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