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1904 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
January  Newly founded Daily Mirror becomes an illustrated tabloid newspaper and changes its name to the Daily Illustrated Mirror, with the price halved to ½d (0.21p).  
February 1  Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) records the first million-selling record: Vesti la Giubba (On with the Motley) from Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci. It is one of 10 recordings made in the session for Victor Records in the US for which the singer is paid $4,000. By 1952 Caruso’s recordings for RCA-Victor make over $3.5m in royalties—the largest sum earned by any of the company’s recording artists up to that date.  
April 3  First permanent cinema, Världen Rund-Maailman Ympäri (Around the World), is opened in Helsinki, Finland by engineer turned photographer K E Ståhlberg (1862-1919).  
April 18  First edition of French newspaper L'Humanité published by Jean Jaurès.  
spring  Neophone audio discs are introduced in UK. Invented by William Michaelis of Finsbury Square, London, the hill-and-dale recordings are pressed into plastic on a cardboard substrate; nine-inch discs cost 6d (2½p), 12-inch discs 1s (5p). Players cost between 21s (£1.05) and £20. Single-sided 20-inch discs costing 10s 6d (52½p) are also available until 1906, giving 8-10 mins playing time (the first ‘long-playing’ discs). The company survives until 1908.  
June 7  Daily News newspaper reports a 'seeing by wire' invention called the Televista invented by a Dr Low.  
August  Wireless Telegraphy Act (4 Ed.7, c.24) establishes the need for all UK wireless telegraphy users to obtain a licence for transmitting and receiving. The Act regulates all wireless communication to ensure that the entire radio frequency spectrum shall be used for the public good, and to allow development and enforcement of international agreements. It also allows Marconigrams to and from ships to be carried through the General Post Office's landlines. Fees from the receiving licence are later used to fund the BBC. This is not, as previously thought, the first radiocommunications legislation in the world, although it is the first to regulate existing wireless operations
September 17  First permanent cinema in Denmark is opened by Constantin Philipsen in Copenhagen.  
December 28  Weather reports relayed by wireless telegraphy are first published in London.  
•  Messter demonstrates his Biophone, a film system with synchronous sound from gramophone records.  
•  A C & R C Bromhead move Gaumont Ltd film production from Brixton to a new 14-acre site off Dog Kennel Hill in Dulwich, south London. An open air rotating wooden stage is constructed. > February 1905
•  H D Taylor patents his invention of coated lenses.  
•  Eugène Lauste devises and builds a sound-on-film system, using separate 35mm films for picture and sound. As yet it lacks a means of amplification. 0025  > 1907
•  First practical photoelectric cell is devised by Johann Phillip Ludwig Elster in Germany.  
•  Optical Lantern and Kinematograph Journal is first published in the UK.  
•  First telegraphic transmission of photographs is made by Arthur Korn from Munich to Nuremberg.  
•  Mechanical colour television system proposed in Germany by Frankenstein and Jaworski.  
•  Pathé record company advertising claims 12,000 title catalogue, 3,200 workers and daily output of 1,000 phonographs and 50,000 cylinders.  
•  Odeon issues the first double-sided gramophone discs.  
•  In US Edison cylinders cost 35 cents, Columbia cylinders 25 cents, Victor 10-inch discs $1.00.  
•  J A Fleming, English physicist, invents the valve (thermionic tube; US: vacuum tube).  
•  The first film shot in Finland shows the Pupils of Nikolai Street School during Break.  
•  The ice cream cone is introduced at the St Louis World’s Fair, coinciding with the third Olympic Games in that city. As a result of these events the hamburger is popularised in the USA. Also in the field of convenience foods, the American Thomas Sullivan invents the teabag.  
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Page updated 24 November 2008
© David Fisher