OMG, guys! I'm soooo embarrassed I missed the birthday of one of my closest friends: the Phonograph! It was February 19th, 1878, when inventor Thomas Edison patented his machine, which could record AND play sound. His inspiration for the phonograph was tied to his attempts to play back messages transmitted via telegraph. For his early experiments he used paper disks to capture sound via an electromagnet "embossing point" marking the paper. If the paper was then used in "a similar machine" and read with a "contact point," the paper would play back the signal. He soon had designed a machine which used tinfoil as the media to capture and play sound—the Edison Phonograph (it was Alexander Graham Bell's crew which improved on Edison's machine by using more durable wax cylinders). Turntables, almost as we now know 'em, came along about a decade later, but didn't catch on until the turn of the century when records could be mass produced easier and the fidelity improved.