History of the Jukebox
We at the DCW Trading Company invite you to take a step back in time with
us. Coin-operated jukeboxes, music boxes and player pianos carved out a place for automatic pay-per-tune music in
fairgrounds, amusement parks and other public places (such as train stations in Switzerland) a few decades before the introduction of reliable coin-operated phonographs. Some of these automatic musical instruments were extremely well built and have survived to this day in the hands of collectors and museums. In the long run they could not compete with the jukebox since they played the same instrument (or instruments) over and over again and could not reproduce the human voice.
The immediate ancestor of the jukebox, called the "Coin-slot phonograph", was the first medium of sound recording encountered by the general public, before mass produced home audio equipment became common. Such machines began to be mass produced in 1889, using phonograph cylinders for records. The earliest
jukeboxes played but a single record (of about 2 minutes of music or entertainment), but soon devices were developed that allowed customers to choose between multiple records. In the 1910s the cylinder was superseded by the gramophone record.
The term "juke box" or "jukebox" came into use in the United States in the 1930s, derived from African-American slang "jook" meaning "dance".
Early jukeboxes began to appear in road houses, sometimes called juke or jutte
joints. In 1927, the Automatic Music Instrument Company manufactured the
first electrically amplified multiple selection phonograph or jukebox. Jukeboxes could now compete with live music and made it possible for
establishments to attract customers by providing high fidelity music anywhere
without having to hire a band or orchestra.
Once the depression ended, sales of jukeboxes skyrocketed as the jukebox
became more colorful and advanced in its design. The 1946 Wurlitzer model
"1015-Bubbler" jukebox featured multi-colored lights and bubble tubes which made it the
most popular and copied jukebox of all time. The shellac 78rpm record dominated jukeboxes until the Seeburg Corporation introduced an all 45 rpm vinyl record jukebox in 1950.
AMI, Rock-Ola, Wurlitzer, and the Seeburg names became synonymous with the word
"jukebox" and became the leading manufacturers of jukeboxes. The jukebox
became even more popular with teenagers during the 1950's and 1960's as drive-in
hamburger stands began popping up all over the country and of course, with the
advent of rock and roll music.
Starting in the 1980s, compact discs became the norm for modern jukeboxes. Towards the end of the 20th century several companies started introducing completely digital jukeboxes which did not use CDs, downloading the tunes from a secure signal sent over the Internet or through a separate, proprietary transmission protocol over phone lines. In addition to automatically downloading a potentially larger selection than what is available on CDs in a single machine the digital jukeboxes also send back information on what is being played, and where, opening up new commercial avenues.
Jukeboxes and their ancestors were a very profitable industry from the 1890s on. They were most popular from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, particularly during the 1950s. Today
jukeboxes are often associated with early rock and roll music, but were very popular in the swing music era as well. As a result, stores and restaurants with a retro theme, such as the Johnny Rockets chain, include
The first Jukeboxes were simply wooden boxes with coin slots and a few buttons. Over time they became more and more decorated, using color lights, chrome, bubble tubes, and other visual gimmicks. Many consider the mid-to-late 1940's the "golden age" of
jukebox styling with the gothic-like curvaceous "electric rainbow cathedral" look. The Wurlitzer model "1015-Bubbler"
jukebox typifies the look and is arguably the most popular selling jukebox model of all time. Many of these survived into the 50's in active use and are instead associated with the 50's in pop culture despite their 40's origin because of their unique visual prominence.
After the 40's, the style generally became more box-like and "high-tech" in look. Also, the newer models needed more panel space for the increased number of record titles they could present on selection buttons, reducing the space available for decoration. This is partly due to improved technology, and the transition from the 78-rpm disks to the 45-rpm disks. The classic 40's look still survives today in many replica jukeboxes.
This article is licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License". It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jukebox".
History of The Radio
The theoretical basis of the propagation of electromagnetic waves was first described in 1873 by James Clerk Maxwell in his paper to the Royal Society A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field, which followed his work between 1861 and 1865.
In 1878 David E. Hughes was the first to transmit and receive radio waves when he noticed that his induction balance caused noise in the receiver of his homemade telephone. He demonstrated his discovery to the Royal Society in 1880 but was told it was merely induction.
It was Heinrich Rudolf Hertz who, between 1886 and 1888, first validated Maxwell's theory through experiment, demonstrating that radio radiation had all the properties of waves (now called Hertzian waves), and discovering that the electromagnetic equations could be reformulated into a partial differential equation called the wave equation.
Invention and History
The identity of the original inventor of radio, at the time called wireless telegraphy, is contentious. Claims have been made that Nathan Stubblefield invented radio before either Nikola Tesla or Guglielmo Marconi, but his device seems to have worked by induction transmission rather than radio transmission.
In 1893 in St. Louis, Missouri, Tesla made the first public demonstration of
radio communication. Addressing the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the
National Electric Light Association, he described and demonstrated in detail the
principles of radio communication. The apparatus that he used contained all the
elements that were incorporated into radio systems before the development of the
vacuum tube. He initially used magnetic receivers, unlike the coherers used by Marconi and other early experimenters.
In 1894 British physicist Sir Oliver Lodge demonstrated the possibility of
signaling using radio waves using a detecting device called a coherer, a tube filled with iron filings which had been invented by Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti at Fermo in Italy in 1884. Edouard Branly of France and Alexander Popov of Russia later produced improved versions of the coherer. Popov, who was the first to develop a practical communication system based on the coherer, is usually considered by his own countrymen to have been the inventor of radio. The Indian physicist, Jagdish Chandra Bose,
demonstrated publicly the use of radio waves in November of 1894 in Calcutta,
but he was not interested in patenting his work.
In 1895, Guglielmo Marconi sent a telegraph message without wires, but he didn't send voice over the airwaves; Reginald Fessenden, in 1900, accomplished that and made a weak transmission. On Christmas Eve, 1906, using his heterodyne principle, Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first radio broadcast in history from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing the song "O Holy Night" on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible.
In 1896 Marconi was awarded what is sometimes recognized as the world's first patent for radio with British Patent 12039, Improvements in transmitting electrical impulses and signals and in apparatus there-for. In 1897 he established the world's first radio station on the Isle of Wight, England. The same year in the U.S., some key developments in radio's early history were created and patented by Tesla. The U.S. Patent Office reversed its decision in 1904, awarding Marconi a patent for the invention of radio, possibly influenced by Marconi's financial backers in the States, who included Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie. Some believe this was done to allow the U.S. government to avoid having to pay the royalties that were being claimed by Tesla for use of his patents.
In 1909, Marconi, with Karl Ferdinand Braun, was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for "contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy". However, Tesla's patent (number 645576) was reinstated in 1943 by the U.S. Supreme Court, shortly after his death. This decision was based on the fact that prior art existed before the establishment of Marconi's patent. Some believe the decision was made for financial reasons, to allow the U.S. government to avoid having to pay damages that were being claimed by the Marconi Company for use of its patents during World War I (ignoring the prior art).
Marconi opened the world's first "wireless" factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford, England in 1898, employing around 50 people. Around 1900, Tesla opened the Wardenclyffe Tower facility and advertised services. By 1903, the tower structure neared completion. Various theories exist on how Tesla intended to achieve the goals of this wireless system (reportedly, a 200 kW system). Tesla claimed that Wardenclyffe, as part of a World System of transmitters, would have allowed secure multichannel transceiving of information, universal navigation, time synchronization, and a global location system.
The next great invention was the vacuum tube detector, invented by a team of Westinghouse engineers.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Reginald Fessenden (using his heterodyne principle) transmitted the first radio audio broadcast in history from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. The world's first radio news program was broadcast August 31, 1920 by station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan. The world's first regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment commenced in 1922 from the Marconi Research Centre at Writtle near Chelmsford, England.
The first benefit seen to radio telegraphy was the ability to establish communication between coast radio stations and ships at sea. A company called British Marconi was established to make use of Marconi's and others' patents. This company along with its subsidiary American Marconi, had a stranglehold on ship to shore communication. It operated much the way American Telephone and Telegraph operated until 1983, owning all of its own equipment and refusing to communicate with non-Marconi equipped ships. Many inventions improved the quality of radio, and amateurs experimented with uses of radio, thus the first seeds of broadcasting were planted.
Radio Broadcasting is Born
Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, California constructed the first broadcasting station. It used the spark gap technology, but modulated the carrier frequency with the human voice, and later music. The station "San Jose Calling" (there were no call letters), was first established in April 1909, and has continued an unbroken lineage to eventually become today's KCBS in San Francisco.
Herrold, the son of a Santa Clara Valley farmer, coined the terms "narrowcasting" and "broadcasting", respectively to identify
transmissions destined for a single receiver such as that on board a ship, and those transmissions destined for a general audience. The term "broadcasting" had been used in farming to define the tossing of seed in all directions. While Charles Herrold did not claim to be the first to transmit the human voice, he did claim to be the first to conduct "broadcasting". To facilitate the spreading of the radio
signal in all directions, he designed omni-directional antennas, which he mounted on the rooftops of various buildings in San Jose.
Herrold also holds the title as the first broadcaster to accept advertising. He exchanged publicity for a local record store for records to play on his station.
Better known than Charles Herrold, Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Scripps' Detroit News in Detroit, Michigan were mistakenly credited as the first US broadcasters in the early 1920s. Broadcasting was not yet commercially supported; the stations owned by the manufacturers and department stores were established to sell radios and those owned by newspapers to sell newspapers and express the opinions of the owners. Westinghouse was brought into the patent allies group, General Electric, American Telephone and Telegraph, and Radio Corporation of America, and became a part owner of RCA. All radios made by GE and Westinghouse were sold under the RCA label 60% GE and 40% Westinghouse. ATT's Western Electric would build radio transmitters. The patent allies attempted to set up a monopoly, but they failed due to successful competition. Much to the dismay of the patent allies, several of the contracts for inventor's patents held clauses protecting "amateurs" and allowing them to use the patents. Whether the competing manufacturers were really amateurs was ignored by these competitors.
Old-Time Radio (OTR) or the Golden Age of Radio is a term used to refer to radio programs mainly broadcast during the 1920s through the late 1950s. The end of the OTR era was marked by the final CBS broadcasts of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on September 30, 1962.
Although very little radio comedy-drama currently airs on American radio, it continues at full strength on British and Irish stations, and to a lesser degree in Canada. Regular broadcasts of radio plays are also heard in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In the United States, vintage shows and new audio productions are accessible more on recordings rather than over the air. The audio theatre art form was invented prior to radio, developing in the 1880s and 1890s on early wax recordings. The first examples were recordings of vaudeville sketches, sometimes modified for the medium, but original audio pieces were being created well before Reginald Fessenden first broadcast sound over the radio on Christmas Eve, 1906.
Before the expansion of television in the early 1950s, radio was the most popular home entertainment system across the United States. With the rise of the movie industry, America's appetite for mass entertainment grew. As with films, early radio shows reflected vaudeville origins and usually featured variety shows with music, ethnic humor and often suggestive situations. As the medium matured, sophistication increased. By the mid-1930s radio featured genres and formats popular in other forms of American entertainment -- adventure, comedy, drama, horror, mystery, musical variety, romance, thrillers -- along with farm reports, news, weather, commentary and panel discussion shows.
History of RCA®
RCA was formed in 1919 as a publicly-held company owned in part by AT&T and GE. David Sarnoff was named General Manager. RCA's charter required it be mostly American-owned. RCA took over the assets of American Marconi, and was responsible for marketing GE and Westinghouse's radio equipment. It also acquired the patents of United Fruit and Westinghouse, in exchange for ownership stakes.
In many ways the story of RCA is the story of David Sarnoff. His drive and business acumen led to RCA becoming one of the largest companies in the world, successfully turning it into a conglomerate during their era of their success.
By 1926, RCA had grasped the market for commercial radio, and purchased the WEAF and WCAP radio stations and network from AT&T, merged them with RCA's own attempt at networking, the WJZ New York/WRC Washington chain, and formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
In 1929, RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous "Victrola") and phonograph records (in British English, "gramophone records"). The company then became RCA-Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the famous Nipper trademark. RCA Victor produced many radio-phonographs. The company also created new techniques for adding sound to film.
In 1939, RCA demonstrated the first television system at the New York World's Fair. With the introduction of the NTSC standard, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the start of
commercial television transmission on July 1, 1941. World War II slowed the deployment of television in the US, but RCA began selling television sets almost immediately after the war was over.
Antitrust concerns led to the breakup of the NBC radio networks by the FCC, a breakup affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. On October 12, 1943, the "NBC Blue" radio network was sold to Life Savers candy magnate Edward J. Noble for $8,000,000, and renamed "The Blue Network, Inc". It would become the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1946. The "NBC Red" network retained the NBC name, and RCA retained ownership.
In 1949, RCA-Victor developed and released the first 45 rpm record to the public, answering CBS/Columbia's 33? rpm "LP".
RCA Video-Tape machineIn 1953, RCA's color-TV standard was adopted as the standard for American color TV. RCA cameras and studio gear, particularly of the TK-40/41 series, became standard equipment at many American television network affiliates. Perhaps surprisingly David Sarnoff commented in 1955, "Television will never be a medium of entertainment".
Today, beautiful replicas of old RCA radios and Victrola phonographs can be
found gracing homes and offices everywhere.
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Crosley® Radio History
The year was 1920 - Cincinnati native, Powel Crosley founded the
company that pioneered radio broadcasting and mass-market radio manufacturing.
Dismayed with the $130 price tag for the radio receiver he promised to buy for
his son's birthday, Crosley decided to make his own. Upon successfully
building a working set for only $35, he was quick to spot the mass market
Crosley's idea was a simple one. Design a fully functioning radio, meticulously craft
each unit with obsessive detail and precise accuracy, and of course add a
measure of consideration for the wallet. Because of his creativity, innovation
and ingenuity Crosley was dubbed ‘The Henry Ford of Radio' - and so began
Crosley Radio which was to become the world's largest radio manufacturer.
He's most well-known for the mass production and marketing of radios and the creation of WLW - "The Nation's Station"
and the 500,000 watt tower he constructed that transmitted FDR's fireside chats. Those signals were reported to have been
heard as far away as Australia! By the mid 1900's, he presided over a star-studded radio empire that featured such stars
as Rosemary Clooney, Red Skelton, Jack Benny and more.
A true industrialist, Crosley also became known for a multitude of ventures.
He was infamous for the Crosley - a miniature-sized automobile, fashioned after
the lightweight European cars. The chubby-profiled vehicle promised 50
miles to the gallon and was sold in department stores for just $325. He
got involved in many other ventures including the Shelvador refrigerator, the
Moonbeam airplane, the first car radio - the Roamio, the Icy-Ball
chemical-mechanical ice box and the Go-bi-bi go-kart/stroller, to name a few.
Today, the Crosley philosophy remains virtually unchanged. The Crosley
name lives on with superbly detailed replicas that truly transcend time.
Reintroductions of original vintage radios and turntables feature the newest
technologies graced by unforgettable Crosley stylings. As a leading
manufacturer of vintage wares, the Crosley Collection will excite you with
completely unexpected treasures featuring pleasantly familiar twists. Their
extensive collection of antique replicas are painstakingly rendered after
yesterday's old radios, jukeboxes and phonographs we've all come to know and
This article uses material by permission of The Crosley Radio Corporation.
History of the Phonograph
The phonograph, or gramophone, was the most common device for playing recorded sound from the 1870s through the 1980s.
Usage of these terms is somewhat different in American English and British English; see usage note below. In more modern usage, this device is often called a turntable or record player. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the alternative term talking machine was sometimes used. The phonograph was the first device for recording and replaying sound.
In more modern usage, this device is called a turntable or record player.
The term phonograph meaning "writing sound", is derived from Greek roots. Similar related terms gramophone and graphophone have similar root meanings.
Arguably, any device used to record sound or reproduce recorded sound could be called a type of "phonograph", but in common practice it has come to mean historic technologies of sound recording.
The earliest known invention of a phonographic recording device was the phonautograph, invented by Leon Scott and patented on March 25, 1857. It could transcribe sound to a visible medium, but had no means to play back the sound after it was recorded. The device consisted of a horn that focused sound waves onto a membrane to which a hog's bristle was attached, causing the bristle to move and enabling it to inscribe a visual medium. Initially, the phonautograph made recordings onto a lamp-blackened glass plate. A later version used a medium of lamp-blackened paper on a drum or cylinder—an arrangement to which Thomas Edison's later invention would bear striking resemblance. Other versions would draw a line representing the sound wave on to a roll of paper. The phonautograph was a laboratory curiosity for the study of acoustics. It was used to determine the vibrations per second for a musical pitch and to study sound and speech; it was not widely understood until after the development of the phonograph that the waveform recorded by the phonautograph was a record of the sound wavelength that needed only a playback mechanism to reproduce the sound.
The First Phonograph
Patent drawing for Edison's phonograph, 05/18/1880.Thomas Alva Edison announced his invention of the first phonograph, a device for recording and replaying sound, on November 21, 1877 and he demonstrated the device for the first time on November 29 (he patented it on February 19, 1878; US Pat. No. 200,521). Edison's early phonographs recorded on a phonograph cylinder using up-down (vertical) motion of the stylus. Edison's early patents show that he also considered that sound could also be recorded as a spiral on a disc, but Edison concentrated his efforts on cylinders, since the groove on the outside of a rotating cylinder provides a constant velocity to the stylus in the groove, which Edison considered more "scientifically correct". Edison's patent specified that the audio recording was embossed, and it was not until 1889 that engraved recordings were patented by Bell and Tainter.
The First Gramophone
Emile Berliner invented what he called the Gramophone, another device for recording and replaying sound, and patented it in on November 8, 1887 (US Pat. No 372,786). It recorded on a disk using side-to-side (lateral) motion of the stylus.
British and American Language Usage Differences
In British English "gramophone" came to refer to any sound reproducing machine using disc records, as disc records were popularized in the UK by the Gramophone Company. The term "phonograph" is usually restricted to devices playing cylinder records.
In American English, "phonograph" was the most common generic term for any early sound reproducing machine. Berliner's Gramophone was considered a type of phonograph. "Gramophone" was a brand name, and as such in the same category as "Victrola," "Zon-o-phone," and "Graphonola" referring to specific brands of sound reproducing machines.
The brand "Gramophone" was not used in the USA after 1901, and the word fell out of use there. In contemporary American usage "phonograph" most usually refers to disc record machines or turntables, the most common type of analogue recording from the 1910s on. The word has survived in America based on its nickname form, "Grammy", in the Grammy Awards.
Disc Versus Cylinder as a Recording Media
Disc recording is inherently neither better nor worse than cylinder recording in potential audio fidelity.
Recordings made on a cylinder remain at a constant radial velocity for the entirety of the recording, while those made on a disc, have a higher radial velocity at the outer portion of the groove, compared to the inner portion.
Edison's patented recording method recorded with vertical modulations in a groove, Berliner utilized a lateraly modulated groove.
Though Edison's recording technology was better than Berliner's, there were commercial advantages to a disc system:
The disc could be easily mass produced by molding and stamping, and required storage space for a collection of recordings. The heavy cast-iron turntable acted as a flywheel and helped to maintain a
consistent rotational velocity. The cylinder machine, lacking this greater rotational inertia, was
susceptible to musical pitch fluctuations, and required more mechanical adjustment and
maintenance to avoid this impairment. Berliner successfully argued that his technology was different enough from Edison's that he did not need to pay royalties on it, which reduced his business
Through experimentation, in 1892 Berliner began commercial production of his disc records, and "gramophones" or "talking-machines". His "gramophone record" was the first disc record to be offered to the public. They were five inches (12.7 cm) in diameter and recorded on one side only. Seven-inch (17.8 cm) records followed in 1895. By 1901, ten-inch (25.4 cm) records being sold by the Victor Talking Machine Company, and Berliner had sold his interests. By 1908, double sided disc recorded records became demanded by the public, and cylinders fell into disfavor. Edison felt the commercial pressure for disc records, and by 1912, though reluctant at first, his movement to disc records was in full swing.
From the mid 1890s until the late 1910s both phonograph cylinder and disc recordings and machines to play them on were widely mass marketed and sold. The disc system gradually became more popular due to its cheaper price and better marketing by disc record companies.
From 1900, through the early 1920s, cylinder records, disc records, and machines to play them, were widely mass marketed and sold, and was considered the ultimate in fine home entertainment. Edison ceased cylinder manufacture in the fall of 1929, and the history of disc and cylinder rivalry was concluded; and engraved to disc.
Dominance of the Disc Phonograph
Berliner's lateral disc record was the ancestor of the 78rpm, 45rpm, 33?rpm, and all other analogue disc records popular for use in sound recording through the 20th century. See gramophone record and vinyl record.
Christmas 1925 brought improved radio technology and radio sales, and many phonograph dealers to financial ruin. With efforts at improved audio fidelity, the big record companies succeeded in keeping business booming through the end of the decade, but the record sales plummeted during the Great Depression, with many companies merging or going out of business. Booms in record sales returned after World War II.
The "phonograph", "gramophone" or "turntable", remained a common element of home audio systems well after the introduction of other media such as audio tape and even the early years of the compact disc. They were not uncommon in home audio systems into the early 1990s.
Turntable Drive Systems: Direct and Belt
The technology of required for a turntable is simple. Most designs use a belt drive or direct drive system. Earlier designs also used an indirect drive system using a rubberized wheel, however, non-linear wear, and decomposition of the wheel introduced noise, and speed variations into the desired audio. These systems generally used a synchronous motor which ran at a speed synchronized to the frequency of the utility supplier. Different speeds were obtained by bringing differing diameter wheels into position between the drive and the platter.
The belt drive improved motor and platter isolation, this noise transfer (usually heard as low frequency rumble) was much reduced. It is difficult to design comprehensive multiple speed synchronous motors, consequently, DC motors, with electronics providing speed control, have gained
favor. On the most sophisticated designs, sensors on the platter, are used to ensure the speed of the platter
remains locked and absolutely stable. Many platters have a continuous series of reflective markings machined around their edge to provide these pulses. A strobing effect can be observed by the operator to verify rotational speed. Basic DC motors tend to rotate in steps rather than smoothly, this is referred to as 'cogging', and can add noise during playback. Helical armature motors can be used to overcome this.
Direct drive turntables, drive the platter directly, without utilizing intermediate wheels or belts as part of a drive train. The platter functions as a motor armature. This requires good engineering, with advanced electronics for acceleration and speed control. This design and is integrated into some of the finest systems available.
"Turn Tables" or "Turntablism" is not considered by some as a musical instrument, as it is a 'technique' of manipulating music as laid down by artists. However, music may be defined as an 'organized sound', and organized manipulation of sound (music) is still music.
His Master's Voice
His Master's Voice, often abbreviated to HMV, is a famous trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record company. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone.
The famous trademark image came from a painting originally titled Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph, and then retitled His Master's Voice. It was painted by British artist Francis Barraud in 1898, based on memories of his dog Nipper. The original version of the painting showed not the disc gramophone familiar in the trademark today, but rather a cylinder phonograph. The dog and phonograph were perched atop a coffin. Presumably the dog was listening to the voice of his deceased owner. (This made more sense with a cylinder phonograph, since at the time they commonly had attachments to make home recordings, whereas the disc gramophone only played back prerecorded sound.)
Barraud failed to sell it to any cylinder phonograph company, but in 1899 was able to sell it to the Gramophone Company under the condition that he modify it to show a disc machine. The Gramophone Company first used the image on publicity material in 1900. At the request of the gramophone's inventor Emile Berliner, the American rights to the picture became owned by the Victor Talking Machine Company.
Victor used the image more aggressively than its U.K. partner, and from 1902 on all Victor records had a simplified drawing of the dog and gramophone from Barraud's painting on their label. Magazine advertisements urged record buyers to "Look for the dog".
In Commonwealth countries, the Gramophone Company did not use this design on its record labels until 1909. The following year the Gramophone Company replaced the Recording Angel trademark in the upper half of the record labels by the famous picture painted by Frances Barraud, commonly referred to as Nipper or The Dog. The Company was never called "HMV" or His Master's Voice, but was identified by that term because of its use of the trademark. Records issued by the Company before February 1908 were generally referred to as "G&Ts", while those after that date are usually called HMV records.
This image continued to be used as a trademark by Victor in the USA, Canada and Latin America, and then by Victor's successor RCA. In Commonwealth countries (except Canada) it was used by the associated company HMV Records, which was later acquired by EMI. The trademark's ownership is divided between different companies in different countries, reducing its value in the globalised music market. The name HMV is used by a chain of music shops, mainly in the UK, Canada and Japan.
In 1921 the His Master's Voice Company opened the first HMV shop in London. In 1929 RCA bought Victor, and with it a major shareholding in the Gramophone Company which Victor had owned since 1920. In 1931 RCA was instrumental in the creation of EMI, which continued to own the "His Master's Voice" name and image in the UK. In 1935 RCA sold its stake in EMI but continued to own Victor and the American rights to His Master's Voice. World War II fragmented the ownership of the name still further, as RCA Victor's Japanese subsidiary The Victor Company of Japan JVC became independent. Nipper continued to appear on RCA Victor records in America while EMI owned the His Master's Voice label and shops in the UK until the 1980s. The globalised market for CDs pushed EMI into abandoning the HMV label in
favor of "EMI Classics", a name they could use worldwide. Meanwhile RCA went into a financial decline; The RCA Victor label (complete with the dog and gramophone image) is now licensed by RCA Records owner BMG-Bertelsmann from trademark owner General Electric, while RCA's consumer electronics business (still promoted by Nipper the dog) is owned by Thomson.
Over the years the HMV label for records was abandoned by EMI, only to be revived in the nineties for Morrissey recordings.
The name HMV is still used by their chain of record shops in the UK, which continued to expand internationally through the 1990s. In 1998 HMV Media was created as a separate company and bought the Waterstone's chain of bookshops, leaving EMI with a 43% stake. In 2002 it floated on the Stock Exchange as HMV Group plc, leaving EMI with only a token holding.
The Victor Talking Machine Company
The Victor Talking Machine Company (1901 - 1929) was a United States corporation, the leading American producer of phonographs and phonograph records and one of the leading phonograph companies in the world at the time.
The company was incorporated in Camden, New Jersey in October of 1901 by Eldridge R. Johnson. It was created by merger and reorganization of two existing companies: Emile Berliner's Berliner Gramophone Company, which produced disc records, and Johnson's Consolidated Talking Machine Company, which produced machines for playing disc records. The company was named "The Victor" in honor of legal victories by Johnson and Berliner over Zonophone and others concerning their rights to patents on and distribution of their products.
Victor had the rights in the United States and Latin America to use the famous trademark of the dog Nipper listening to an early disc phonograph. (See also His Master's Voice.)
In 1901, the phonograph cylinder still dominated the market for recorded sound. Disc records and phonographs were widely considered to be little more than toys, for they were cheaper, less reliable and usually of lower audio fidelity than the cylinder records. Johnson embarked on efforts to change these perceptions. He built more reliable spring-wound phonographs out of durable materials and hired engineers to research improved sound for the recordings. Within a few years, Victor was producing records with some of the finest audio fidelity of the era.
After increasing the quality of disc records and phonographs, Johnson began an ambitious project to have the most prestigious singers and musicians of the day record for Victor Records, with exclusive agreements where possible. Often these artists demanded fees which the company could not hope to make up from sale of their records. Johnson shrewdly knew that he would get his money's worth in the long run in promotion of the Victor brand name. Many advertisements were printed mentioning by name the greatest names of music in the era, with the statement that they recorded only for Victor Records. As Johnson intended, much of the public assumed from this that Victor Records must be superior to cylinder records.
The Victor recordings by Enrico Caruso were particularly successful. They were often used by retailers to demonstrate Victor phonographs; Caruso's rich powerful low tenor voice highlighted the best range of audio fidelity of the early audio technology while being minimally affected by its defects. Even people who otherwise never listened to opera often owned a record or two of the great voice of Caruso. Caruso and Victor Records did much to boost each other's commercial popularity.
The origins of country music as we know it today can be traced to two seminal influences and a remarkable coincidence. Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family are considered the founders of country music and their songs were first captured at an historic recording session in Bristol, Tennessee on August 1, 1927 where Ralph Peer was the talent scout and sound recordist for Victor Records.
Victrola Model XVI, 1910sIn 1906, Johnson and his engineers designed a new line of phonographs with the turntable and amplifying horn tucked away inside a wooden cabinet. This was not done for reasons of audio fidelity, but for visual aesthetics. The intention was to produce a phonograph that looked less like a piece of machinery and more like a piece of furniture. These internal horn machines, trademarked with the name Victrola, were first marketed to the public in August of that year and were an immediate hit. Soon an extensive line of Victrolas was marketed, ranging from small tabletop models selling for $15, through many sizes and designs of cabinets intended to go with the decor of middle-class homes in the $100 to $250 range, up to $600 Chippendale and Queen Anne-style cabinets of fine wood with gold trim designed to look at home in elegant mansions. Victrolas became by far the most popular brand of home phonograph, and sold in great numbers until the end of the 1920s.
In 1925, Victor switched from the old acoustical or mechanical method of recording sound to the new microphone based electrical system developed by Western Electric. Victor called their version of the improved fidelity recording process "Orthophonic", and sold a line of new designs of phonographs to play these improved records, called "Orthophonic Victrolas". The large top-of- the-line "Credenza" models of Orthophonic Victrolas had a 6 foot long horn coiled inside the cabinet, and are often considered the high point of the development of the commercial wind-up phonograph, offering audio fidelity seldom matched by most home electric phonographs until some 30 years later.
In 1928, Johnson sold his controlling interest in Victor to the banking firm of Siegelman & Spyer, who in 1929 sold to the Radio Corporation of America, which then became known as the Radio-Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America later RCA Victor.
These articles are licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License".
They use material from the Wikipedia articles; "Phonograph",
"His Master's Voice"
and "Victor Talking Machine Company".
History of the Television
The German student Paul Gottlieb Nipkow proposed and patented the first electromechanical television system in 1885. Nipkow's spinning disk design is credited with being the first television image rasterizer. However, it wasn't until 1907 that developments in amplification tube technology made the design practical. Meanwhile, Constantin Perskyi had coined the word television in a paper read to the International Electricity Congress at the International World Fair in Paris on August 25, 1900. Perskeyi's paper reviewed the existing electromechanical technologies, mentioning the work of Nipkow and others.
A modern 82" (208 cm) LCD television.From 1907 to 1910, Boris Rosing and his student Vladimir Zworykin demonstrated a television system that used a mechanical mirror-drum scanner in the transmitter and the electronic Braun tube (cathode ray tube) in the receiver. Rosing disappeared during the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, but Zworykin later went to work for RCA to build a purely electronic television, the design of which was eventually found to violate patents by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.
A mechanically scanned analogue television system was first demonstrated in London in February 1924 by John Logie Baird with an image of Felix the Cat and a moving picture by Baird on October 30, 1925. In 1928 Baird's company (Baird Television Development Company / Cinema Television) broadcast the first transatlantic Television signal, between London and New York, and the first shore to ship transmission. He also demonstrated an electromechanical colour, infrared (dubbed "Noctovision"), and stereoscopic television, using additional lenses, disks and filters. In parallel he developed a video disk recording system dubbed "Phonovision"; a number of the Phonovision recordings, dating back to 1927, still exist. In 1929 he became involved in the first experimental electromechanical television service in Germany. In 1931 he made the first live transmission, of the Epsom Derby. In 1932 he demonstrated ultra-short wave television. Baird's system was tested by the BBC, who later discontinued its use in 1937 in favor of purely electronic television.
In the U. S. Ernst Alexanderson demonstrated a mechanically scanned television broadcasting system in 1927.
Although the discoveries of Nipkow, Rosing, Baird and others were extraordinary, little of their technology is used in modern television. By 1934, all electromechanical television systems were outmoded.
A.A. Campbell-Swinton wrote a letter to Nature on the 18 June 1908 describing his concept of electronic television using the cathode ray tube, which had been invented in 1897 by the German physicist and Nobel prize winner Karl Ferdinand Braun. He proposed using an electron beam in both the camera and the receiver, which could be steered electronically to produce moving pictures. He lectured on the subject in 1911 and displayed circuit diagrams, but no one, including Swinton, knew how to realize the design. Although his system was never built, the cathode ray tube did come to be used to display images in almost all television sets and computer monitors until the invention of the LCD panel.
A fully electronic system was first demonstrated by Philo Taylor Farnsworth in the autumn of 1927. Farnsworth, a Mormon farm boy from Rigby, Idaho, first envisioned his system at age 14. He discussed the idea with his high school chemistry teacher, who could think of no reason why it would not work (Farnsworth would later credit this teacher, Justin Tolman, as providing key insights into his invention). He continued to pursue the idea at Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University). At age 21, he demonstrated a working system at his own laboratory in San Francisco. His breakthrough freed television from reliance on spinning discs and other mechanical parts. All modern picture tube televisions descend directly from his design.
Vladimir Zworykin is also sometimes cited as the father of electronic television because of his invention of the iconoscope in 1923 and his invention of the kinescope in 1929. His design was one of the first to demonstrate a television system with all the features of modern picture tubes. His previous work with Rosing on electromechanical television gave him key insights into how to produce such a system, but his (and RCA's) claim to being its original inventor was largely invalidated by three facts: a) Zworykin's 1923 patent presented an incomplete design, incapable of working in its given form (it was not until 1933 that Zworykin achieved a working implementation), b) the 1923 patent application was not granted until 1938, and not until it had been seriously revised, and c) courts eventually found that RCA was in violation of the television design patented by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, whose lab Zworykin had visited while working on his designs for RCA.
The controversy over whether it was first Farnsworth or Zworykin who invented modern television is still hotly debated today. Some of this debate stems from the fact that while Farnsworth appears to have gotten there first, it was RCA that first marketed working television sets, and it was RCA employees who first wrote the history of television. Even though Farnsworth eventually won the legal battle over this issue, he was never able to fully capitalize financially on his invention.
Most television researchers appreciated the value of color image transmission, with an early patent application in Russia in 1889 for a mechanically-scanned color system showing how early the importance of color was realized. John Logie Baird demonstrated color transmission in 1928.
Guillermo González Camarena (1917–1965), invented the an early color televsion transmission system. He received patents for color television systems in 1940 (U.S. Patent 1942 (2296019), 1960 and 1962. The 1942 patent was for a mechanically scanned color filter adapter for an existing monochrome electronic transmission system.
In August 31, 1946 he sent his first color transmission from his lab in the offices of The Mexican League of Radio Experiments in Lucerna St. #1, in Mexico City. The video signal was transmitted at a frequency of 115 MHz. and the audio in the 40 metre band.
Color television became available in the U.S. on December 30 of 1953, backed by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network. The government approved the color broadcast system proposed by CBS, but when RCA came up with a subcarrier system that made it possible to view color broadcasts in black and white on unmodified old black and white TV sets, CBS dropped their own proposal and used the new one (see NTSC).
The first publicly announced experimental TV broadcast of a program using RCA's "compatible color" system was an episode of Kukla, Fran and Ollie on August 30, 1953. NBC was the first network to have a regularly scheduled color program on the air (Bonanza, starting in 1959). The networks slowly reformed into the color standard, and all three broadcast networks were airing full color schedules by the 1966–67 broadcast season.
European color television was developed somewhat later and was hindered by a continuing division on technical standards. Having decided to adopt a higher-definition 625-line system for monochrome transmissions, with a lower frame rate but with a higher overall bandwidth, Europeans could not directly adopt the U.S. color standard, which was widely perceived as wanting anyway, because of its tint control problems. There was no urgency either, since there were still few sets overall and no commercial motivations, European television broadcasters being state-owned at the time.
As a consequence, although work on various color encoding systems started already in the 1950s, with the first SECAM patent being registered in 1956, many years had passed till the first broadcasts actually started in 1967. Unsatisfied with the performance of NTSC and of initial SECAM implementations, the Germans decided to create PAL (phase alternating line) at the beginning of the 1960s, staying closer to NTSC but borrowing some ideas from SECAM. The French continued with SECAM, notably involving Russians in the development.
The first color broadcast in Europe was by BBC2 in the UK in the summer of 1967, using PAL. Germans did their first broadcast in September (PAL), while the French in October (SECAM). PAL was eventually adopted by West Germany, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, much of Africa, Asia and South America, and most Western European countries except France.
Apart for France and Luxembourg, SECAM was adopted by Soviet Union, much of Eastern Europe, much of Africa and of the Middle East. Both systems broadcast on UHF frequencies, the VHF being used for legacy black & white, 405 lines in UK or 819 lines in France, till the beginning of the eighties.
The first long distance public television broadcast was from Washington, DC to New York City and occurred on April 7, 1927. The image shown was of then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. The first analogue service was WGY, Schenectady, New York inaugurated on May 11, 1928. The first British Television Play, "The Man with the Flower in his Mouth", was transmitted in July 1930. CBS's New York City station began broadcasting the first regular seven days a week television schedule in the U. S. on July 21, 1931. The first broadcast included Mayor James J. Walker, Kate Smith, and George Gershwin. The first all-electronic television service was started in Los Angeles, CA by Don Lee Broadcasting. Their start date was December 23, 1931 on W6XAO—later KTSL. Originally, mechanical equipment was used, but in June of 1936 a 300-line all-electronic service was started.
In Germany, regular service started on March 22, 1935, and one year later, the Berlin Summer Olympic Games were televised to places in Berlin and Hamburg.
In 1932 the BBC launched a service using Baird's 30-line system and these transmissions continued until 11 September 1935. On November 2, 1936 the BBC began broadcasting a dual-system service, alternating on a weekly basis between Marconi-EMI's high-resolution (405 lines per picture) service and Baird's improved 240-line standard from Alexandra Palace in London. Six months later, the corporation decided that Marconi-EMI's electronic picture gave the superior picture, and adopted that as their standard. This service is described as "the world's first regular high-definition public television service", since a regular television service had been broadcast earlier on a 180-line standard in Germany. The outbreak of the Second World War caused the service to be suspended. TV transmissions only resumed from Alexandra Palace in 1946.
The first regular television transmissions in Canada began in 1952 when the CBC put two stations on the air, one in Montreal, Quebec on September 6, and another in Toronto, Ontario two days later.
The first live transcontinental television broadcast took place in San Francisco, California from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference on September 4, 1951. In 1958, the CBC completed the longest television network in the world, from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. Reportedly, the first continuous live broadcast of a breaking news story in the world was conducted by the CBC during the Springhill Mining Disaster which began on October 23 of that year.
Programming is broadcast on television stations (sometimes called channels). At first, terrestrial broadcasting was the only way television could be distributed. Because bandwidth was limited, government regulation was normal. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission allowed stations to broadcast advertisements, but insisted on public service programming commitments as a requirement for a license. By contrast, the United Kingdom chose a different route, imposing a television licence fee on owners of television reception equipment, to fund the BBC, which had public service as part of its Royal Charter. Development of cable and satellite means of distribution in the 1970s pushed businessmen to target channels towards a certain audience, and enabled the rise of subscription-based television channels, such as HBO and Sky. Practically every country in the world now has developed at least one television channel. Television has grown up all over the world, enabling every country to share aspects of their culture and society with others.
By the late 1980s, 98% of all homes in the U.S. had at least one TV set. On average, Americans watch four hours of television per day. An estimated two-thirds of Americans got most of their news about the world from TV, and nearly half got all of their news from TV. These figures are now estimated to be significantly higher.
This article is licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License". It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Television".
History of the Telephone
As Professor of Vocal Physiology in the University of Boston, Alexander
Graham Bell was engaged in training teachers in the art of instructing deaf mutes how to speak, and experimented with the Leon Scott phonautograph in recording the vibrations of speech. This apparatus consists essentially of a thin membrane vibrated by the voice and carrying a light stylus, which traces an undulatory line on a plate of smoked glass. The line is a graphic representation of the vibrations of the membrane and the waves of sound in the air.
This background prepared him for work with sound and electricity. He began his researches in 1874 with a musical telegraph, in which he employed a make-break circuit driven by a vibrating iron reed which created interrupted current to vibrate the receiver, which consisted of an electro-magnet causing an iron reed or tongue to vibrate, exactly the same as Bourseul, Reis and Gray. One day it was found that a reed failed to respond to the intermittent current. Mr. Bell desired his assistant, who was at the other end of the line, to pluck the reed, thinking it had stuck to the pole of the magnet. Mr. Watson complied, and to his astonishment Bell observed that the corresponding reed at his end of the line there upon began to vibrate and emit the same note, although there was no interrupted current to make it. A few experiments soon showed that his reed had been set in vibration by the magneto-electric currents induced in the line by the mere motion of the distant reed in the
neighborhood of its magnet. This discovery led him to discard the battery current altogether and rely upon the magneto-induction currents of the reeds themselves. Moreover, it occurred to him that, since the circuit was never broken, all the complex vibrations of speech might be converted into sympathetic currents, which in turn would reproduce the speech at a distance.
Bell, with his assistant Watson discovered that the movements of the reed alone in a magnetic field could transmit the modulations of the sound. Working from the analogy of the phonautograph, Bell devised a receiver, consisting of a stretched diaphragm or drum of goldbeater's skin with an armature of
magnetized iron attached to its middle, and free to vibrate in front of the pole of an electromagnet in circuit with the line.
Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent drawing, 03/07/1876.This apparatus was completed on June 2, 1875, and the same day he succeeded in transmitting sounds and audible signals by magneto-electric currents and without the aid of a battery. On July 1, 1875, he instructed his assistant to make a second membrane-receiver which could be used with the first, and a few days later they were tried together, one at each end of the line, which ran from a room in the inventor's house at Boston to the cellar underneath. Bell, in the room, held one instrument in his hands, while Watson in the cellar listened at the other. The inventor spoke into his instrument, 'Do you understand what I say?' and we can imagine his delight when Mr. Watson rushed into the room, under the influence of his excitement, and answered, 'Yes.' However, the first successful bi-directional telephone call by Bell wasn't made until March 10, 1876 when Bell spoke into his device, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." and Watson answered. Thus, by 1875, Bell had re-invented Meucci's electro-magnetic sound powered transmitter. The first long distance telephone call was made on August 10, 1876 by Bell from the family homestead in Brantford, Ontario to his assistant located in Paris, Ontario, some 16 km (10 mi.) distant.
A finished instrument was then made, having a transmitter formed of a double electromagnet, in front of which a membrane, stretched on a ring, carried an oblong piece of soft iron cemented to its middle. A mouthpiece before the diaphragm directed the sounds upon it, and as it vibrated with them, the soft iron 'armature' induced corresponding currents in the cells of the electromagnet. These currents after traversing the line were passed through the receiver, which consisted of a tubular electromagnet, having one end partially closed by a thin circular disc of soft iron fixed at one point to the end of the tube. This receiver bore a resemblance to a cylindrical metal box with thick sides, having a thin iron lid fastened to its mouth by a single screw. When the undulatory current passed through the coil of this magnet, the disc, or armature-lid, was put into vibration and the sounds evolved from it.
The primitive telephone was rapidly improved, the double electromagnet being replaced by a single bar magnet having a small coil or bobbin of fine wire surrounding one pole, in front of which a thin disc of ferrotype is fixed in a circular mouthpiece, and serves as a combined membrane and armature. On speaking into the mouthpiece, the iron diaphragm vibrates with the voice in the magnetic field of the pole, and thereby excites the undulatory currents in the coil, which, after
traveling through the wire to the distant place, are received in an identical apparatus. [This form was patented January 30, 1877.] In traversing the coil of the latter they reinforce or weaken the magnetism of the pole, and thus make the disc armature vibrate so as to give out a mimesis of the original voice. The sounds are small and elfin, a minim of speech, and only to be heard when the ear is close to the mouthpiece, but they are remarkably distinct, and, in spite of a disguising twang, due to the fundamental note of the disc itself, it is easy to
recognize the speaker.
Earliest Public Demonstration of Bell's Telephone
The apparatus was exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, in 1876, where it attracted the attention of Brazilian emperor Pedro II, and at the meeting of the British Association in Glasgow, during the autumn of that year, Sir William Thomson revealed its existence to the European public. In describing his visit to the Exhibition, he went on to say: 'In the Canadian department I heard, "To be or not to be . . . there's the rub," through an electric wire; but, scorning monosyllables, the electric articulation rose to higher flights, and gave me passages taken at random from the New York newspapers: "s.s. Cox has arrived" (I failed to make out the s.s. Cox); "The City of New York," "Senator Morton," "The Senate has resolved to print a thousand extra copies," "The Americans in London have resolved to celebrate the coming Fourth of July!"
"All this my own ears heard spoken to me with unmistakable distinctness by the
then circular disc armature of just such another little electro-magnet as this I
hold in my hand."
To hear the immortal words of Shakespeare uttered by the small inanimate voice which had been given to the world must indeed have been a rare delight to the ardent soul of the great electrician.
The surprise created among the public at large by this unexpected communication will be readily remembered. Except one or two inventors, nobody had ever dreamed of a telegraph that could actually speak, any more than they had ever fancied one that could see or feel; and imagination grew busy in picturing the outcome of it. Since it was practically equivalent to a limitless extension of the vocal powers, the ingenious journalist soon conjured up an infinity of uses for the telephone, and hailed the approaching time when ocean-parted friends would be able to whisper to one another under the roaring billows of the Atlantic. Curiosity, however, was not fully satisfied until Professor Bell, the inventor of the instrument, himself showed it to British audiences, and received the enthusiastic applause of his admiring countrymen.
Later Public Demonstrations
The later form based on Gray's liquid transmitter was publicly exhibited on May 4, 1877 at a lecture given by Professor Bell in the Boston Music Hall. 'Going to the small telephone box with its slender wire attachments,' says a report, 'Mr. Bell coolly asked, as though addressing some one in an adjoining room, "Mr. Watson, are you ready!" Mr. Watson, five miles away in Somerville, promptly answered in the affirmative, and soon was heard a voice singing "America." [...] Going to another instrument, connected by wire with Providence, forty-three miles distant, Mr. Bell listened a moment, and said, "Signor Brignolli,
who is assisting at a concert in Providence Music Hall, will now sing for us."
In a moment the cadence of the tenor's voice rose and fell, the sound being
faint, sometimes lost, and then again audible. Later, a cornet solo played in
Somerville was very distinctly heard. Still later, a three-part song floated
over the wire from the Somerville terminus, and Mr. Bell amused his audience
exceedingly by exclaiming, "I will switch off the song from one part of the room
to another, so that all can hear." At a subsequent lecture in Salem,
Massachusetts, communication was established with Boston, eighteen miles
distant, and Mr. Watson at the latter place sang "Auld Lang Syne," "The
Star-Spangled Banner", and "Hail Columbia," while the audience at Salem joined
in the chorus.
Summary of Bell's Achievements
Bell adopted Gray's, and later Edison's resistive transmitters and adapted switching plug boards developed for telegraphy by Western Union. It would be inappropriate to minimize Bell's contribution to the development of telephony. Additionally, Bell succeeded where others failed to assemble a commercially viable telephone system. It can be argued that Bell invented the telephone company.
Bell had overcome the difficulty which baffled Reis, and succeeded in making the undulations of the current fit the vibrations of the voice as a glove will fit the hand. But the articulation, though distinct, was feeble, and it remained for Edison, by inventing the carbon transmitter, and Hughes, by discovering the microphone, to render the telephone the useful and widespread apparatus which we see it now.
The Ericofon was a very futuristic handset when it was introduced in 1956.The modern handset came into existence when a Swedish lineman tied a microphone and earphone to a stick so he could keep a hand free. The folding portable phone was an intentional copy of the fictional futuristic communicators used in the television show Star Trek.
The history of additional inventions and improvements of the electrical telephone includes the carbon microphone (later replaced by the electret microphone now used in almost all telephone transmitters), the manual switchboard, the rotary dial, the automatic telephone exchange, the computerized telephone switch, Touch Tone® dialing (DTMF), and the digitization of sound using different coding techniques including pulse code modulation or PCM (which is also used for .WAV files and compact discs).
Newer systems include IP telephony, ISDN, DSL, cell phone (mobile) systems, digital cell phone systems, cordless telephones, and the third generation cell phone systems that promise to allow high-speed packet data transfer.
The industry divided into telephone equipment manufacturers and telephone network operators (telcos). Operating companies often hold a national monopoly. In the United States, the Bell System was vertically integrated. It fully or partially owned the telephone companies that provided service to about 80% of the telephones in the country and also owned Western Electric, which manufactured or purchased virtually all the equipment and supplies used by the local telephone companies. The Bell System divested itself of the local telephone companies in 1984 in order to settle an antitrust suit brought against it by the United States Department of Justice.
The first transatlantic telephone call was between New York City and London and occurred on January 7, 1927.
This article is licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License". It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Telephone".
History of the Music Box
A musical box (or music box) is a 19th century automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder so as to strike the tuned teeth of a steel comb. They were developed from musical snuff-boxes of the 18th century, and called carillons à musique. Some of the more complex boxes also have a tiny drum and small bells, in addition to the metal comb. Alec Templeton, an avid collector of music boxes, and a professional concert musician, once noted that the tone of a musical box is unlike that of any musical instrument.
The original snuff boxes were tiny containers which could fit into a gentleman's waist coat pocket. The musical boxes could have any size from that of a hat box to a large piece of furniture. Most of them were table top specimens though. They were usually powered by clockwork and originally produced by artisan watchmakers.
For most of the 19th century the bulk of musical box production was concentrated in Switzerland, building upon a strong watch making tradition. The first musical box factory was opened there in 1815 by Jérémie Recordon and Samuel Junod. There were also a few manufacturers in Bohemia and Germany. By the end of the 19th century some of the European makers had opened factories in the United States.
The cylinders where normally made of metal and powered by a spring. In some of the costlier models, the cylinders could be removed to change melodies, thanks to an invention by Paillard in 1862, which was perfected by Metert, of Geneva in 1879. In some exceptional models there were four springs, to provide continuous play for up to three hours.
The very first boxes at the end of the 18th century made use of metal disks. The switch over to cylinders seems to have been complete after the Napoleonic wars. In the last decades of the 19th century however, mass produced models such as the Polyphon and others all made use of interchangeable metal disks instead of cylinders. The cylinder based machines rapidly became a minority.
The term "musical box" is also applied to clockwork devices where a removable metal disk or cylinder was used only in a "programming" function without producing the sounds directly by means of pins and a comb. Instead, the cylinder (or disk) worked by actuating bellows and levers which fed and opened pneumatic valves which activated a modified wind instrument or plucked the chords on a modified string instrument. Some devices could do both at the same time, and were often combinations of player pianos and musical boxes, such as the Orchestrion.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th most musical boxes were gradually replaced by Player pianos, which were more versatile and loud, and also melodious, when kept tuned, and by the smaller gramophones which had the advantage of playing back voices. Series production rapidly disappeared and all the important companies closed their doors. A few of the original ones found new markets.
Cheap windup music box movements (including the cylinder and comb and the spring) continued to be produced in countries like Japan, and later on in other countries with low production costs, to give a bit of music to mass produced jewelry boxes and novelty items. These movements are also sold in retail outlets or by catalog for hobbyists who wish to make simple musical miniatures.
Surviving musical boxes from the 19th century and the early 20th century are prized by collectors and there is a more or less constant manufacturing of reproductions.
Coin Operated Music Boxes
In Switzerland and the United States coin-operated music boxes, usually capable of playing several tunes, were installed in places like train stations and amusement parks. Some of the models had a mechanism for automatically changing the metal disks. These were, in an sense, the precursors to jukeboxes. However, since they produced music instead of playing back any sound, including human voices singing, they soon disappeared from their intended venues, displaced by the jukebox.
Because most of the coin-operated music boxes were built for rough treatment (such as typical slapping and kicking by a disgruntled customer) many of these large models have survived into the 21st century, despite their relatively low production quantities. They are eagerly sought by collectors who have the space for their large or very large cabinets.
Music Box Elements
The bedpan is the relatively heavy metal foundation on which all the other pieces are fastened, usually by screws.
The ratchet lever or the windup key is used to put the spring motor under tension, that is to wind it up.
The spring motor or motors (2 or more can be used to make playing times longer) give anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more of playing time.
The comb is a flat piece of metal with dozens or even hundreds of tuned teeth of different lengths.
The cylinder is the programming object, a metallic version of a punched card which, instead of having holes to express a program, is studded with tiny pins at the correct spacing to produce music by striking the teeth of the comb at the correct time. This function is played by the disc in a disc music box.
The disc is the programming object, a metallic version of a punched card which, like it has holes to express a program, star wheels which turn with the disc produce music by striking the teeth of the comb at the correct time. This function is played by the cylinder in a cylinder music box.
Evolving Music Box Production
Between the two world wars most of the Swiss companies converted to the manufacture of other products requiring precise mechanical parts. Some went back to making watches, others were eventually responsible for the famous Bolex movie cameras and the Hermes typewriters.
Located near Lake Neuchâtel, Reuge is one of the last of the Swiss survivors making music boxes of all sizes and shapes, with or without automatons in imitation of past models of the previous
centuries or in a modern style with clear acrylic sides to see the mechanical operation. They have in a sense branched out widely from their original cylinder offerings since they now also offer traditional looking music boxes with removable metal disks for around a 1,000 Euros, with each disk costing in the neighborhood of 14 Euros. The higher range boxes with removable cylinders and small assorted tables made of fine woods can cost up to 34,000 Euros and about an equivalent number of US dollars. They also sell several models of clear acrylic paperweights with a musical box movement inside, for a minimum of about 45 Euros.
In Japan Sankyo Seiki still makes a wide variety of music boxes from tiny musical
key chains to much larger models. It also supplies movements to many other manufacturers, or to clockmakers and clockmaker suppliers which sometimes sell them retail to hobbyists for as low as 3 Euros each. Sankyo Seiki bills
itself as the biggest manufacturer of music boxes in the world, and advertises that it controls 50% of the market. Recently, it has started selling
licenses for its music box tunes to cellular phone companies, for use as ring tones. The company is an industrial concern which also makes magnetic and hologram card readers, appliance components and miniature motors of all kinds.
The Porter Music Box company of Vermont produces steel disc music boxes in several formats. They offer clockwork, spring wound models as well as electric ones. They stand out by their continuing production of discs, with a selection of about a thousand tunes. The discs can also be played on many antique music boxes bearing the Polyphony and Regina brand names.
This article is licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License". It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Musical Box".
History of The Clock
The history of the time telling device can be traced to antiquity. Vitruvius reports that the ancient Egyptians used clepsydras, a time mechanism run by flowing water. By the 9th century AD a mechanical timekeeper had been developed that lacked only an escapement mechanism. There is a record that in 1176 Sens Cathedral installed a ‘horologe’—the word still used in French for large clocks. It is derived from the Greek hora meaning ‘hour’ and legein meaning ‘to tell. This word has led scholars to believe that these tower clocks did not employ hands or dials, but “told” the time with audible signals.
The earliest reasonably accurate clocks are the 13th century tower clocks probably developed for (and perhaps by) monks in Northern Italy. These were used to announce the canonical hours or intervals between set times of prayer. Canonical hours differ in length, and varied as the times of sunrise and sunset shifted.
The earliest table clocks that survive in any quantity are mid-16th century ones from the metalworking towns of Nuremberg and Augsburg. These clocks have only one hand. The dial between the hour markers is divided into four equal parts making the clocks readable to the nearest 15 minutes.
The next major development in accuracy occurred in 1657 with the invention of the pendulum clock. Galileo had the idea to use a swinging bob to propel the motion of a time telling device earlier in the 17th century. Christian Huygens, however, is usually credited as the inventor. He determined the mathematical formula that related pendulum length to time (99.38 cm or 39.13 in for the one second movement) and had the first pendulum driven clock made. In 1670, the English clockmaker William Clement created the anchor escapement, an improvement over Huygens' crown escapement. Within just one generation, minute hands and then second hands were added.
The excitement over the pendulum clock attracted the attention of designers resulting in a proliferation of clock forms. Notably, the
long case clock (aka grandfather clock) was created to house the pendulum and works. The English clockmaker William Clement, inventor of the anchor escapement, is credited developing this form in 1670. It was also at this time that clock cases began to be made of wood and clock faces to employ enamel.
- Tower Clock (see
its largest bell) at the
Palace of Westminster,
Prague Orloj, a 15th century
astronomical clock at the Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Peace Tower clock at the Centre Block of the
Parliament of Canada,
Clock of the Long Now
- Harrison H4,
John Harrison clock that won the
Doomsday clock shows the symbolic minutes to midnight where midnight
represents destruction by
war (not a clock in the traditional sense)
Kremlin clock is located on the
Spasskaya Tower of the
Allen-Bradley Clock, the world's largest four sided clock, located in
The Cuckoo Clock
A cuckoo clock is a clock, typically a pendulum clock, that strikes the hours using small bellows and whistles that imitate the call of the Common Cuckoo bird in addition to striking on a wire gong.
The design of a cuckoo clock is now conventional. Most are made in the shape of a rustic birdhouse or chalet. They hang on the wall, and are housed in wooden cases, frequently decorated with carved leaves; sometimes deer and other animals are added. Most now have an automaton of the bird that appears through a small trap door when the clock is striking, and vanishes behind the door after the clock is done.
The bird is often made to move while the clock strikes, typically by means of an arm that lifts the back of the carving. Some have musical movements, and play a tune on a music box before striking the hours or half-hours. Musical cuckoo clocks frequently have other automata that move when the music box plays. The clocks are almost always weight driven; a very few cuckoo clocks are spring driven.
In recent years, fake quartz battery powered cuckoo clocks have been sold; these do not have genuine cuckoo bellows, and typically generate their striking sounds electronically. The weights are conventionally cast in the shape of pine cones. The pendulum bob is often another carved leaf. The dial is small, and typically marked with Roman numerals.
The cuckoo clock was invented in the Black Forest town of Schönwald, Germany, by Franz Ketterer in 1738. Ketterer designed the system of small bellows and whistles that imitates the Cuckoo's call, and added them to a standard Dutch clock. Later refinements of the design changed the clock's shape to the familiar birdhouse or chalet. The centre of their production continues to be in the Black Forest region of Germany, in the area of Triberg and Neustadt. The cuckoo clock is often wrongly associated with Switzerland, as in the movie The Third Man. This error is probably due to a story by Mark Twain in which the hero depicts the Swiss town of Lucerne as the home of cuckoo clocks.
The Grandfather Clock
A grandfather clock, also floor clock or long case clock, is a freestanding clock with a pendulum held inside its own tower, commonly around 6-8 ft tall. The tower often features elaborately carved wood at the head, surrounding the clock face. The English clockmaker William Clement is credited with the development of this form in 1670.
How Grandfather Clocks Got Their Name
Over one hundred years ago there was a hotel known as the George Hotel that was managed by two brothers named Jenkins. The hotel had a floor clock that kept time very well.
One of the two brothers died, and the clock started to lose time. Repair attempts were made, but they all failed. When the other brother died at the age of 90, the clocked stopped running altogether, and was never repaired in remembrance of the brothers.
Around 1875, Henry Work, a song writer, was staying at the George Hotel and learned the story of the old floor clock. He decided to write a song about the clock. The song became very popular and sold over a million copies.
The first part of the song goes: "Oh, my grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf, so it stood ninety years on the floor. It was taller by half than the old man himself, though it weighed not a pennyweight more." After this, people started calling floor clocks by the name grandfather clocks.
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