The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. On February 19, 1878, Edison was issued the first patent for the phonograph.
Very quickly two competing technologies evolved, those that used the cylinder as a recording device and those that used a flat disk. Initially, those machines using a cylinder were called phonographs and those that used the flat disk were called gramophones. By the early 20th Century the general public was increasingly applying the word "phonograph" indiscriminately to both cylinder and disc machines and to the records they played.
In 1901 the Victor Talking Machine Company was established. It rapidly became a dominate force in the gramophone market with their “Victrola” line of machines. So much so, that many people came to refer to any record player as a “Victrola.”
The recording technologies were very different. Edison and other cylinder players etched the cylinder in an up and down (vertical) motion while the gramophone disk was etched in a side to side (horizontal) motion.
The cylinder record produced a better quality of sound, but due to manufacturing cost the flat gramophone disk gained in popularity. Disks could be stamped out but cylinders had to be etched individually. By the early 1920’s the cylinder was phased out and only disk recordings were available. Even then Edison maintained the same horizontal recording technique so recording by a gramophone company would not play on an Edison machine and vice versa.
By the early 1990’s a new technology began to displace the phonograph in the home and that was the new compact disk. Today, essentially all record production has ceased.