A Brief Biography of Thomas Alva Edison
Edison's Favorite - The Phonograph
The carbon telephone transmitter which made the telephone commercially practical was
invented by Edison in 1877, the same year he gave the world the phonograph.
Until Edison produced the carbon transmitter, telephone communication had been highly
impractical. He sold his rights in the invention to Western Union which, in turn, reached an agreement with the company
backed by Alexander Graham Bell, and for many years thereafter telephone instruments bore the names of both Bell and Edison.
To use Edison's expression, it was fifty-fifty - he invented the transmitter and Bell the receiver.
Edison's carbon transmitter later helped to make radio possible in that the same principle
was adopted in developing a practical microphone.
The phonograph not only was Edison's favorite invention, but it probably was one of the most
original ever created. In most instances, the inventor is the man who first perfects a device or method for achieving a
result which for a long period of time had been a goal of experimentation and research by others as well as himself. But
in the case of the phonograph, the idea of recording sound for later reproduction had not been conceived until Edison
received inspiration while experimenting with the automatic telegraph. Just as amazing, perhaps, is the fact that his
first phonograph, although just a crude model, was a complete success.