Vinyl records go by a handful of names, such as phonograph records, vinyl, gramophone records, and just plain old record. No matter what you call them, we all know what they are. Vinyl was the primary medium used for music reproduction until later on in the 20th century. It was later on ousted by the compact disc.
A Short History
The device that utilized a vibrating pen to play the sound of music on a flat paper disc was built by Edouard-Leon Scott of France in 1857. The device was known as a phonautograph. The inventor didn’t take much advantage of his creation, so therefore in 1877, Thomas Edison developed the phonautograph into a machine that would not only play the sounds but be capable of replaying the recordings that were made.
The recordings were originally made on tin foil. Can you imagine that? No vinyl discs, just tin foil discs! Though these were not used for music right away. There were used more for office dictation. Emile Berliner began creating what we know today in 1888. He created lateral-cut records that were used exclusively in toys until 1894. Then we skip along to 1912, and that is when the Edison Blue Amberol Record came into history with a longer playing time (around 4 or so minutes) and a more resilient playing surface. By 1918 the patent for the lateral-cut discs expired so many companies could begin producing these for their own. These disc records overtook the cylinders in popularity.
Some Groovy Facts
- Colored vinyl is unique and was released in limited quantities. These are true collector’s items.
- Back in the day, designing the cover was considered an art, and many designers would compete in order to get the chance to create one of these covers.
- Black vinyl has a better sound quality and holds up better than colored vinyl. Colored vinyl gets damaged much more easily and attains cracks easier than black vinyl.
- It’s best to store these records on a shelf vertically than to stack them up. Stacking them will ruin the quality of the records.
- There is a National Record Store Day!
- Vinyl records produce a static charge.
- The first 12-inch recording was Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
- There is a record on the Voyager spacecraft!
- Vinyl record sales have been on the rise since 1993.
Gaining Popularity Again
Like it was mentioned in the groovy facts section, vinyl is becoming popular again! Let’s talk about some reasons why vinyl is becoming crazy popular again:
- It’s an active (not passive) experience. When you play a vinyl record, you’re not just letting the record repeat itself on its own. The needle needs to be moved over and the album needs to be flipped at certain times. You take the time to appreciate the music and cover art while waiting to flip the record.
- It’s tangible! There’s just something about not being able to touch an MP3 track. With vinyl records, you can autograph them or tack them to your walls. There’s just something about the physical aspect of it!
- “The thrill of the hunt” as it’s called. For those who like to collect vinyl, this one is all they need! The feeling you get when you find that one vinyl record you’ve been looking for, there are no words for it.
If You’re Looking For Vinyl…
Stop by Back N The Day! We’d love to help you fill out your vinyl collection. We’ve got something for every collector, and we love seeing that wonderful look on our customers’ faces when they find that one item they’ve been searching for!