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music players

Music Boxes

From the 14th century, church bells were sometimes automated. The principle was extended to clock chimes and, by the 17th century, to pocket watches. The first music boxes appeared in about 1810. These were plain wooden boxes enclosing a cylinder mechanism. The basic mechanism of these early music boxes was a rotating cylinder with a […]  Continue Reading »

Radios

When public broadcasting began in the early 1920s, the most widely available receivers were crystal sets. Crystal sets could only be listened to through earphones and required a long aerial which was usually strung us in the garden like a clothes line. Tuning was very difficult; the crystal had be touched at exactly the right […]  Continue Reading »

Record Players

The first machine able to record sound was the phonautograph, devised by a Frenchman, Leon Scott de Martinville, in 1855. The device recorded sounds on smoke-blackened paper wrapped around a cylinder. Unfortunately, there was no way to replay the sound. The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, recorded sound on cardboard cylinders covered in […]  Continue Reading »

Jukeboxes

Coin-operated electric phonographs with a choice of records became available in the 1920s. They were called jukeboxes from “jook-joint”, black American slang for a dance hall. Early jukeboxes had simple wood veneer cabinets until 1937, when Paul Fuller designed the Wurlitzer Model 24, featuring backlit moulded plastic. Soon the other major manufacturers, Seeburg, Rock-Ola and […]  Continue Reading »