Used from about 1890. Moulded cylinders were introduced in 1902.
Patented in Britain and America by Danish inventor Valdemar Poulsen, in 1899, this magnetic system never competed successfully with cylinders. Military research and improvements to the technology during World War II led to a brief resurgence of commercial interest.
Reproducing piano rolls
The three major brands were Welte-Mignon from 1904, Duo-Art from 1913, and Ampico from 1916.
78 rpm discs (12”, 10”)
The industry norm from the 1920s to the 1950s.
16” transcription discs
Lacquer (acetate), later vinyl, discs primarily used in the radio and film industries, during the 1930 and 40s.
Long Playing records (12”, 10”)
Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948.
45 rpm discs (singles)
Introduced by RCA Victor in 1949.
Ampex Corp. was the first company to market high-quality tape recording and playback equipment in the U.S.A., starting in 1948. Sales of pre-recorded reel-to-reel tapes began about 1954.
Designed to overcome the tedious process of manually threading tapes onto take-up spools, cartridges were introduced by RCA in 1958.
Introduced by Philips in 1963, the cassette transformed the domestic and mobile market for recorded sound.
Eight-track continuous play stereo tape cartridges
Developed by Lear Jet Corp. in 1965 and adopted by RCA, Motorola and the Ford Motor Corp., this format was designed for use in cars.
Introduced by Philips and Sony in 1983, the CD was the first revolution in sound production since the application of electrical recording in 1924-25.
Introduced by Sony in 1986.