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News / 100 years ago this week

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Did you know that 100 years ago, three major inventions that would change the way we live were invented and patented?

On August 12, 1877, Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph. Don’t you know what a phonograph is? What about a record player? Cassette player? CD player? Well, this all evolved from his original invention when he recorded the sound on a sheet of aluminum foil by embossing it with a vibrating stylus. Thomas Edison is also known for inventing the electric light bulb!

Edison’s first phonograph. 19th century illustration of the first phonograph, designed in 1877 by American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). Scientific photo library

Prior to that, on August 12, 1851, Isaac Merrit Singer patented his sewing machine and formed IM Singer & Company to market the product. Before that, everything was sewn by hand.

Isaac Merrit Singer patented this first sewing machine.

And then, on August 11, 1942, American actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received a patent for an electronic device they had invented that minimized interference to radio signals; it later became a component of satellite and cellular phone and wi-fi technology.

Actress Hedy Lamarr

So just think that without them we couldn’t listen to music, buy cheap ready-made clothes (or make our own) and talk to friends on cellphones and in some cases watch TV!



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