphones were commonly used in making records). He is also one of the first true recording stars. See Wikipedia for additional life and career information.
May 26 - 1896 Gramophone Record No. 641 "Advertising Plant's Baking Powder" recorded by George Graham in Washington, D.C. This advertising record is an example of the Phonograph's early use as an advertising machine.
May 27 - 1890 British Patent 8197 - Improvement in Means of Apparatus for the Manufacture of Wax-coated Tablets or Cylinders for use in Graphophones, Phonographs and the like (T.A. Edison) - Coating a base for a cylinder or a disc evenly with wax material. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, p. 205, Frow & Sefl)
May 27 - 1890 Patent No. 428,750 issued to Louis Glass and William S. Arnold for Coin Actuated Attachments for Phonographs (cylinder and discs) which included a repeating mechanism and controlled sets of listening tubes. As early as November 23, 1889, inventor and businessman Louis Glass rigged an Edison Phonograph with a repeating mechanism and four selectively controlled sets of listening-tubes which he installed at the Palais Royal Saloon in San Francisco. The machine did good business and some fifteen were subsequently fitted out." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, p. 24, Fabrizio & Paul)
May 30 - 1878 "The Funny Phonograph. Some New Facts About the Marvelous Machine. The Wild Dream of a Writer of Fiction More than Realized. A Hearing and Talking Instrument Combined," St. Louis Evening Post.
May 31 - 1878 "The Phonograph and Its Future," Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1878.
May 31 - 1878 Herwick C. Dodge "The Speaking Phonograph" St. Louis Evening Post
June 2 - 1966 "I Want to Tell You", written by George Harrison and recorded on June 2, 1966 was originally released by The Beatles on their 1966 album Revolver.
June 5 - 1901 The Invincible Eagle March (Matrix [Pre-matrix B-]844) was recorded by Sousa's Band, John Philip Sousa (composer), Arthur Pryor (conductor). Take Place: (Camden, New Jersey [unconfirmed]) M-1 Master Victor 844 10" Disc (VEDVR) - Composed for the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. Sousa believed at the time that this "sunshine march" would some day be as popular as his "Stars and Stripes Forever". He described it as showing military spirit at its "lightest and brightest".
June 6 - 1878 "The Phonograph. Edison's Wonderful Invention to be Exhibited Here," Indianapolis News, June 6, 1878.
June 13 - 1878 "Edison's Phonograph," Indianapolis News, June 13, 1878.
June 14 - 1878 "Speaking Phonograph" mouthpiece experiments - Edison and his team at Menlo Park experiment on mouthpiece of his Speaking Phonograph to try to get the hissing consonants to reproduce better.
June 15 - 1878 "The Amusement Record," Indianapolis Saturday Herald, reported a Phonograph exhibition at twenty-five cents a head at Wright's hall.
June 15 - 1966 The Beatles released their studio album "Yesterday and Today."
June 16 - 1888, Edison's "Perfected Phonograph" is announced as completed after 72 straight hours work by Edison and his assistants. This was the first commercial phonograph.
June 16 - 1856 Birthday of Francis James Barraud. Born in London Barraud would be the painter of Nipper, the famous terrier of the Victor Talking Machine Company who listened to His Masters Voice.
June 18 - 1942 Birthday of Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE (born 18 June 1942). "An English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history." - Wikipedia
An honorary Friend of the Phonograph.
June 19 - 1902 Birthday of Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo (born June 19, 1902 in London, Ontario; died November 5, 1977). Forming The Royal Canadians in 1924 with his brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown, Lombardo led the group to international success, billing themselves as creating "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven." Listen to "Get Out Those Old Records."
June 21 - 1961 The short film Donald and the Wheel (starring Donald Duck) was released to theaters. The Gramophone is used to help explain the importance of the wheel's invention.
June 21 - 1939 "The Record" by Forrest Ackerman and Ray Bradbury published in Futuria Fantasia, Summer 1939. This is the story of how the phonograph record "Sonny Boy" saved mankind in the future.
June 22 - 1878 "The Phonograph Wins a Victory," Scientific American, June 22, 1878. Read the newspaper's account of the remarkable reproduction of cornet solos by Mr. Levy.
.June 25 - 1967 All You Need Is Love", written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney, was first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first live global television link. Watched by 400 million in 26 countries, the program was broadcast via satellite on 25 June 1967.
June 28 - 1966 Birthday of John Cusack, an honorary Friend of the Phonograph for his role in the movie "High Fidelity" where Cusack plays the owner of a record store and self-processed audiophile.
June 28 - 1888 Jessie H. Lippincott purchased the Edison Phonograph Company from Edison for $500,000. (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xvi).
July 4 - From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. Fireworks, parades, political speeches, and family gatherings each year mark this day in the United States. The Phonograph, likewise, has celebrated July 4th with advertisements and images promoting "American patriotic airs from revolutionary days to date."
July 5 -1898 British Patent 14803 - Improvements in Apparatus for Reproducing Sound Records (Gianni Bettini) - Duplication of cylinder records. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
July 7 -1940 Birthday of Richard Starkey, Jr., better known by his stage name Ringo Starr. English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the rock group The Beatles and now an honorary member of Friends of the Phonograph sitting next to an Edison GEM.
July 10 - 1900 U.S. Patent Office issued TRADE MARK FOR GRAMOPHONES (No. 34890) to Emile Berliner.
July 10 - 1964 A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by The Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 as the soundtrack to their film A Hard Day's Night. A Hard Day's Night became their first album to consist solely of original material, and was The Beatles only release to consist solely of songs written by Lennon-McCartney. (Courtesy of the Beatles Bible)
July 11 - 1946 The birthday of Sue Lyon's, born in in Davenport, Iowa and an honorary Friend of the Phonograph for her scene in the 1964 movie The Night of the Iguana where she asks for "More music!" to be played from a Gramophone.
July 14 - 1888 North American Phonograph Company born. (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xvi.)
July 18 - 1877 Phonograph principle realized by Edison in his diary by referring to the storing and repetition of sound of the human voice. (ECP, Frow & Sefl). This is the date Fabrizio and Paul note that "Edison began to evolve the concept of a talking machine in his laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul).
July 21 - 1891 Columbia Phonograph Company begins offering phonographs for sale. (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xvi).
July 21 - 1891 Edison received patent for improvement in phonograph (Case no, 867 related to phonograph doll) with the following specifications: "The invention relates mainly to reproducing phonographs designed to be inclosed in dolls or other toys, and bearing a short sound-record intended to be reproduced as often as required.
July 22 - 1910 The 'dog' picture together with the words "His Master's Voice" was registered as a Trade Mark.
July 24 - 1894 "George Tewksbury, who would later write a handbook about the Edison Phonograph, adapted some of them with his coin-op device (patent No. 523,556, July 24, 1894). Working as an officer of the local branch of the North American Phonograph Company for the Kansas territory, he claimed to have operated his machiine as early as 1890, though they were actually put on sale a few years later by the United States Phonograph Company of Newark, New Jersey." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
July 24 - 2022 - Celebration of Life Day for Ron Jester, a Friend of the Phonograph
July 26 - 1848 Birthday of Henri Lioret, born in Moret-sur-Loing, France. In 1893 Henri created the first French phonograph and the talking doll, the Bebe Phonographe, using an Emile Jumeau porcelain doll. To learn more about Lioret cylinder records go to UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive.
July 30 - 1878 British Patent 2909 + 3 Disclaimers) - Controlling by Sound the Transmission of Electric Currents and Reproduction of Corresponding Sounds at a Distance (T.A. Edison) - the first phonograph outline. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
.July 30 - 1890 "It Does Not Injure the Ear. A Senseless Objection Raised Against the Phonograph," New York Times, July 30, 1890." Read this article about the Philadelphia Board of Park Commissioners crusade against the phonograph.
July 31 - 1900 British Patent 13693 (Amendment) - Process of and Apparatus for Duplicating Phonographic Records (T.A. Edison) - The 'Gold Moulded' Method. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
July 31 - 1917 The Victor Talking Machine Company, on July 31, filed its answer to the complaint of the Federal Trade Commission calling upon the company to show cause why an order should not be issued forbidding it to continue the practice of selling its machines under the license system pronounced illegal by the Supreme Court...In its reply the company states it has voluntarily ceased to do the acts set forth in the complaint...and is no longer disposing of its machines with the proviso they should be used only as set forth by the company. Neverthless, Edison and Victor continued business as usual and ended up signing consent decrees in 1918 and paying assessments. "To quote the Government from Victor's decree, May 3, 1918, "For many years the defendant had systematically made contracts and engaged in a conspiracy in restraint of that trade." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
August 1 - 1897 "Columbia purchased the Chicago Talking Machine Company on August 1, 1897. This pioneer talking machine agency...had been involved in selling Amet spring motors as well as the mysterious three-spring, aluminum "Chicago Motor" which had run afoul of the triple-spring Capps motor of the United States Phonograph Company. In an ironic development, Columbia intorduced its first three-spring motoor one month after buying the Chicago Talking machine Company. Although Columbia's new motor was built of more prosaic steel and brass, the similarity to the old "Chicago Motor" was unmistakable." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
August 1 - 1901 George Burt of the George Burt Company of Milburn, New Jersey, "established a subsidiary on August 1, 1901: the Globe Record Company. Within a short time, Globe was producing a satisfactory disc record known as the "Climax." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
August 14 - 1897 Eldridge Johnson applied "for a patent (No 601,198) on an improved motor and brake for the Gramophone. These features were used in the machine marketed as the Berliner "Improved Gramophone," which sold for $25.00. The "Improved Gramophone" single-handedly enabled the disc record to become a serious competitor of the cylinder. This model would later become part of the world's most famous and best-loved trademark." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
August 17 - 1877 Spkg Telegh. - Technical Note from Edison Lab Notebook - "In my apparatus for recording & reproducing the human voice -- I propose using a paper coated with a substance which becomes very soft by heat & when cold is extremely hard like a sealing wax.
Phonograph. "Another idea Indent the paper in spiral grooves or on a long strip cover whole of paper with tin foil. The point on the diaphragm will then easily indent --- (p.502, Technical Notes --1013-- The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3
August 20 - Voyager 2 launched by NASA on August 20, 1977. September 5 - Voyager 1 launched by NASA on September 5, 1977.
August 21 - 1894 Edison...as principal creditor of the penniless North American Phonograph Company, threw it into bankruptcy on August 21, 1894. Here ended the unhappy alliance of the Edison and Graphophone forces, and thus began several years of virtual anarchy in the talking machine business." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
August 23 - 1977 Gold plating of the Voyager records took place on August 23, 1977; afterward, the records were mounted in aluminum containers and delivered to JPL. The record is constructed of gold-plated copper and is 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. The records also had the inscription "To the makers of music – all worlds, all times" hand-etched on its surface. (Courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)
August 29 - 1958 "Move It" by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (the UK band that would later become "The Shadows") is released. This single "is credited with being one of the first authentic rock and roll songs produced outside the United States." Wikipedia
September 1 - 1911 The first "Victrola the Fourth" was shipped from the Camden factory and was Victor's response ($15.00) to the low cost, concealed-horn phonograph that had been successfully introduced by Columbia the previous year.
Courtesy of "Look for the Dog," Robert W. Baumbach
September 5 - 1977 Voyager 1 launched by NASA on September 5, 1977.
September 5 - 1967 "I am the Walrus" recorded by the Beatles.
September 7 - 1877 Edison's development of the Phonograph evolves. "A statement with accompanying sketches was prepared to announce the invention of the newly dubbed Phonograph, but not released as improvements continued." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul) Draft Sketch and Notes related to the Phonograph (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, Johns Hopkins University Press)
September 9 - 1922 Release of "Carolina in the Morning" by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra on Victor 18962-A
September 11 - 1900 British Patent 16146 - Process of Making Metallic Duplicate Phonograph Records (T.A. Edison) - Making metallic copy of original cylinder, a metallic matrix and metallic positives. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
September 12 - 1987 Birthday of Emmy Rossum, an honorary Friend of the Phonograph for her role in the movie "Song Catcher" where she recorded many songs on an Edison Phonograph.
September 15 - 1899 The Gramophone Company offered Barraud 100 pounds for the painting of Nipper ("His Master's Voice) and transfer of the copyright, which Barraud accepted.
September 15 - 1890 Phonograph arcades, with rows of nickel-operated Edison machines for which the records were frequently changed, blossomed in big cities. The Ohio Phonograph Company opened one in Cleveland on September 15, 1890..." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
September 17 - 1936 Birthday of Earl Kenneth Forsse in Bellwood, NE and a honorary Friend of the Phonograph for his invention of Teddy Ruxpin, the creative twentieth century talking doll, which would be much more successful than Edison's talking doll of 1890.
September 21 - 1877 Edison describes idea of "recording by embossing or otherwise" documented in Edison Papers Technical Note 1062 "Telephony and Phonograph." (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, Johns Hopkins University Press)
September 23 - 1906 “Suggestions for Decatur Bicyclists,” Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois), Sept. 23, 1906. (Courtesy of of Phonozoic Text Archive).
September 28 - 1895 "The Phonograph Explained Just What Ailed a Big Pump in California," Scientific American, Sept. 28, 1895.
September 30 - 1877 Edison draft letter to [Jay Gould?] reporting that he has "nearly completed a machine which records the human voice on paper from which after the lapse of any time the same voice can be reproduced at any speed & with all its fine inflection." (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, Johns Hopkins University Press)
October 1 - 1842 Birthday of Charles Cros (or Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros), born in Fabrezan, Aude. French poet and inventor who was the first person to conceive a method for reproducing recorded sound with an invention he named the Paleophone.
October 3 - 1901 The Victor Talking Machine Company was incorporated on October 3, 1901, and organized two days later. It was not a new enterprise, but a merger of the interests of Eldridge R. Johnson with those of the Consolidated Talking Machine Company of America. (Courtesy of the David Sarnoff Library).
October 4 - 1928 For the first time, Edison offered a radio under the Edison name to the public. "It is ironic that the company founded by America's pioneeer electrician should have delayed so long. Edison's first electrically recorded "Diamond Discs" had made their debut a year earlier, to general consumer apathy. The company's record sales continued to suffer under Thomas Edison's stubbon allegiance to the vertically recorded format." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul, p. 235)
October 6 - 1977 U.S. postage stamp was issued on October 6, 1977 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of talking motion pictures. Designed by Walter Einsel, the multicolored lithographed and engraved commemorative features a movie projector and phonograph (the first "talkies" were actually phonograph recordings synchronized with silent movies).
October 7 - 1879 Can Edison's phonograph speak Arabic? New York Times.
October 8 - 1887 Edison Phonograph Company formed.
October 8 - 1895 The Berliner Gramophone Company was incorporated with only $25,000 of paid capital. "This firm would control manufacturing and sale of Gramophones and records while paying royalties to Berliner's patent-holding organization, the United States Gramophone Company." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
October 10 - 1993 Charles Sumner Tainter, who had collapsed from overwork in 1890 and resigned his position as head of the Graphophone factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut, began developing a coin mechanism for Graphophones. He perfected an antecedent of the design which would serve nickel-in-the-slot Graphophones for the next ten years (patent No. 506,348, October 10, 1893)" (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
October 10 - 1902 Victor shipped the first of a new type of disc talking machine. It was a "Monarch Special" equipped with a cast rear support upon which the horn was mounted. The soundbox was connected to the horn by a swinging tube of consistent diameter. The steel needle was now subject only to the weight of the soundbox and the inertia of the hollow arm. The weight of the horn had been removed from the equation. Record wear was significantly diminished through the use of the Victor tubular or "Rigid Arm."" (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
October 10 - 1941 Birthday of Pauline Hahn, a honorary Friend of the Phonograph for her 1959 phonograph movie scene in "Too Young to Love."
October 16 - 21 Edison Week - "Set apart for special observance by Edison Dealers as an acknowledgement of one of Thomas A. Edison's greatest contributions toward human progress, his favorite invention, The New Edison." The Talking Machine World, October 15, 1916
October 21 - 1915 Edison Day and First Pacific Edison Tone-Test given at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition as part of Edison Day -- a day set aside for honoring the great inventor. "General Electric had promoted the event celebrating the thirty-sixth anniversary of the incandescent electric light" (2). Edison listened to Anna Case's "Bird Song" recording utilizing the transcontinental telephone, showing that music of the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph could be carried from ocean to ocean and an Edison Tone Test was performed by Christine Miller.
October 23 - 2001 Apple "unveiled the first version of its handheld music player to the world on Oct. 23, 2001, and it went on sale the following month. With the slogan "1,000 songs in your pocket," the first-generation iPod was quick to capture the public's attention and was the companion to the newly unveiled iTunes, the digital music software that ushered in a new era of how people listen to music. Apple went on to sell more than 400 million iPods, according to The New York Times." (Courtesy NPR.org.)
October 28 - 1887 The origin of the Edison doll with contract transferring the toy manufacturing concern of Briggs and Jacques to the Edison Phonograph Company. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
October 29 - 1887 "Edison's New Phonograph," Scientific American, from the New York Evening Post.
October 29 - 1929 The Radio-Phonograph Division of Thomas A. Edison, Incorporated announced the end of record production by Edison: "After a careful weighing of the record business and its prospects, we have decided to discontinue the production of records, except for special purposes, and to devote our great record plant to the production of radio, and kindred new developments in the radio and home entertainment field. The step is being taken regretfully because the phonograph for home entertainment was one of Mr. Edison's favorite inventions. But, this is a case where sound business judgment must prevail over sentiment. (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
October 31 - Halloween and the Phonograph
November 1 - 1899 "Edison cut the price of the "Concert" Phonograph to $100.00, matching that of the Type "HG" Graphophone. Columbia had by this time acquired something of a reputation by undercutting Edison retail prices." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
November 1 - 1904 C. E. Hill patented (No. 773,740) the Phonograph Reproducer Attachment for what was to become the Kalamazoo Duplex. The Duplex two-horn phonograph was the brainchild of a Canadian immigrant named Charles E. Hill (born May 1862), a self-proclaimed “talking machine expert” from Lincoln, Nebraska. Hill planned on manufacturing his Duplexophone in Lincoln. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
November 2 - 1925 "Victor Day", the day on which the new "Orthophonic" Victrola (using the exponential horn) would be formally unveiled. Victor had already released its first electrically-recorded disc during May 1925 without fanfare, in order that stocks of acoustically-recorded discs would continue to sell. (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
November 7 - 1877 "The Phonograph," New York Times. Read this anticipation of what the phonograph will bring (nearly one month before its completion on December 6, 1877'.
November 11- 1902 "Edison had years before planned to introduce cylinders made of durable celluloid. He was granted a patent for such a process, No. 713,209, on November 11, 1902. Yet, rather than immediately introduce the improved records, National Phonograph sued the firm that was then producing celluloid cylinder records under the patent of Thomas Lambert, to eliminate the competition. The unexpected result of these efforts to brush the Lambert Company aside was that the court declared the Edison patent void due to prior publication, a technicality. No other celluloid patents would be available to Edison for some time. This meant that when National Phonograph came to introduce the 200 tpi cylinder, it was moulded of a harder but far more brittle version of the same metallic soap material of the two-minute cylinders." (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
November 17- 1877 "A Wonderful Invention.--Speech Capable of Indefinite Repetition from Automatic Records," Scientific American, November 17, 1877, p. 304.
November 17- 1995 "Toy Story 2" release date. Top-ten Friends of the Phonograph movie memory where Woody says "A RECORD PLAYER! I haven't seen one of these in ages." Courtesy Walt Disney Productions/Pixar
November 18- 1928 Release of "Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse in the historic black-and-white cartoon and the date used for the birth of Mickey Mouse.. It was the first animated cartoon with synchronized sound and was a sensational success. The Disney website describes the cartoon as follows: "The cartoon marked an animation landmark with its synchronized sound track where Mickey whistles and blows raspberries at the irascible ship's captain, a large tobacco-chewing cat called Captain Pete. In roughly seven minutes, Captain Pete kicks Mickey Mouse out of the steering room of a riverboat. The hero then hoists Minnie Mouse on board using a crane that grabs her by the knickers, swings a cat by the tail, strangles a goose and plays keyboard on some suckling piglets as the American folk song "Turkey in the Straw" plays from a goat's innards... After unsuccessfully trying to make a deal to record through RCA or Western Electric, Walt contracted with the bootleg Powers Cinephone process and, after a disastrous initial recording session, finally recorded the soundtrack with a 15-piece band and his own squeaks for Mickey. Directed by Walt Disney. Released at the Colony Theater in New York on November 18, 1928, the date used for the birth of Mickey Mouse." (Courtesy of Walt Disney Productions)
November 18- 1899 Judge magazine carried a lampoon of William Jennings Bryan listening to a Phonograph. Bryan "always likes to hear himself talk...likes his own "Rag-time" best and never tires of hearing his stories over and over again."
November 19- 1959 Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose make their first appearance in the ABC cartoon series Rocky and His Friends. Hokey smoke! One memorable episode had a phonograph inside a fake Moby Dick with a record of a fog horn that Boris played to try and confuse Rocky and Bullwinkle.
November 19- 1887 "Edison's Improved Phonograph," Scientific American, November 19, 1887, p. 328. From the New York World.
November 22 - 1901 First use of 'the dog' (Nipper) on Victor Talking Machine Co. letterhead.
November 22 - 1911 Collins and Harlan sing "Everybody's Doing It Now" (Irving Berlin song) on Victor 17020.
November 23 - 1889 The Birthday of the Jukebox - On this day was the first public demonstration of a coin-operated phonograph. Inventor and businessman Louis Glass rigged an Edison Phonograph with a repeating mechanism and four selectively controlled sets of listening-tubes and installed at the Palais Royal Saloon at 303 Sutter Street in San Francisco. The machine did good business and some fifteen were subsequently fitted out. (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, p. 24, Fabrizio & Paul)
November 23 - 1878 With Edison's support, Uriah Painter and Edward Johnson take control of Edison Speaking Phonograph Co.
November 23 - 1936 Take 1 of "Phonograph Blues" by Robert Johnson recorded in San Antonio, Texas.
November 25 - 1905 Dexter W. Allis, "Fun With the Phonograph," Scientific American.
November 26 - 1922 - British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen entered the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt and "Tutmania" begins including the wonderful Egyptian inspired decoration of the Reflecta-Gem gramophone and the release in June 1923 of Edison Disc 51155-L Old King Tut by Billy Jones and Ernest Hare. Listen
November 28 - 1893 Henri Lioret invented a celluloid cylinder and patent received (Supplement to Patent 230177 of 18 May, 1893)
November 29 - 1877 Edison drew a sketch of the phonograph which he gave to John Kruesi to build.
November 30 - (b. 1848 in Dublin, Ireland - d. March 11, 1924) - Chichester's actual birthday is unknown *.
Chichester was cousin to Alexander Graham Bell and is remembered for his work with Alexander Bell and Charles Tainter in the successful development of the Graphophone.
Chichester made many important contributions to improving the phonograph that are considered by Friends of the Phonograph worthy of him having a red letter day for Phonographians to celebrate. November 30 was selected as the stand-in birthday because it was on November 30, 1892 that Bell helped to establish the Edison Bell company in London to sell phonographs produced by the Edison United Phonograph Compnay.
December 3 - 1877 envelope sealed on April 3, 1877 by Charles Cros and given to the French Academy was opened and the Cros letter was read in public. This letter establishes that Cros was the first person to conceive a method for reproducing recorded sound with an invention he named the Paleophone.
December 3 - 1888 "Kisses By Phonograph. The Limitless Possibilities of That Recording Instrument." New York Times
December 4 - 1877 John Kruesi presents Edison the Phonograph for testing. "Kreusi made the phonograph today" entered in Charles Batchelor's Day Book. (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
December 6 - 1877 Birthday of the Phonograph as Edison speaks "Mary had a Little Lamb" in a successful demonstration of the Phonograph. "Kruesi finished the phonograph today," (Charles Batchelor's Day Book) (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
December 6 - The Phonograph's Birthday Anniversary Parties celebrated by Friends of the Phonograph
December 6 - 1966 Recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band began at Abbey Road Studios by The Beatles. Known for its creative album cover it has been called one of the most influential rock albums of all-time.
December 6 - 1896 - Birthday of Ira Gershwin, American lyricist of Broadway musicals and films.
December 6 - 1923 - A presidential address was broadcast on radio for the first time as President Calvin Coolidge spoke to a joint session of Congress.
December 6 - 1963 - Beatles begin a tradition of releasing a Christmas record for fans.
December 6 - 1964 - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" 1st airs on TV.
Gene Autry's recording of "Rudolph" hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949. Including covered versions, sales of Rudolph recordings exceed 150 million copies, second only to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".
December 6 - Santa, Christmas and the Phonograph - Celebrating the Birthday of the Phonograph and also the day in cultures where Saint Nicholas, Sinterklass, et al. visit and bring gifts (in the evening of December 5, or on December 6).
Santa and Christmas become major advertising themes for the phonograph industry.
December 7 - 1877 The day after the Phonograph was completed, Edison took his tin-foil playing machine to the offices of Scientific American for a triumphant demonstration where the Phonograph "introduced itself." An account of this meeting and a description of the talking machine was published in the December 22, 1877 issue of Scientific American.
December 7 - 1877 Edison Notebook entry 1144: Charles Batchelor letter to the Editor of the English Mechanic. Batchelor describes Edison's new Phonograph and how Edison has devised a method of recording and reproducing the human voice. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, John Hopkins University Press)
December 7 - 1877 Edison Notebook entry 1145: Edward Johnson letter to Uriah Painter. Received delivery of Phonograph. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, John Hopkins University Press)
December 8 - 1888 The Real Music of the Future, published by Punch magazine, December 8, 1888.
December 9 - 1914 Edison Factory fire, West Orange NJ. Destruction included the Phonograph Works and the great record plant, known as 24 building.
December 10 - 1901 "On December 10, 1901. after more than four years of effort, the Jones patent for recording in wax (No. 688,739) was issued. Columbia quickly purchased it from J.W. Jones for $25,000. This patent, in addition to the famous Bell-Tainter patents, gave Columbia a formidable legal position in the disc market." (Courtesy of The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl)
December 15 - 1877 Edison files application for phongraph patent. (Courtesy of Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. viii).
December 20 - 1893 Henri Lioret developed "a celluloid cylinder along with a Lilliputian mechanism to play it. He filed for an American patent on December 20, 1893. It was granted ten months later, and Lioret applied himself to constructing the small machines and cylinders for installation in the talking dolls of the Jumeau firm. The Bebe Jumeau dolls sold well for 38 francs. The talking mechanism was available separately as "Le Merveilleux" for 20 francs....The dainty "Le Merveilleux" retains the distinction of being the first European-made talking machine to play removable cylinders, and the very first anywhere to use celluloid cylinder records."(Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
December 22 - 1877 Scientific American article published based on the December 7th Phonograph demonstration given by Edison in Scientific American's office in New York City. An account of this meeting, including the day-old invention introducing itself to everyone in the room, make this a memorable publication event for Friends of the Phonograph.
December 25 - Christmas and the Phonograph. Originating in Western Christian popular culture Santa Claus delivers Christmas Eve gifts normally opened the following morning, December 25. When the phonograph became a home entertainment device Santa and Christmas became major advertising themes for the phonograph industry.
December 26 - 1863 Birthday of Charles Morand Pathé (French), a pioneer of the French film and recording industries. In 1896, with his brothers Émile, Théophile and Jacques, Charles Pathé founded Société Pathé Frères (Pathé Brothers) in Paris, a company that manufactured and sold phonographs and phonograph cylinders, with Émile at his head.
December 26 - 1877 Edison Notebook entry 1159: Transmitted Phonograph recording over the telephone. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, John Hopkins University Press)
December 28 - 1877 Edison Notebook entry 1160: Edison proposed embossing "wheels" to be used in talking dolls and talking clocks, advertisements, delivering lectures and producing music. (Courtesy of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, John Hopkins University Press)
December 28 - 1895 - The first demonstration to a paying audience of the Auguste and Louis Lumières' Cinématographe in the Salon Indien, a basement room of the Grand Café at 14 Boulevard des Capucines, near the place de l'Opera in Paris. Traditionally marked as the birth of the cinema. The Cinématographe was a device that could project moving pictures rather than being limited to one viewer at a time as was the case with Edison's coin-in-the-slot Kinetoscope.
December 29 - 1888 Punch, or the London Chavari, in which Mr. Punch describes his Funnigraph to Father Time as something Mr. Punch invented long before the days of Edison. Mr. Punch's original, ingenious, unsurpassable Patent Funnigraph is his Ninety-Fifth Volume of Punch.
December 31- 1907 Patent No. 874,985 was issued to Arthur J O'Neill. "In the text he gave a concised description of the nature of the talking machine business in Chicago: "In the sale of talking machine records, it is desirable that the record be shaped with special reference to the machine for which it is primarily intended in order that the manufacturer...may control the sale of records to be used therewith."" (Courtesy of The Talking Machine, Fabrizio & Paul)
WHAT DAY IS IT?
GEORGE: Gracie, what day is it today?
GRACIE: Well, I don't know.
GEORGE: You can find out if you look at that paper on your desk.
GRACIE: Oh, George, that doesn't help. It's yesterday's paper. (1)
Burns & Allen 78rpm, Columbia 1932
GRACIE: George, why do they print 'Monday, July 6th, 1936' on this paper?
GEORGE: Well, because today is Monday, July 6th, 1936.
GRACIE: Well, wouldn’t you think they could find something a little newsier than that for the front page?”
1943 RCA Calendar
NRP 2013 Wall Calendar by Philip Cheaney/NPR
I love what Cheaney says about his calendar:
"NPR distills Earth's spin down to a reliable stream of enlightened audio, 365 rotations per year. I liken this to the idea of a globe spinning like a record, with NPR as the record needle transforming the world's happenings into audio content." Philip Cheaney @PhilipCheaney Listens to WNYC, New York, NY
NRP 2014 Wall Calendar by Graham Erwin/NPR
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