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First Phonograph Record

The first disc-type phonograph record was demonstrated publicly in May 1888. The invention of Emile Berliner of Washington, D.C., was called a gramophone and used a flat disc of grooves to reproduce sound, rather than the cylinders of the day. These proved easier to duplicate for the mass market. A few years later, Berliner helped found what would become the Victor Talking Machine Company. The era of the disc phonograph record lasted about a century, until replaced by compact discs in the 1980s. Now, CD sales have fallen from more than $13 billion in 2000 to about $5.5 billion, as consumers turn to downloaded digital music.

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