History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

Inventory no. 56613 - Former Display Label

EDISON TINFOIL PHONOGRAPH
c.1879

Improved version with flywheel. Mica diaphragm with single stylus used both for recording and playing back. Henry Ford arranged for this instrument to be extensively restored in 1937 at Edison's Dearborn laboratory in Michigan, U.S.A. This work was supervised by one of Edison's assistants from his original laboratory at Menlo Park. Accompanying the repaired phonograph was a tinfoil record bearing a greeting to this museum spoken by Mr. Ford, but this was accidentally mutilated by two over-zealous British Customs Officers.

Thomas Edison invented the tinfoil phonograph in 1877. A similar instrument had already been proposed by Charles Cros (1942-1888) earlier that year, but his device was never made.

[37-16]
Purchased from the Conrad W. Cooke Collection.

Other narratives:

Related Objects: