The story of the sound recording industry is mostly a story of musical entertainment on phonograph discs for the whole period from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to about the 1950s, when new technologies emerged. The major players in the industry were Victor, Columbia and HMV (which originally stood for His Master’s Voice) until the end of World War II, and are still important today. These three companies all got their start in the 1890s, when the phonograph was still young. Thomas Edison’s 1877 invention of the phonograph was followed by many imitators, most notably the “graphophone,” which became the basis of the Columbia company. Both inventions used a cylinder record which captured sound in a groove. Just as the graphophone of 1887 borrowed many ideas from Edison, so too did Edison’s “improved phonograph” of 1888 borrow back from the graphophone. Soon both machines were for sale or lease to the public. The primary market was intended to be businessman, lawyers, court reporters, and others who currently used stenography to capture important thoughts or compose letters. Although the sound recorder as a business machine has its own history, it is the entertainment uses of sound recording that made the biggest impact.