Emile Berliner, German-American Inventor
Berliner, with the model of the first phonograph machine which he invented. Emile Berliner (May 20, 1851 - August 3, 1929) was a German-born American inventor. In 1886 Berliner began experimenting with methods of sound recording. He was granted his first patent for what he called the "gramophone" in 1887. The first gramophones recorded sound using horizontal modulation on a cylinder coated with a low resistance material such as lamp black, subsequently fixed with varnish and then copied by photoengraving on a metal playback cylinder. This was similar to the method employed by Edison's machines. In 1888 Berliner invented a simpler way to record sound by using discs. Berliner's other inventions include a new type of loom for mass-production of cloth; an acoustic tile; and an early version of the helicopter through the development of a light-weight rotary engine. Berliner, who suffered a nervous breakdown in 1914, was also active in advocating improvements in public health and sanitation. He died of a heart attack in 1929 at the age of 78.
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