This is the world's first phonograph, which Edison created in 1877. One of the great things about the National Historic Park's access to both Edison's physical archives and his documents--it maintains control of more than 400,000 items and more than 5 million documents--is that they have both the original plans for the first phonograph, and the device itself. However, the document isn't on display.
According to the National Park Service, the first recorded sound to be played back was "Mary Had a Little Lamb," which he recorded on this phonograph. Unlike later machines, which used wax, it recorded sound waves as indentations on tinfoil sheets.
Click here to read the related story on Thomas Edison's labs. And click here to check out the entire Road Trip 2010 package.
July 7, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
Conversation powered by Livefyre