Thomas Edison National Historical Park: Phonograph Ranger Demo

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Every year, usually the first Saturday in June, the town of West Orange holds a street fair in conjunction with Edison National Historic Park to celebrate Edison Day. This is usually a fee-free day, with lots of demonstrations and talks given by volunteers and rangers.


I went up to the 3rd floor of the laboratory complex for a scheduled ranger talk. In the recording studio at the end of the hall the ranger talked about Edison’s invention of the phonograph.


Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in his Menlo Park laboratory in 1877. The prototype used a tinfoil covered cylinder with needles etching the vibrations into the foil.
Edison recited ‘Mary had a…

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