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August 12, 1877: Phonograph invented by Thomas Alva Edison.

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On this day American inventor Thomas Alva Edison made perhaps his most original discovery, the phonograph. Because the telephone was considered a variation of acoustic telegraphy, Edison during the summer of 1877 was attempting to devise for it, as he had for the automatic telegraph, a machine that would transcribe signals as they were received, in this instance in the form of the human voice, so that they could then be delivered as telegraph messages. Edison employed a stylus-tipped carbon ...