In the days before the "victrola"
In 1887, German-born Emile Berliner began to patent a series of inventions that would result in the first commercially successful disc record and the machine on which to play it--the gramophone. Eventually the Victor Talking Machine Company became the dominant force in the record business. Soon, the word "gramophone" all but disappeared from the American vocabulary, replaced by the "victrola." Berliner, who had a longstanding friendship with the Smithsonian's first curator of electricity, donated this gramophone to the Institution about 1910.
||Emile Berliner, born May 20, 1851, Hannover, Germany; died August 3, 1929, Washington, DC
||Web display only
What do you think?
Would you like to see more objects like this on the site? Tell others by casting your vote.