The phonograph changed society in much the same way that the first musical notation or the invention of the metronome changed the way musical tempo was measured and written; it provided a mechanical means of spreading music to the world, according to the New York Times. Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1887 and with it the foundations for the music industry were born.
Edison was working on his design for a telephone transmitter when he noticed that sounds could be recorded by a stylus using tin foil wrapped around a cylinder. Within a few months, Edison had a basic design that he worked on for the next 10 years until he came up with a commercial application.
The phonograph revolutionized the art of music. Performances were recorded and people could listen to them at their leisure. It also made music and communication more public.
The invention signaled the birth of a new form of entertainment and an entirely new field of business that fed the demand for the new invention, the music industry. Edison was given the title of "Wizard of Menlo Park," the location of his laboratory, for his contribution.