Thomas Edison’s first words on the Phonograph 1878
Thomas Edison used TIN FOIL! Have a listen! (this will take you to Soundcloud and it may take 10 seconds to load – worth it!)
Don’t ever fret about your problem solving taking time, or the solution requiring incremental steps! Thomas Edison used tin foil…and it worked! Here is his quote:
I designed a little machine using a cylinder provided with grooves around the surface. Over this was to be placed tinfoil, which easily received and recorded the movements of the diaphragm … Kruesi (the machinist), when he had nearly finished it, asked what it was for.
I told him I was going to record talking, and then have the machine talk back. He thought it absurd. However, it was finished, the foil was put on; I then shouted ‘Mary had a little lamb,’ etc. I adjusted the reproducer, and the machine reproduced it perfectly.
I was never so taken aback in my life. Everybody was astonished. I was always afraid of things that worked the first time.
Thomas Edison had a total of 1093 patents. He was a creative innovative genius. That said, it took him 50 years – YES, 50 years to work on the phonograph.
You can learn more about this story and how the recording was brought back to life at 89.3 KPCC