Thomas Edison truly brought power to the people. He was the founder of the modern electrical world. Not only was he the founder of General Electric, which went on to become one of the biggest corporations of all time, his developments paved the way for the motion picture and music industries. Some of the many inventions that came out of his team of inventors included the light bulb, movie camera and the first audio recording device called the “talking machine.” The talking machine first appeared in 1877 as an expansion of the telephone concept, which had been introduced a year earlier by Alexander Graham Bell. Edison’s original concept of a recording device was essentially an answering machine to record telephone calls.
– Emile Berliner emerged as Edison’s technological competitor in the 1880s. The Columbia Phonograph company became a third player in 1889, selling dictating machines, under the leadership of Edward Easton. It was originally the American Graphophone Company set up by telephone inventor Bell, his cousin Chichester Bell and Charles Tainter. When the company was incorporated in the District of Columbia, it began to take on the name Columbia.
– Each major U.S. city had its own phonograph company in the 1890s. Edison established the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company in 1878 then the National Phonograph Company in 1896. Berliner established the American Gramophone Company in 1891 and the United States Gramophone Company in 1893. The Columbia Graphophone Company was the first to go international by setting up offices in London and Paris in 1899.