Case Files: Emile Berliner

Group photograph: Sperry, Zeleny, Hayward, Berliner, Jackson.

Case File Catalog Summary

German inventor Emile Berliner was awarded the 1929 Franklin Medal by The Franklin Institute for his "life-work in successful invention." Berliner invented the microphone or "loose contact telephone transmitter" in 1877, and applied its use to telephony. He also developed the Gramophone, or Victor Talking Machine, for which he was awarded a Scott Medal by The Franklin Institute in 1897. Berliner received a 1913 Elliott Cresson Medal for his contributions to the field of telephony and the science of sound reproduction. Among his other achievements, Emile Berliner devised a method for duplicating disc records and invented acoustic tiles, which aid in ensuring proper acoustics in halls and theaters.


The Emile Berliner presentation is made possible by support from The Barra Foundation and Unisys.

This website is the effort of an in-house special project team at The Franklin Institute, working under the direction of Carol Parssinen, Senior Vice-President for the Center for Innovation in Science Learning, and Bo Hammer, Vice-President for The Franklin Center.

Special project team members from the Educational Technology department are:
Karen Elinich, Barbara Holberg, and Margaret Ennis.

Special project team members from the Curatorial department are:
John Alviti and Andre Pollack.

The project's Advisory Board Members are:
Ruth Schwartz-Cowan, Leonard Rosenfeld, Nathan Ensmenger, and Susan Yoon.

Resource - Emile Berliner - Case File Report

Read the Committee on Science and the Arts Report on Emile Berliner’s life and his discovery of loose contact and their application to telephony in the microphone

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