The First Recording Studio in the World: A History

If you’ve ever been to a recording studio or heard a song on the radio, you know the magic of recorded music. But have you ever wondered how it all started? In this article, we’ll take a trip back in time to discover the first recording studio in the world and the pioneers who made it all possible.


Before the invention of recording technology, music could only be experienced in the moment. If you wanted to hear your favorite band, you had to go see them live. But in the late 1800s, everything changed. The phonograph was invented, and suddenly, people could listen to music whenever they wanted. But in order to make a recording, you needed a recording studio.

The Phonograph

The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877. Edison’s phonograph used a cylinder covered in wax to record sound. When you spoke into a horn, the sound waves would cause a needle to vibrate, which in turn would make an impression on the wax cylinder. To play back the recording, you would simply place the needle back on the cylinder, and the vibrations would be amplified and played through a speaker.

The First Recording Studio

The first recording studio in the world was built by Edison in 1889. Located in West Orange, New Jersey, the studio was called the “Edison Laboratory.” It consisted of a small room with a piano, a horn, and a phonograph. Musicians would perform in front of the horn, and the sound would be recorded onto a wax cylinder.

The First Recordings

The first recordings made in the Edison Laboratory were not of music, but of spoken word. Edison himself recorded a few phrases such as “Mary had a little lamb” and “How are you, Mr. Edison?” But soon, other people began recording their own voices as well. One of the most famous early recordings was made by a man named John L. Sullivan, who was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world at the time. Sullivan recited a poem called “The Modern Gladiator,” and the recording was sold to the public.

Music on Record

It didn’t take long for people to realize that music could be recorded as well. In fact, the first commercial recording of music was made in 1890 by a group called the U.S. Marine Band. They recorded two songs: “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Semper Fidelis.” The recordings were a huge success, and soon other musicians began recording their own music as well.

The Growth of the Recording Industry

With the success of the early recordings, the recording industry began to grow rapidly. More and more musicians wanted to make records, and more and more people wanted to buy them. Edison’s phonograph was just the beginning. Soon, other inventors came up with their own recording technologies, and competition in the industry became fierce.


The first recording studio in the world was built by Thomas Edison in 1889. The Edison Laboratory was a small room with a piano, a horn, and a phonograph. The first recordings made in the studio were of spoken word, but soon, musicians began recording their music as well. The growth of the recording industry was rapid, and by the early 1900s, recorded music had become a huge part of popular culture.

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