Revolution of Sound
With the completion of the Phonograph
on December 6, 1877 the revolution of sound began, culturally
and in rpms.
Thomas Alva Edison and his head machinist,
John Kruesi, had successfully captured the human voice and played
it back on Edison's "Talking Phonograph." (1)
What are Phonographia?
Phonographia are objects and images
and words that contribute to our memory of the Phonograph.
Phonographia are found in art, advertisements,
personal stories and literature, photographs, greeting cards, postcards,
cartoons and many other formats including talking machines and records
from their respective era.
Dreams of Long Ago, Norman
Rockwell, cover of Saturday Evening Post, August 13, 1927
Who are Phonographians?
are Friends of the Phonograph who enjoy the Phonograph and
its pop culture connections.
The Phonograph Lives!
The revolution that began with the Phonograph
is a continuum.
We still have record players and descendent
technologies that record and reproduce sound waves.
And most remarkably, launched one hundred
years after the invention of the phonograph, Voyager 1 and 2 are travelling
in interstellar space each carrying a phonograph record that
is Earth's "message
in the bottle" and "greetings from Earth" (3).
Images, sounds and music on the Voyager's
"Golden Record" are intended to represent life on planet
Earth. As Carl Sagan noted, however, the record would only be played
"if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar
So perhaps the "Golden Record"
will never be played. But never is a long time and there is the mind-bending
possibility that the Voyager record will exist longer than humans
Go to the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website, read more about the "Golden
Record" and see real-time numbers of how far these records have
Voyager's Golden Record
The "Golden Record"
attached to the side of Voyager 1
Remember the Phonograph!
Next time you hear recorded sound remember
the Phonograph. It's a Revolution still turning!
- Phonographia's Table of Contents
(1) "The Talking Phonograph,"
Scientific American, December 22, 1877
(2) Listen HERE
for a listing of sounds of Earth on Voyager's Golden Record
Voyager's phonograph records used a needle and "grooves"
and were not laser discs although images were viewable on the discs.
The record used analog technology and the audio was played at 16
2/3 rpm. The overall intent was remarkable - communicate "a
story of our world to extraterrestrials."
more information about this Voyager phonograph record sent to the
stars, read Carl Sagan's "Murmurs of Earth" or visit NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory website "What
is the Golden Record?"