Where Audio Began - The Acoustic Era to 1925




Sound is something most of us take for granted everyday. We watch TV, listen to our earbuds and assume that sound will come out just by simply pressing a button or flipping a switch. But how did this begin? Below is a snippet from an article written by Amy Kelly called, "Evolution of Sound - Audio Technology of the Past, Present and Future" that can help answer this question.

Where Audio Began - The Acoustic Era to 1925

Most historians go with David Edward Hughes, who seems to have beaten Alexander Graham Bell, Emile Berliner, and Thomas Edison by a few years to demonstrate his rudimentary carbon microphone in 1875. He never sought a patent for his invention, as he wanted it to be a gift to mankind but he did coin the word “microphone” by thinking of it as the audio equivalent of the microscope.

Throughout the 1870s and 80s, various loudspeaker-like devices existed, most notably on Alexander Graham Bell’s  telephone (1876) and Edison’s phonograph (1877), but the true moving-coil loudspeaker, the forebear of all loudspeakers since, was invented by Oliver Lodge in 1898.

The final piece of the PA puzzle came along in 1906 when Lee DeForest invented the Audion, the first device capable of amplifying an electrical signal. The first documented example of an electric PA system being used to amplify speech and music at a public event was on December 24, 1915, at San Francisco City Hall, when Jensen and Pridhams’ Magnavox system was publicly demonstrated (Magnavox being Latin for “great voice”).

We hoped you enjoyed this information. More snippets from Amy's article and other information about the audio field will be coming in the weeks ahead. Also, don't forget to go to chairspeaker.com to hear TV like never before!

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