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Edison Invents the Phonograph (August 12, 1877)


On August 12, 1877 Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park (now Edison, New Jersey), invented the phonograph. Edison's phonograph recorded on a metal cylinder wrapped with metal foil. In the first test of the machine Edison recited the nursery rhyme, "Mary had a little lamb."

Following his presentation of the phonograph at the editorial offices of Scientific American in New York on December 7, 1877, Edison applied for the patent on December 24. U.S. patent 200,521 for Improvement in phonograph or speaking machines was granted on February 19, 1878.

A notable aspect of the originality of this invention is that before Edison invented the phonograph few people ever imagined a need for such a device.