The phonograph is an instrument used for recording and later reproducing sound. The first truly effective phonograph was invented by Edison in 1877. It used a 'tinfoil’ - that is, the sound vibrations were recorded onto a sheet of tin to be subsequently reproduced. The apparatus was unveiled a year later and became known in Europe via the Universal Exhibition in Paris. That same year, in 1878, Edison entrusted a French engineer with the manufacture of phonographs for the demonstrations a few hundred of them were produced. The photo shows one of those first French phonographs manufactured at that time for study purposes. This is our ‘tinfoil’ from the Royal Seminary.