Tech Timeline

  • The word 'Microphone' was first used

    The word 'Microphone' was first used by and English scientist and inventor, Sir Charles Wheatstone
  • A Liquid Transmitter

    A Liquid Transmitter
    A Liquid Transmitter/Spoken Telegraph was introduced in 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray
  • The Carbon Microphone

    The Carbon Microphone
    The Carbon Microphone used foil to engrave and record voice and music. It was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877.
  • The Gramophone

    The Gramophone
    Developed by Emile Berliner in 1890
  • First Self Playing Piano

    Edwin S. Votey and Edward Leveaux invented the self playing piano. They were compressed air supplied by a bellows powered by pedals.
  • The Triode Value

    The Triode Value
    in 1907, Lee De Forest invented the Triode Value. This was used as a building block to building the first electronic amplifier
  • Condenser Microphone

    Condenser Microphone
    Invented by E.C. Wente at Western Electric
  • Dynamic Microphone

    Walter Hans Schottky and Dr. Erwin Gerlach invented the ribbon dynamic microphone in 1924
  • Shellac Records

    Shellac Records
    Shellac Records released 78rpm vinyls
  • Fritz Pfleumer

    Fritz Pfleumer
    Fritz Pfleumer discovered a method of coating paper tape with magnetic particles, which lead to him inventing magnetic tape for recording sound.
  • Sold electric guitars with pickups

    in 1930, Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp sell the first ever electric guitars with electric pickups
  • First plastic recording tapes produced

    First plastic recording tapes produced
    The first plastic recording tapes produced by AEG and BASF
  • PCM

    PCM was first described by Alec Reeves in 1937, as Pulse-Code Modulation. Nowadays PCM is used to encode audio data in all modern equipment.
  • Germanium Transistor

    Germanium Transistor
    Employees of Bell Telephone Lab invented a Germanium Transistor. This has much lower operating voltages, and waste far less energy as heat. The transistors were also far more robust. It also allowed products to record overdubs. This changed the word of music technology.
  • First CD was launched

    First CD was launched
    Philips and Sony launched the first digital Compact Disc players after demonstrating them in 1980.
  • Surround Sound

    Surround Sound
    Dolby made a 5-channel surround sound scheme for people at home. This would later become known as Dolby Digital.
  • MP3

    MP3 Music was born.
    It encodes compressed audio. The size of most computer hard drives at the time meant the much smaller file size from the uncompressed audio file is very useful for consumers storing large amounts of songs on their computer.
  • Enhanced CDs

    Enhanced CDs
    Record labels begin to add multimedia files to new releases, calling then "enhanced CDs".
  • DvDs

    DVD video discs and players are introduced, slowly killing off home video tape recorders.
  • First Wire Recorder

    First Wire Recorder
    Valdemar Poulson made the first wired recorder, however it had little commercial interest