Vinyl records: A brief history
One of life’s greatest treasures is the vinyl record. A special way to collect and keep your beloved music, vinyl has some of the world’s most dedicated collectors and some have impressive collections spanning years and years of dedication. It can be an amazing feeling getting your hands on that one record that has been on your wishlist for a long time, or getting your favourite artist’s new album on vinyl, but a lot has happened in the past for us to be able to enjoy these records as they are right now.
It all dates back to the 1800’s, specifically March of 1857. A French inventor by the name of Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville created the Phonautograph, known as the earliest device ever created to record sound on. Utilising a vibrating pen, it graphically represented sounds onto small paper discs, which gave people back then an inner look and better understanding into just how sound works exactly. It was Thomas Edison, though, that took this design of de Martinville’s in 1878 and actually made a way for people to hear the sound itself. Taking the Phonautograph, he created a stylus which cut grooves into tinfoil which was able to record and play the sounds. Of course, this was just many of Thomas Edison’s ground-breaking designs. After this, in 1887, the Gramophone was invented by Emil Berliner, which is known as the first vinyl player to ever exist. Back then, the device had to be operated by hand and only played 7 inch records, where the earliest were made of celluloid and later on in rubber. Following this, in 1901, the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded by Emil Berliner and Eldridge R. Johnson, expanded on this idea, who at the time were manufacturing the Gramophone. The company widely popularized the use of 10 and 12 inch records alongside 7 inch ones which enabled them to be played for four minutes, which at that time was unprecedented. The gramophone remained at the top of the game until digitised media started to take over in the late 1980s.