Phonograph “Tin Foil”

    Phonograph “Tin Foil”

    Circa 1880

    Metal, lattin, wood, ivory, cork; casting, milling, lathe turning

    27 х 19 х 16 cm, 2.5 kg


    Phonograph of early design with one membrane is a mahogany base, on which two L-shaped brackets are fixed. A threaded shaft - on one side; smooth with an ivory handle - on the other. The shaft is pressed to the brackets by slats with cork spacers. The shaft is equipped with a brass drum with a screw groove, on which a thick tin foil - a staniol is fastened. A fixed steel platform with a sweep type "swallowtail", which includes a brass bracket with a cylindrical washer made of mahogany with a hole in the center is fixed on the base. On the right, there are two screws that clamp the bracket in the slot. A membrane is attached by a brass ring on the inner side of the washer, through which the needle is pressed by a spring plate. The force of pressing the needle to the membrane is regulated by a screw with a curved head. When the handle is rotated, the drum rotates and moves along the axis. When recording, the needle, pressed to the side of the drum, leaves a groove on the foil. The membrane, catching sound vibrations, transmits them to the needle, which records them on the foil. The groove profile changes according to the sound vibrations. While playback, the needle inserted into the  groove causes the diaphragm vibrate in time with the groove profile and play back the recorded sound. Music media: tin foil cylinder.