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The turntable is an electric sound reproduction device consisting of a rotating platter, on which to place a record that will be read by an arm equipped with a stylus sliding on the appropriate grooves. It is an evolution of the gramophone which, invented in the second half of the 19th century by Emile Berliner, replaced the phonograph cylinder with a phonograph record.
The first known invention of a phonograph was the phonoautograph, invented by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville and patented on March 25, 1857.
It was able to graphically transcribe sound waves on a visible medium, but there was no way to reproduce the sound registered.
The device consisted of a horn that concentrated sound on a membrane to which a pigskin bristle was attached. Initially the writing medium was a smoke-blackened glass, on which the bristle engraved the path. Subsequently, a blackened sheet of paper was used fixed on a cylinder, a solution similar to that subsequently adopted by Edison. In another solution, a roll of paper was used. Its use was limited as a laboratory instrument for acoustic studies, with similar function to the modern oscilloscope.
The French scientist Charles Cros presented on April 18, 1877 a theory on the functioning of a hypothetical phonograph, but did not make any practical apparatus.