Music at the Turn of the Century Essay

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Music at the Turn of the Century While walking around the Stephenville Historical Museum there were two things in particular that caught my eye. They were both record players that dated back to the early 1900s, and one was even said to be from 1905.The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison, patented in 1878, and comes from the Greek word meaning sound and is literally translated to phone. Also, instead of vinyls like we know today, cylindrical tin foil was used to make the disk that would produce sound. When lines and grooves were cut or etched onto the disk, a needle would trace over the lines and the vibration from this process created sound. Soon after the invention caught on, the tin foil was replaced by cylindrical cardboard coated in wax, and eventually vinyl which of course is still used today. The gramophone was invented in 1887 by a German immigrant named Emile Berliner, and while it was based on the same concept of Edisons phonograph, Berliners invention was the first to record sound and play it back using flat disks like the ones we see today rather than cylinders. In 1898 Stephenville College became John Tarleton College, thanks to an endowment in John Tarletons will to start a college in the Erath County area. At this time, the gramophone was increasing in popularity and stores like Sears Roebuck were beginning to sell these music machines and the turn of the century was soon to be introduced to a variety of music and sound. The first record player that I noticed at the museum was a Silvertone gramophone that was originally sold by Sears Roebuck and Co., and was dated back to 1910. To play music on the phonograph the operator was required to rotate a hand crank and essentially wind the machine up in order for the record to play. The second piece I found at the museum was an Edison phonograph that dated back to 1905. During this time period and

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