Introduction Edit

The following is a brief chronology of the introduction of recorded sound formats commonly found in libraries, sound archives, and private collections. As with nearly all technological developments, there are broad periods of overlap. Audio formats rarely, if ever, either gained prominence or became obsolete instantly. For instance, discs began to outsell cylinders after 1910, but Edison continued to manufacture cylinders for home use until 1929. Wax cylinders were used for dictation into the 1950s. Lacquer instantaneous discs remained in use as a recording mediumz as late as 1970.

The Acoustic Era Edit

1889 Edit

1893 Edit

  • Emile Berliner's U.S. Gramophone Co. begins sales of mass-produced flat disc recordings for home entertainment. Discs could not be "homemade."

1896 Edit

  • Thomas A. Edison's National Phonograph Company begins selling cylinders commercially.

1900–1902 Edit

  • Moulded (i.e., mass-produced) cylinders are introduced.

1912 Edit

  • Edison introduces "Diamond Discs," vertically modulated flat discs.

The Electrical Era Edit

1925 Edit

Late 1920s Edit

Mid-1030s Edit

  • With the introduction of lacquer-coated discs and the portable Presto brand recorder in 1934 and 1935, tens of thousands of discs are made every year until the late 1940s, when magnetic tape supplants the medium.

1940 Edit

  • Wire magnetic recorders intended for commercial use are demonstrated. They are used by the U.S. government during World War II and are marketed to the public after the war.

1948 Edit

  • Polyvinyl chloride compounds begin to supplant shellac compounds in the manufacturing of commercial records. Discs made of vinyl compounds were first introduced in the early 1930s.
  • Columbia Records introduces a long-playing disc that uses a narrow (micro) groove and revolves at 33⅓ rpm, enabling a recording on one side to be as long as 20 minutes or more. It is called an LP, or album, the latter name deriving from earlier 78-rpm disc sets.

1949 Edit

  • RCA Victor introduces a long-playing 7-inch disc that plays at 45 rpm as competition to Columbia's LP. By the mid-1950s, LPs dominate the market for long-form recordings, and 45s supplant 78s.

1958 Edit

1964 Edit

  • The Phillips Compact Cassette tape cartridge is first sold in the United States.

1966 Edit

1972 Edit

1980 Edit

  • The Sony Walkman portable cassette player is introduced in the United States.

The Digital Era Edit

1982–1983 Edit

1986–1987 Edit

1990 Edit

1997–1998 Edit

2003 Edit

2011 Edit

Source Edit

References Edit

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