Back in the day it was referred to as the gramophone. Like many other items including the light bulb and the car it's probably impossible to determine the very first inventor. Often credit goes to the one who is the best lobbyist or develops the first practical device. Today, February 19, 1879, Thomas Edison was granted his patent for the gramophone.

The earliest gramophones recorded on cylinders and then evolved to the round flat discs many of his remember and still have. The photo of the record I'm holding is gigantic. No one really knows what was used to play it. It dates from 1953. Here's a look at some really old and unique audio recordings I found on youtube.

The earliest recording of a Presidents voice is believed to be this one of Benjamin Harrison.

Here's and audio and film combination from 1888

How about some music? It's Caruso from 1902.