History Behind Vinyl Records

History Behind Vinyl Records


There is probably no way one could imagine not being able to get any song at any time with the push of one finger. With today’s innovative world of technology, one can have access to any song, and all the music that covers the globe, right at their fingertips by way of subscription-based streaming. Therefore, some may wonder how and why in the world, would anyone want a vinyl record, and even more so, how could vinyl records actually be making a comeback. Well, it is quite simple for the ones out there who are audio enthusiasts and collectors of vinyl records as Alexander Djerassi is a collector. Many collectors pay a lot of money just for one record, and there is something extra special about not having the best in quality with the scratchiness and popping sound of that old vinyl. Perhaps it is the simple love of having a moment of nostalgia. However, from vinyl to streaming there is a lot of history. And, one would have to go back to see just how vinyl records came to be in order to have an appreciation for where one is today in regards to the sound of music. So, let’s take a look at the history behind vinyl records.


It all started with the phonautograph. In 1857 the phonautograph was invented by Edouard Leon Scott. Edouard Leon Scott was a French inventor who was interested in getting a better understanding of sound and how it works. With this device, sound would be represented graphically onto paper that were small discs by way of a vibrating pen. However, in 1878 Thomas Edison took the phonautograph a step further by creating a way to hear music by using a stylus. The stylus would cut grooves into tinfoil. This enabled sound to be recorded and then played back.

Next, it is important to note that while the phonautograph was being invented in 1857 a decade later a vital part of the vinyl history was invented. Yes, in 1867, the gramophone was invented by Emile Berliner, a German born US citizen. The gramophone is the first actual record player as it played rubber discs that were seven inches. It was operated by hand. Later in 1901 a record player called the Red Seal was released by the Victor Company. The Red Seal played vinyl records that were ten inches.

Continuing to move along, or one may say leap forward to 1948 when the 33 1/3 RPM was released by Columbia Records. This is the next step in the history behind vinyl records. The 33 1/3 RPM was made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC as it is referred to. The grooves in the vinyl have the recorded sound and as the record spins needle runs on the grooves. This passes the information or sound to the electromagnetic head.
Fast forward again to 1982 when Sony invented the compact disc (or CD as it is most commonly referred). This basically made the beloved vinyl record obsolete except for collectors like Alexander Djerassi.

History of Memorial Day

For many Americans, Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer marked by barbecues, family gatherings and pool openings. The day is sometimes looked upon as just another day to celebrate. However, it is a day that comes with a high price. A price paid in American lives in sacrifice to the freedoms and traditions for which its citizens are accustomed. Not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, the last Monday of May is dedicated to the men and women who gave their all for their country. After the Civil War, this day was known as Decoration Day. Started by a Civil war veteran, General John A. Logan, it has not been established when the change in name took place; however, this became a federal holiday in 1971. On the very first Decoration Day, the graves in Arlington National Cemetery were decorated in remembrance.

Growing up in the United States, Andrew Napolitano has witnessed many of the traditions associated with Memorial Day. Cities and towns scattered throughout the United States have dedicated parades each year to honor the fallen. Hometowns across the U.S. show gratitude with yellow ribbons, flags, flowers and wreaths, leaving a sense of oneness and overflowing patriotism in its wake. Other towns visit cemeteries in mass and pay tribute. A program titled “Wreaths Across America” accepts donations and ensures that every veteran grave has a wreath by coordinating ceremonies. Nationally, a moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time for all to reflect upon the value of freedom. The displays of recognition simultaneously acknowledge the past in gratitude for the future.

America’s conflict-filled history and future is painted with the blood of its service members. Mothers, Daughters, Fathers, Sons, Aunts, Uncles, Wives and Husbands are deployed in vast numbers to this day. Its military has engaged in some of the deadliest conflicts in its pursuit of freedom. Current day, almost 970,000 veterans return from conflict with some sort of disability and some never return at all, leaving a gaping wound in the hearts of their loved ones. For each service member that is killed, there is a story and a life behind and outside of that uniform—a future that has been cut short for the greater cause. Not only is this day a tribute to those service members who lost their lives, but also to their families that pay the cost.

Though it is a somber occasion, it is still cause to celebrate. The United States is one of the world’s largest volunteer military organizations. The members of the United States Armed Forces are paid and receive benefits in serving. However, it is the belief that this is a country worth dying for that keeps many in its ranks. The military comprises nearly 1.4 million members. Many more will continue to enlist in service to the red, white and blue, and some will give their lives for it. This May, like the vast majority of fellow Americans, Andrew Napolitano will be honoring the American heroes who gave their lives, and also reflecting upon the cost of freedom.

Law In The Medieval Times

One of the main things fascinating about medieval law history is transforming a medieval legal system based on trial by ordeal to a system based upon juries to pronounce final felony charges against defendants by the mid-13th century. At the period, it was commonplace for a person’s sentence to be limited to the maximum term allowed for each crime. For repeat offenders, there was no statute of limitations on their punishments. Likewise, for those who were found guilty of crimes against God, or the church, there was no end to their punishment severity. Alexander Djerassi enjoys reading about the history of law.  A few of the most noteworthy characteristics of the new criminal justice system in the middle ages were the trial by ordeal. In the wake of the advancement in criminal justice, the medieval jury system gave way to the alternative system of trial by ordeal. The jury system had been replaced by the inquisitor, who chose the jury members who were then required to pass a series of examinations to prove their reliability. The king could still punish a guilty person with a torturous process known as the rack or with imprisonment. This concept, which can still be seen in some legal systems of today, saw the defendant brought before a judge or jury of twelve men with the option of either an ordeal or a crowning sacrifice. If the defendant chose to go to the gallows, they would spend the rest of their life in prison, while the guilty were burnt at stake. A related penalty, known as the ‘blazon,’ saw the defendant publicly branded as an outlaw. The formation of the jury system in the middle ages marked the evolution of medieval law. However, juries continued to play a vital role in the formulation of legislation. The introduction of trial by ordeal as the primary means of punishing criminal offenders brought about major changes in how the law was applied. This change was developing innovative ideas and procedures and reflecting the expansion of ideas associated with religious themes. Such instances as crucifixion and burning of heretics and the introduction of capital punishment marked the first stage of failure for the common man’s rights in the medieval era. Medieval legal mandates and history are often considered the time when the first rules of private governance were introduced. Most towns had a small gibbet to be thrown at criminals. This act terrified many criminals, and it was this fear that caused the first set of rules to be issued in the 12th century. The first set of rules were more like civil mandates and not criminal infractions.  It also included other punishments like the country’s banishment, the payment of money as a fine, wearing a ‘bell’ which was branded on one’s neck, and many other penalties. Reading about the history of law is fascinating to Alexander Djerassi. The trials in the middle ages were often lengthy, and the procedure often included several days of investigation before the verdict was reached. The inquiry procedure sometimes continued even after the bail had freed the accused.