Those who are perhaps born after the 1980s may find answering the question, “what is a Gramophone?”, quite difficult. This is because these music playing gadgets have become obsolete and gave way to cassette players, VCDs DVDs and online music playing systems. However, even today, those who believe in nostalgia and would like to keep in touch with the past would certainly have a soft spoot in their heart for Gramophone players. They are also referred to as vinyl record players. The sound is stored in the analog form, and the records are mostly made from polyvinyl and shellac. They have a spiral groove which comes with spirals that are modulated and inscribed. The groove starts from the outer end of the vinyl records and ends at the center of the record.
History Of The Gramophone
Though the first formal gramophone was invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison, an earlier version is known as Phonautograph was invented by Leon Scott in 1857. This used a vibrating diaphragm along with a stylus which did the task of graphically recording sound waves and the same were reproduced as tracings in sheets of paper. They were mostly for visual analysis purposes and not for playback. However, Thomas Alva Edison changed all this in 1877 and invented the formal Gramophone which could record as well as reproduce sound.
The Speed Of The Turntable
The science behind the music, recording and reproducing gadgets was simple. The magnetic waves emanating from the devices were picked up by the specially made stylus and the same was transferred as sound waves and reproduced in sound output devices. In the absence of electricity in those days, the motors for the turntable were powered manually. However, with electricity coming into use, the motors were powered automatically. Initially, there was only one speed as far as the turntable was concerned. The speed of the turntable was calculated in RPM or Revolutions Per Minute. The first vinyl records could work at speeds of 78 RPM. But they had limitations because of the speed due to which they could record and play only limited music.
However, as technology moved forward, these changed and we saw the introduction of vinyl records that could work on 45 and 33 RPM. In some countries, there were also records which could work on 16 RPM. There were also record players that could work on batteries once they were charged. They certainly were considered a status symbol and added lot of value to homes. But with changing technology, these gramophones had to make way for less expensive options like cassette players, VCD players, and DVD players.
For more information on the invention of sound recording, take a look below.