Grandpa Berliner

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a huge nerd.  Okay, let me rephrase that, they know I am a huge music history nerd.

Anything I can get my hands on, I devour. I mean what kind of girl buys herself a defunct Yugoslavian bill so she can keep Tesla close by? Uh, a crazy one?… (Okay. Let me just put away my wallet.) Now, where was I? Yes, Grandpa Berliner, A.K.A. Emile Berliner.

Young Berliner.Telcomhistory.orgjpgIn 1887, on November 8th, Berliner’s patent for the Gramophone was issued. This invention is important to many music-lovers and also the day I chose to re-launch SoundSynapses after years of delay and life events. I’ll always be passionate about music and I know that many great inventors were/are as well.

Google can direct you to resources galore about the invention of the Gramophone and Emile Berliner, but of the things I found, I most enjoyed hearing about him from his grandson, Oliver. He gave a talk to the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) on Oct 30th, 2011. Emile also received a patent for Acoustic Tile. I admire his love of music and wanting to improve the listening experience through his inventions. He states in his patent for acoustic tile, “My invention is particularly applicable to the walls of auditoriums, theaters, concert halls, churches and the like, where it is important to have good acoustics.”
I also found this very sweet recording of Emile singing to one of his grandsons, Bobby. The last thing he says is such a familiar sentiment from parents and grandparents. You’ll get a kick out of it. “Grandpa Berliner,” I am thinking of you today. Check out the Sound Synapses playlist entitled Gramophone for YouTube videos on the subject.