Emile Berliner

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Emile Berliner (May 20, 1851 - August 3, 1929) was an inventor, best known for developing the disc record gramophone (phonograph in American English).

Born Emil Berliner in Hanover, Germany, he emigrated to the United States of America in 1870, where he established himself in Washington, D.C.. After some time working in a livery stable, he became interested in the new audio technology of the telephone and phonograph, and invented an improved telephone transmitter acquired by the Bell Telephone Company, one of the first types of microphone. Berliner worked for Bell Telephone in Boston from 1877 to 1883, when he returned to Washington and established himself as a private researcher.

Emile Berliner became a United States citizen in 1881.

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 gramophone recorded 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. He then began work on a simplified system to record on to discs, rather than the phonograph cylinders then in use. Within a few years he was marketing his technology to toy companies. However, he hoped to develop his device as more than a mere toy, and in 1895 succeeded in getting a group of businessmen to put up 25,000 United States dollars of capital and incorporated the Berliner Gramophone Company.

Emile Berliner with an unidentified woman.

A problem with early gramophones was difficulty in having the turntable rotate at a steady speed for playback. Engineer Eldridge R. Johnson helped solve this problem by designing clock-work spring wound motors. In 1901 Berliner and Johnson teamed up to found the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Berliner also invented a new type of loom for mass-production of cloth, acoustic tile, and experimented with an early version of the helicopter said by some accounts to have successfully lifted two men off the ground as early as 1909, although other accounts put the date a decade later. In any case, working with his son Henry Berliner, they demonstrated a working helicopter for the United States Army on July 16, 1922.

Berliner was also active in advocating improvements in public health and sanitation.

Emile Berliner died of a heart attack at the age of 78.


[edit] Publications

[edit] By Berliner

  • Conclusions, 1902, Kaufman Publishing Co.
  • The Milk Question and Mortality Among Children Here and in Germany: An Observation, 1904, The Society for Prevention of Sickness
  • Some Neglected Essentials in the Fight against Consumption, 1907, The Society for Prevention of Sickness
  • A Study Towards the Solution of Industrial Problems in the New Zionist Commonwealth, 1919, N. Peters

[edit] Biography

  • Frederic William Wile, Emile Berliner Maker of the Microphone, 1974, Ayer Company, ISBN 0-405-06062-9

[edit] External links

[edit] Patents

Patent images in TIFF format

es:Emile Berliner fr:Émile Berliner nl:Emile Berliner ja:エミール・ベルリナー pt:Émile Berliner ru:Берлинер, Эмиль sv:Emile Berliner uk:Берлінер Еміль

Emile Berliner

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