1800s - Thomas Edison creates a device that can play back and record sound mechanically. The device is made of a metal stylus and a foil-wrapped cylinder.
Mid-1800s - Alexander Graham Bell develops a wax-coated cardboard cylinder that produced a better sound. Edison responds by creating his own wax-based device.
Late 1800s - Edison forms the North American Phonograph Company.
Early 1900s - Physicist Guglielmo Marconi lays foundation for modern radio. Emile Berliner introduces the shellac disc, which eventually became the standard for recording and playing music.
1920s - AT&T's Bell Labs introduces electrical recording and playback systems.
1930s - The tape recorder is invented. The record industry faces competition from radio but finds success with a new device, the jukebox. People listen to music on 78 rpm (evolution per minute) records, which store three to five minutes of sound.