Detail from the cover of Scientific American's March 9, 1907 issue, which had a glowing article about the telharmonium. (Image: archive.org)
It's a tumultuous time for streaming music services. One of the year's biggest albums, Adele's 25, was released on November 20, but not made available on Apple Music, Spotify, or any other streaming app by the artist's own decision. On November 23, music service Rdio, the first smartphone-era music streaming service to try to crack the U.S. market, began winding down after five years of struggling to attract paying subscribers.
Rdio, however, was not the first service to allow American subscribers to stream music from their phones. That honor goes to the telharmonium, the first patent for which was granted in 1897. It was, essentially, a Victorian Spotify.