Music Tech Timeline

  • Telegraph

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

    Christopher Latham Sholes of Danville, PA and his colleagues, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soulé developed the first practical typewriter (and the QWERTY keyword.)
  • Audio Theatre

    Audio Theatre
    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.
  • Bell Telephone

    Bell Telephone
    Emile Berliner invents the first microphone and sells the rights to Bell Telephone.
  • Light Bulbs

    Light Bulbs
    Edison issued a patent for the electric incandescent light bulb; wires part of New York with DC current to power street lights and lights in wealthy homes.
  • 70-RPM Gramophone + Disks

    70-RPM Gramophone + Disks
    Emile Berliner invents the flat record player ("gramophone") using acoustic horn and licenses technology to record companies who make "70-rpm" disks.
  • Sound Recording

    Sound Recording
    Danish inventor Valdemar Poulson invents magnetic wire sound recording.
  • JukeBox

    Louis Glass invents the modern jukebox (coin-operated phonograph) and installs it at the "Palais Royal" saloon in San Francisco where it is an immediate hit.
  • Flat Disks

    Flat Disks
    Eldredge Johnson perfects first system of mass duplication of pre-recorded flat disks.
  • Standard Speed Turntables (Victrola)

    Standard Speed Turntables (Victrola)
    RCA Victor's "Victrola" model record player is introduced. It has a variable turntable speed control to accomodate the wide range of phonograph records produced at that time; Victor's speeds ranged from 71 - 76 rpm. Columbia was producing discs as 80rpm. Some British disks even rotated between 66rpm - 90rpm; Although U.S. phonograph manufacturers agreed in 1928 to standardize on the rate of 78.26 rpm, it still took decades for more standard speeds to be used worldwide.
  • Disk Recordings

    Disk Recordings
    Disk recordings overtake cylinders in the popular market. Columbia drops cylinders.
  • Electric Records

    Electrical records replace acoustic discs, via a process developed by Western Electric.
  • Video FX

    Video FX
    Vitaphone introduces a sound system to synchronize music and sound effects with a motion picture.
  • NBC

    NBC -- the "National Broadcasting Company" begins as the first radio network.
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