Ongoing History Daily: A technology flashback

The concept of recorded music is now about 130 years old.  Thomas Edison was the guy who came up with the idea of recording soundwaves back in 1877.  He figured out a way to store sound in the grooves cut into a rotating cylinder. 

At first, the cylinder was made of tinfoil, but he later changed that to wax.  A couple of things about those early recordings: They could only be played three or four times before they wore out.  When they were done, you took them back to the store where you traded for a new one. 

Meanwhile, the old cylinder was shaved flat and recycled.  Cylinders stuck around until around 1910 when they finally gave way to the flat rotating disc.  We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

If you missed the last post, it was about the history of the drum pedal.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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