|Version: May 29, 2023|
In 1888 Charles Adams-Randall, an English electric engineer, filed patents for electric recording and playback of phonograph cylinders. The playback machine (in the drawing above), called the Automatic Pariophone, was coin-operated and intended for use with prerecorded cylinders.
The sound from the cylinder would activate a membrane at the bottom of the horn placed on top of the machine. Adams-Randall sketches two methods for transferring sound from the cylinder to the membrane:
I find it somewhat difficult to understand just how the undulations of the groove would be translated to an electric current. The phrase "making and breaking or varying a current" seems to me to offer a choice between either a binary on-or-off current (which would give a horrendous sound) and one that reproduces the shape of the groove. Of the two methods, Adams-Randall preferred the electric for its "louder and more natural tone".
It is not known to me if the player was ever built or marketed.
Christer Hamp, 2023
The patents referred to are filed on 5 and 10 July 1888 (No. 9762 and 9996). My thanks to Gert Almind for providing me with the patent No. 9762, from which the drawing above is reproduced.
|The patent for a player:|