Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, the very first device for recording and playing back sound, in 1877. Early machines were sold to entrepreneurs who made a living out of traveling around the country giving “phonograph concerts” and demonstrating the device for a fee at fairs.
Here at the Recorded Sound Archives, we have a collection of over 70 Edison Records which can be listened to online.
To listen or learn more about Edison Records, click here.
Some songs may only be available as snippets due to US Copyright laws.
These items are noted in the player with the words (Research Station) and only allow for 45 seconds snippets to be played to give you a sense of what that recording originally sounded like. Full access is available through the RSA’s Research Station access is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.