Between Innovation and Memory: Phonographic Culture in Europe, 1877-1914

Elodie A. Roy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


This entry begins with a synthetic description of the origins and functioning of Edison’s talking machine (1877) in relation to earlier continental inventions such as Edouard-Léon Scott De Martinville’s phonautograph (1857) and Charles Cros’s Paleophone (1877). It retraces how the talking machine was first encountered in Europe, giving an overview of its changing critical reception and consumption across the period up to the First World War as new media practices progressively coalesced (with reference to a number of sites, devices and events such as the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris). The transnational origins of the recording industry—and the coexistence of a wide range of phonographic goods and practices—are also highlighted. Finally, the entry insists on recorded sound as a mnemonic device, which came to profoundly shape twentieth-century heritage practices—up to the present day.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEHNE
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Encyclopedia of European History
EditorsOlivier Dard, Sonia Bledniak, Isabelle Matamoros, Sébastien Ledoux
PublisherSorbonne Université
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022

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