Edison's Parlor Phonograph

ID: 91-3690

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1879

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 1

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Edison Parlor Phonograph of 1879, number 1586. This is a smaller size machine of the tinfoil type, developed to reach a broader audience. Gift of Alexander Graham Bell, who had purchased it and used it for experiments for some years before he donated it to the Smithsonian in 1898. Bell was a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents.


  • Edison, Thomas A (Thomas Alva) 1847-1931
  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Phonograph was previously identified as the Edison Foil Phonograph of 1878 but was corrected by staff of the Thomas Edison Papers in 2014. For additional information, see http://edison.rutgers.edu/tinfoilphono.htm.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 1

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Exhibitions
  • Phonograph
  • Tinfoil Phonograph


  • Photographic print
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Object; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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