• WordNet 3.6
    • n phonograph machine in which rotating records cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Phonograph Phonograph
Edison with his Phonograph Edison with his Phonograph

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first words that Thomas A. Edison spoke into the phonograph were, "Mary had a little lamb."
    • Phonograph A character or symbol used to represent a sound, esp. one used in phonography.
    • Phonograph an instrument for reproducing sounds, especially music, previously recorded on a plastic cylinder or disk as a pattern of bumps or wiggles in a groove. A needle (stylus) held in the groove is made to vibrate by motion (rotation) of the recording, and the vibrations caused by the bumps and wiggles are transmitted directly to a membrane, or first to an electronic amplifier circuit, thereby reproducing with greater or less fidelity the original sounds. A phonograph which is equipped with electronics enabling the playback of sound with high fidelity to the original is often called a hi-fi.
    • Phonograph (Physics) An instrument for the mechanical registration and reproduction of audible sounds, as articulate speech, etc. It consists of a rotating cylinder or disk covered with some material easily indented, as tinfoil, wax, paraffin, etc., above which is a thin plate carrying a stylus. As the plate vibrates under the influence of a sound, the stylus makes minute indentations or undulations in the soft material, and these, when the cylinder or disk is again turned, set the plate in vibration, and reproduce the sound.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: On June 10, 1958, a tornado was crashing through El Dorado, Kansas. The storm pulled a woman out of her house and carried her sixty feet away. She landed, relatively unharmed, next to a phonograph record titled "Stormy Weather."
    • n phonograph A type or character for expressing a sound; a character used in phonography.
    • n phonograph A form of phonautograph, the invention of Thomas A. Edison, by means of which sounds are made to produce on a register permanent tracings, each having an individual character corresponding to the sound producing it. The sounds can be afterward reproduced from the register. In its original form it consists essentially of a curved tube, one end of which is fitted with a mouthpiece, while the other end (about two inches in diameter) is closed with a diaphragm of exceedingly thin metal. Connected with the center of this diaphragm is a steel point, which, when the sounds are projected on the disk from the mouthpiece, vibrates backward and forward. This part of the apparatus is adjusted to a cylinder which rotates on a horizontal axis. On the surface of the cylinder is cut a spiral groove, and on the axis there is a spiral screw of the same pitch, which works in a nut. When the instrument is to be used, a piece of tin-foil is gummed round the cylinder, and the steel point is adjusted so as just to touch the tin-foil above the line of the spiral groove. If words are now spoken through the mouthpiece, and the cylinder is kept rotating either by the hand or by clockwork, a series of small marks will be made on the foil by the vibratory movement of the steel point, and these markings will each have an individual character corresponding to the various sounds. The sounds thus registered are reproduced by placing the diaphragm with its steel point in the same position with reference to the tin-foil as when the cylinder originally started. When the cylinder is rotated, the indentations previously made cause the steel point to rise or fall, or otherwise vibrate, as they pass under it, and the diaphragm is consequently thrown into a state of vibration exactly corresponding to that which produced the markings, and thus affects the surrounding air so as to produce sounds closely similar to those originally made by the voice. The reproduced sound is, however, more or less metallic and nasal, and some of the consonants, as s and z, are not clearly given. The contents of the strips of foil may be reproduced in sound after any length of time, and repeated until the markings become effaced. The instrument has recently been improved and made in the form shown in the second cut, in which the cylinder is driven by an electric current from a battery, and the tinfoil is replaced by a cylinder of hard wax, which can be turned off to remove marks and thus fitted to register other sounds —a process that may be repeated many times before the cylinder is rendered useless.
    • phonograph To register or record by means of the phonograph.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Phonograph fō′nō-graf a character or mark used to represent a sound (also Phō′nogram): an instrument by which spoken words or other sounds can be recorded, and afterwards given out again almost in the original tones
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Phono-, + -graph,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. phōnē, sound, graphein, to write.


In literature:

Or travellin' even in a phonograph through the wonders of the great Sahara Desert.
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
In the same way it is impossible to escape the voice of the phonograph.
"Wanderings in the Orient" by Albert M. Reese
Phonograph invented by T. A. Edison, 1877.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
There was a phonograph and a good selection of records in the cottage, so they managed to while away a pleasant afternoon.
"The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code" by John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton
As the eavesdropper slid to a seat a phonograph in front began the Merry Widow waltz.
"Crooked Trails and Straight" by William MacLeod Raine
Did you ever go to a school to listen to a phonograph?
"The New Education" by Scott Nearing
A phonograph on a table behind a tree furnished music for winding the Maypole.
"Jerry's Charge Account" by Hazel Hutchins Wilson
There's a whispering phonograph, too, and something that sighs and sobs.
"Athalie" by Robert W. Chambers
Phonographs are good enough for me.
"Tales of Space and Time" by Herbert George Wells
He decided to pay no further attention to her imagining; and moved to the phonograph, where he selected one of a small number of waxy cylinders.
"Mountain Blood" by Joseph Hergesheimer

In poetry:

The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.
"1926" by Weldon Kees
I am a record on the phonograph of time,
Music of the world is woven
Into grooves of me.
There will be an end of the needle's tyranny But before the record is safely shelved with God,--
Space may crack me.
"Ego Recording" by Isobel Stone

In news:

This photo provided by the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady, N.Y. Shows Thomas Edison's 1878 tinfoil phonograph.
Phonographs, typewriters and rotary telephones are relics of a bygone age.
Edison's Other Names for the Phonograph : Klangophone, Kosmophone, Didaskophone.
A Thomas Edison Cylinder Phonograph is one of the antiques for sale at the Old Market Gallery.
Beatrice I love my phonograph .
Robert Johnson " Phonograph Blues".
She saved antiques, furniture and phonographs.
Antique Phonograph Music Program with MAC.
Antique Phonograph Music Program with MAC is also available as a podcast.
Miller's feel-good classics, including Tuxedo Junction, In the Mood and Pennsylvania 6-5000 have endured from phonographs to iPods.
It was on this day in 1877 that Thomas Edison first applied for one of his many phonograph patents.
From phonographs to records to iPods, with a few hiccups along the way.
Before the phonograph and lightbulb, the electric pen helped spell the future for Thomas Edison.
Good news from the Cash-Carter camp: Johnny Cash, after years of phonographic complacency, has shaken the dust off his career and given us a splendid LP, Silver , which marks his twenty-fifth year as a recording artist.
An 1879 tinfoil phonograph is displayed at the Museum of Innovation and Science, on Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012, in Schenectady, N.Y.