The cylinder is the recording medium of the phonograph, the first "talking machine" in the world, invented by Thomas A. Edison in 1877. A number of technical improvements were introduced in 1887. The vertical recording of the sound track was no longer embossed in tin foil, but instead in a wax layer. The cylinder can therefore be spoken into and played back multiple times. The talking machine was particularly popular as a dictation device. In the music industry, the wax cylinder and phonograph were unable to compete with records and gramophones.