French inventor beat Edison by twenty years with his audio recording device.


Interesting article regarding the original piece of audiophile equipment.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/05/22/529550254/at-the-dawn-of-recorded-sound-no-...


abnerjack
I read about this in the book "Cowboys and Indies" (horrible title), which covers the history of recorded sound, including both the technology and the businesses that depended on it, as well as the cultural shifts that paralleled this.
Sidenote: there was a piece a little over a year ago about the ’talking dolls" that used a wax cylinder that essentially self-destructed on initial playback. Apparently, some one found a pair of the dolls with intact cylinders and using the Lawrence Berkeley Labs IRENE, some preservationists were able to extract the sounds. It was apparently young girls singing a nursery rhyme, which, the piece concluded, may be the earliest recording of "music" extant.
Fascinating stuff.
whart

I will have to find the book; it sounds informative.  Off the top of my head, other than recorded sound in the world of music and movies/tv, I can't think of a lot of uses for recorded sound in the everyday world.  Oh wait, I forgot the ubiquitous voice menu you get on the phone of many businesses.

I am sure there are other uses of recordings that I am forgetting or am not aware of, but I'm wondering all these years later, how significant audio recordings are in the world.  Oh wait, thought of another one, the White House Comey tapes.  And undercover recordings and witness depositions.

What else?
The whole Edison cult is largely a lie .
I think Edison didn't really know what to do with the cylinder- I believe that he was thinking of the equivalent of the Dictaphone, but if memory serves, he applied it to music only after others (Berliner?) did so. 
I don't really mess with cylinders (or even 78s for that matter) but the early history of recording, like the very early photographs (which are a window into a world long gone) fascinate me.