MembersEMILE BERLINER – Inventor of the Record


By Michael Selutin |
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today we take for granted the ability to play recorded music over loudspeakers. And that’s because men like Emile Berliner did all the hard work to make it possible.

Inventor Emile Berliner was born in Hanover, Germany in 1851 to a poor Jewish family. He was one of 13 children. Emile completed an apprenticeship to become a merchant, and then emigrated to the USA. It was in Washington, DC that he began to tinker, and was able to finally earn a living at what had until then been a hobby.

After Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone in 1876, Berliner developed an improved telephone transmitter, or microphone, which was later acquired by the Bell Telephone Company for a small fortune. Bell further offered Berliner a job at his factory in Philadelphia.

It was around this time that Berliner invited his brothers, Jacob and Joseph, to his new homeland to show them the miracle apparatus on which he was working. The brothers later returned to Germany and, inspired by Emile, founded a telephone factory in Berlin in 1881.

By 1883, Berliner had left...

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