Edison's phonograph, which came about as a happy accident, paved the way for the entire field of recording technology - recordings on thread, ungrooved records for home recording and a whole slew of magnetic wire recorders, initially used during World War II and eventually adopted by civilians.
Several attempts were made to improve the record player, from making it wireless and broadcastable through a radio, to developing hi-fi systems, to installing an in-car record changer that could play up to 14 records with minimal skipping, before cassettes and then CDs took over. Between CDs and iPods, we were treated to the Mini Disc (pictured above), Sony's attempt to miniaturize CDs and make the players more portable.
And finally, after loading MP3 after MP3 onto their iPods, people became nostalgic for vinyl. Follow the development of recording tech in our gallery.