Emile Berliner: Father of the recording industry
Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the telephone; he was just the first to patent an improved version of it. Thomas A. Edison was not the inventor of the microphone, the transformer or the gramophone, the record player used by generations before the advent of the digital age. The credit for inventing the microphone and transformer, the heart and guts of the telephone, and the record player and records, belongs to one man -- Emile Berliner, father of the recording industry. Yet few of us know of Emile or his accomplishments. He was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1851, the fourth of 13 children. His father was a merchant and Talmudic scholar and his mother an amateur musician. The family was of comfortable means until Emile's older brothers were mustered into the military. Without their help, their father could not support the family, forcing Emile, 14, to quit school and get a job.