This website will present the diversity of phonograph models that were manufactured in different countries around the world at the start of the "music industry".

Phonographs - by which we mean Cylinder players - were the first generation of machines that could record and reproduce spoken words, i.e. true sounds.

We have the genius of Thomas Edison to thank for the practical invention of a machine that changed the world, and what we know today as the "entertainment industry".

The green box indicates where we already have data. You can click on that Phonograph name and you will see details on the manufacturer, and the different types of phonographs that they made.

We are just starting with this site so still have much to post. However if you have information about Phonograph manufacturers and photo's of machines, you can email these to us. If we are not already processing the same model, it would be a huge help, for which we are grateful, toward completion of this website . The email address is phono@noedison.com.

If you are selling a phonograph (working or defect) or any spare parts, we are always interested in expanding our collection.



The earliest recordings made were in 1877, on machines called "Tinfoil Phonographs". Tinfoil, because that was the medium used to record on. One recorded directly onto tinfoil (probably only spoken words), and this recording could be played back a few times until it wore out and the old tinfoil thrown away. It helped if you were present during the recording as the playback on tinfoil was not qualitatively high and having heard the recording helped to decipher the playback.

However, having said this, there are some earlier recordings made in the 1860's on a machine called a Phonautograph, where it was only possible to create a technology to play these back in 2008 (yes, just a few years ago!). You can read this fascinating story here.

The next early steps in the pre-commercial days of the Phonograph were in 1889 when X Bell (of Telephone fame) & Tainter devised a wax (oz)coated cylinder that could be recorded, removed from the machine, and then at a later time, be placed back on the machine and listened to. The configuration if the new style Phonograph did not wear out the cylinder.

Edison had been distracted from his Phonograph invention by his work on perfecting the electric light bulb (that he had also invented). However in 18 he returned to his Phonograph invention and worked to improve it. Initially he believed its main application to be a dictating machine for office use. By x he had perf the machine and introduced a purely wax cylinder that could record and play for around 2 minutes.

Phonograph Horns


As all phonograph recordings were accoustic - this means, recorded directly from the performer onto the wax medium. The phonograph reproducers were merely a mica or aluminum membrane with a stylus. Thus a horn was used to assist with the amplification (as there were no electric loudspeakers as we have in our times.

Horns were available in a variety of shapes, forms, sizes and materials. The manufacturer usually supplied a standard horn with the machine, but phonograph owners could upgrade to whatever was on the market.

Many of the machines on Noedison.com will be shown without horns so that the mechanism is clearly visible, and also because a variety of different horns could be used on a machine. With Edison phonographs, there was a more defined match between horn and machines.


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