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140 years of audiobooks (infographic)

History of audiobooks - 60s

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” was the first audio recorded by Thomas Edison in 1877 on his newly invented phonograph.

Audiobooks are growing on an unprecedented scale, and many users think they are a modern invention.

Contrary to popular belief, the history of audiobooks starts much earlier than ebooks. Digital books were invented in 1971, while audiobooks are by 100 years older.

The Curious Reader, a popular online literary magazine based in Mumbai, India, has just released a wonderful infographic that depicts the most important facts in the history of audiobooks.

It all started in 1877, the year Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, a device for recording and reproduction of sound. He recited and recorded a popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” – and this is the first instance of recorded verse.

Originally audiobooks were called “talking books” and it took quite a long time to change it. Only in 1994, almost 120 years after Edison’s first recording, The Audio Publishers Association announced that the term “audiobook” was the industry standard.

Click or tap the infographic to see it enlarged.

A brief history of audiobooks - full infographic

Via The Curious Reader Blog.

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