History of music and technology

  • The Becoming of Western Union

    1851 - The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company is founded in Rochester, New York, which will become Western Union-- this major message service also offered delivery of Telegrams.
  • changing the name to Western Union

    1856 - The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company acquires several competing companies and changes its name to Western Union; its service of deliveringTelegrams will continue until January 27, 2006 -- 150 years after the name change.
  • First trancontinental telegraph line

    1861 - Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line -- providing fast, coast-to-coast communications during the U.S. Civil War.
  • First practical typewriter

    1866 - Christopher Latham Sholes of Danville, PA and his colleagues, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soulé developed the first practical typewriter (and the QWERTY keyword.)
  • To form Remimgton-Rand

    1873 - The Remington Arms company signs a deal to market Sholes' Typewriter under their name; later they merge with the Rand company to form Remington-Rand.
  • "Audio Theatre"

    1876 - Alexander Graham Bell issued a patent for the Telephone on March 7th. By the early 1800's many experimental uses were attempted for this invention including what was later called "Audio Theatre" -- plays and readings performed over the telephone.
  • Phonograph

    1877 - Edison invents the cylinder "phonograph" used to record and playback sound. Originally thought to be useful as a business machine for dictation (like the dictaphone which would come later.) Other uses: recordings of plays pre-dating Radio Drama nearly 50 years
  • Short subjects

    1895 - The Lumiere Brothers use (piano) music with a motion picture program (of short subjects) for the first time at a Dec. 28th -screening at the Grand Café in Paris
  • silent motion pictures for the first time

    1896 - An orchestra is used with (silent) motion pictures for the first time in April in London.
  • disks developed by Emile Berliner speeds in different countries

    1897 - Shellac gramophone disks developed by Emile Berliner - speeds will vary on discs issued by companies in different countries (80 rpm was used on some British recordings)
  • pre-recorded flat disks

    1900 - Eldredge Johnson perfects first system of mass duplication of pre-recorded flat disks.
  • " The electric Theatre"

    1902 - April 16 - "The Electric Theater" in Los Angeles is opened by Thomas L. Tally: the first Nickelodeon, a multimedia movie palace, that spawned imitators nationwide
  • "valve"

    1906 - British scientist John Ambrose Fleming develops the first vacuum tube called a "Valve."
  • "Audion"

    1907 - Lee de Forest is granted a patent on January 15 for the first triode (three-element) vacuum tube which he calls the "Audion". It was similar to Flemings diode (two-element)vacuum tube called a "Valve". But de Forest's third element (called a "grid") allowed the Audion tube to amplify signals -- which made radio with voice and music practical.
  • The first double sided phonograph

    1908 - The first double-sided phonograph records are introduced by Columbia. Soon its competitors follow suit; Prior to this time, all records had sound only on one side; the back side was a blank (un-grooved) side
  • "FN" and "SJN"

    1909 - Charles "Doc" Herrold and his assistant Ray Newby begin experimental "wireless" vice and music broadcasts from San Jose, California using experimental radio station call letters "FN" and "SJN". They transmit with a series of arcing street lamps under liquid.
  • First motion picture star

    1910 - Mary Pickford becomes the first American "Motion Picture Star" via her silent films
  • columbia drops cylinders

    1912 -Disk recordings overtake cylinders in the popular market. Columbia drops cylinders.
  • "The Sqawd Man"

    1913 - Cecil B. DeMille and Jesse Lasky produce the first "feature-length" film called "The Squaw Man
  • teletypewriters

    1923 - Western Union introduces teletypewriters, joining branches and individual companies.
  • acoustic discs

    1924 - Electrical records replace acoustic discs, via a process developed by Western Electric.
  • synchronize music and sound effects

    1925 - Vitaphone introduces a sound system to synchronize music and sound effects with a motion picture.
  • warner brothers film "Don Juan"

    1926 - Bell Laboratories develops a 33 1/3 rpm disk system to synchronize a music track for the Warner Brothers film "Don Juan
  • NBC first radio network

    1926 - NBC -- the "National Broadcasting Company" begins as the first radio network.
  • The becomign of the "Televisor"

    1926 - Scotsman John Logie Baird invents mechanical television which he calls a "Televisor", a postcard-sized black and pink (not black and white) image with 30 scan lines running at a flickering 12 1/2 frames per second.
  • Now called a network

    1928 - January 4th - is the date of the first broadcast of the expanded NBC -- all the way to the West Coast, for a total of 47 stations in the chain (now called a "Network")
  • Milton Berle first person seen on television

    1928 - In the United States, a young comedian named Milton Berle is the first person to be seen on television, on an experimental broadcast.
  • performed songs

    1928 - Billboard magazine publishes its first music chart of performed songs.
  • Mechanical television

    1928 - Scotsman John Logie Baird demonstrates his system of mechanical television, transmitting its signal from England to the United States over the Atlantic ocean.
  • Edison CO.

    1929 - The Edison Co. ceases the manufacturing of sound recordings.
  • first tv picture

    1929 - Philo Farnsworth transmits the first TV picture of a living person - his wife - on Oct. 19, in his San Francisco laboratory; the picture is only about 3 1/2 inches square.
  • "the Lone ranger"

    1933 - January 30 - The first episode of "The Lone Ranger" radio series debuts on radio station.
  • "Singing telegram"

    1933 - Western Union introduces the first "singing telegram" service.
  • First Drive-In Movie

    1933 - Richard M. Hollingshead opened the first Drive-In Movie Theater in Camden, NJ on June 6.
  • top-selling records

    1936 - Billboard magazine publishes its first chart of top-selling records.

    1939 - Electronic television demonstrated at the Chicago Worlds Fair by RCA / NBC.