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