MP-1982.69.5 | Record Matrix Room, Berliner Gramophone Company, Montreal, QC, 1910

Record Matrix Room, Berliner Gramophone Company, Montreal, QC, 1910
Anonyme - Anonymous
1910, 20th century
Silver salts on paper - Gelatin silver process
12 x 17 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , industrial (826) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

At the end of the 19th century, the stunning advances in long-distance sound transmission and telecommunications transform the daily lives of Canadians. The advent of the phonograph is just one element on what can be called a sound revolution. The phonograph gives birth to the recording industry, which in turn stimulates the music industry.

In 1877, Thomas Edison builds a cylinder phonograph in West Orange, New Jersey. The microphone is invented in 1878 by the Englishman D. E. Hughes. In 1881, the Frenchman Clément Ader uses a stereophonic process he developed to audition some musicians. In 1896, the Italian Guglielmo Marconi builds the first radio installation. From relay stations located in Newfoundland and Ireland, Marconi transmits the first international telegram. On December 28, 1895, in the Grand Café in Paris, the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière present the first public screening of a motion picture.

The first phonograph manufacturer in Montreal opens in 1899: the Berliner Gramophone Co., which begins recording its own records in 1904. It is one of the first such companies in the world. Canadians are also making movies during this period.

These inventions and others transform the leisure time of Canadians, and help reduce the distance not only between Canadians but also between them and other peoples in the world.

Source : Brand New and Wonderful: The Rise of Technology [Web tour], by Jacques G. Ruelland, Université de Montréal (see Links)

  • What

    The Berliner Gramophone Co. of Montreal produces sound-recording equipment and records.

  • Where

    In Montreal, the Berliner Gramophone Co. opens a factory in space rented from Bell Canada. It also opens a store at 2315-2316 Sainte Catherine Street.

  • When

    In 1908, the Berliner Gramophone Co. builds a new factory at the corner of Saint Antoine and Lenoir streets. It is one of the first structures in Montreal made of reinforced concrete.

  • Who

    The German Émile Berliner establishes, with partners, the Berliner Gramophone Co. in 1895. Its early years are difficult, marked by competition to register patents, industrial espionage and personal rivalries.