Phonographia Endnotes




Phonographia - What are Phonographia?

(1) Phonographia are connections with the phonograph and recorded sound, primarily from visual and popular culture. Connections are made with strings and the ends of the strings tell their stories.

The following are sources for some of those connections.

Phonograph related paper memorabilia and ephemera such as advertisements, photographs, and paper media, e.g., newspapers, periodicals, cartoons, postcards, comics, greeting cards, Valentine cards, sheet music, etc.

Phonograph related words and phrases such as 'sounds like a broken record,' 'in the groove,' 'record album,' 'B-Side', etc.

Phonograph references in lyrics of recorded music.

Phonographs in literature (which make it part of PhonoLiterature) and other stories which contain reminders of how recorded sound has impacted individual lives.

Phonograph connections in art (see PhonoArt) which can be found in museums, illustrations for books, posters, lithographs, advertisements, etc.

Phonograph connections can also be made by objects and sightings such as the Grammy Award statue, seeing a phonograph in a movie or in a museum, a modern ad, an LP album cover, etc.

A phonograph connection can be a simple reference in any context. In the book Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford there is a scene that describes a Victrola as being in the finest Seattle dress shop where a character of the story is shopping for a dress. The Victrola is a detail of the room and of its time period but it's not essential to the story.

A phonograph connection can also be made by using multiple strings with multiple degrees of separation.

For examples of the phonograph's universe of connections related to the development and evolution of the phonograph industry see Connections and the Creation of an Industry.



(2) Sound recording of the human voice was actually invented twice, first by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville in 1857 in France and then by Thomas Edison's December 6, 1877 with his Phonograph that recorded and played back recorded sound.

Other earlier "scientific breakthroughs in acoustics of the 19th century" had also "made it only a matter of time" before sound would be captured. See Sound Beats "Phonograph history" by Mason Vander Lugt, Syracuse University catalog librarian and proprietor of the historical music blog Dinosaur Discs, for the example of Thomas Young's 1807 description of a ‘vibrograph’ "used to measure the frequency of a sounding body (read: tuning fork) by etching the vibration of the fork into the surface of a soot-covered cylinder." Additionally, the 1843 design can be seen of Jean-Marie-Constant Duhamel's independently designed “vibroscope,” "which moved the cylinder laterally using of a feedscrew, a feature of the first generation of phonographs." - Sound Beat, March 28, 2013


Duhamel's 1843 Vibroscope (Courtesy Sound Beat)


For an excellent overview of the history of recorded sound see "The Birth of the Recording Industry" by Allen Koenigsberg ©1990.



(1) "everything comes with strings attached, and you can follow those strings into every corner of our past and present." Bill McKibben

"As I write, for instance, I'm listening to Orchestra Baobab on Spotify. It was the house band at a Dakar nightclub in the 1970s, where its music reflected the Cuban beats that came with sailors to West Africa in the 1940s; eventually the group recorded its best album at a Paris studio, and now it somehow resides on a computer server where 196,847 people from across the planet listen to it each month. Try to parse the play of history and technology and commerce and spirituality and swing that make up the sound pouring into my headphones ”the colonialisms layered on top of one another; the questions of race, identity, pop, purity. Or consider what I'm going to have for dinner, or what you're wearing on your back -- everything comes with strings attached, and you can follow those strings into every corner of our past and present." McKibben, Bill. Falter (pp. 9-10). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition. Paris

DB's note: McKibben's use of "strings" as a metaphor for 'connections' and his example of listening to Orchestra Baobab captures the unlimited scope of possibilities and endless trails which takes as its operational assumption. In showing examples of popular culture's multifaceted connections the endpoints of these phonograph strings offer stories and glimpses of everyday life with semblances of travelling in time.



Trumpeting the Revolution

(3) "With morning-glory horn in hand, I take this opportunity to remind all: Do not forget the Phonograph. On December 6th, wish the Phonograph a Happy Birthday. The magic is alive." Doug Boilesen, p. 67, Black Rock Portraits on the Playa by Douglas Keister ©1990.

Black Rock Portraits on the Playa - Photographs by Douglas Keister features friends and friends of friends having their portraits taken on the playa in whatever way they wanted to create an image and tell a story.

As a Friend of the Phonograph my portrait selection was easy. I had been to this magical place and camped under the stars on the playa multiple times in the 1980's. Doug Keister's (DK's) invitation to his circle of friends to experience the playa and document their portraits in 1989 also preceded a turning point in the history of this area as the Burning Man Project coincidentally moved from its San Francisco Beach location to the Black Rock Desert. On September 30, 1990 the first burning of the 40 foot wooden man on the Black Rock Desert was watched by approximately 350 attendees.

For myself, the Black Rock Desert is synonymous with quiet and solitude so that 75,000 attending Burning Man in 2022 seems like an alternative universe. I have never attended Burning Man and never will.

I'm fortunate for my visits in the 1980's to the Black Rock Desert. The portraits in Keister's book will also always be special because DK is a long-time friend and the others are friends and acquaintances who each had a chance to define their portrait that will live for decades because their moment was captured on the Black Rock Desert by DK.


Trumpeting the Revolution!


Black Rock: Portraits on the Playa, Photographs by Douglas Keister, Fisher Photo Press, January 1, 1990



Evolution of a Revolution

(1) Nickel-in-the-Slot Victor Record B-28211Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Victor matrix B-28211. Nickel in the slot / Zez Confrey Orchestra," accessed April 22, 2021,


(2) The Type 'G' "Baby Grand in 1894 was the first in the Columbia Phonograph Companies' line "to be produced exclusively for the home entertainment market." The 1895 "Columbia Bijou was the second model designed specifically for the home..." Columbia Phonograph Companion Volume I by Howard Hazelcorn, published by Mulholland Press, Inc., ©1999 Howard Hazelcorn.


(3A) Catalogue Musical Phonograms issued by The North American Phonograph Co, First Edition 1890 (with records made at the Edison Laboratory under the supervision of A. Theo. E. Wangemann - Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912 With an Illustrated History of the Phonograph by Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press, ©1987 Allen Koenigsberg, p. 109.


(3B) The Edison Home Phonograph Model A was introduced in 1896. The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929 by George L. Frow and Albert F. Sefl, Printed by Flo-Print, ©1978 George L. Frow.


(4) "For the first time in decades, vinyl sales surpassed CD sales in the first half of 2020 according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America." Nick Greenhalgh – Reporter/Colorado Inno associate editor, Denver Business Journal Mar 22, 2021.



The Phonograph Lives!

(3) Listen HERE for a listing of sounds of Earth on Voyager's Golden Record


(4) Photograph from NASA/JPL extracted on 8/29/2019 from UWNews, Greetings from Earth: Documents that Changed the World podcast revisits Voyager’s ‘Golden Record,’ 1977


(5) Photograph from NASA/JPL "Making the Golden Record" extracted on 8/29/2019


(6) - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

The Voyager's phonograph records used a needle and 'grooves' and were not laser discs although images were viewable on the discs. The record used analog technology and the audio was played at 16 2/3 rpm. The overall intent was remarkable - communicate "a story of our world to extraterrestrials." For more information about this Voyager phonograph record sent to the stars, read Carl Sagan's Murmurs of Earth or visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory website "What is the Golden Record?"




Friends of the Phonograph Go GREEN

(1) There are ongoing debates about the 'warmth' of vinyl records and the sound superiority of one format over another, e.g., 180 Gram Vinyl LPs vs. CDs vs. 320k mp3 file. (Does Vinyl Really Sound Better? July 29, 2013 by Mark Richardson) makes other important considerations about listening to vinyl:

"But the other part of it is that the experience of listening to an LP involves a lot more than remastering and sound sources. There's the act of putting a record on, there is the comforting surface noise, there is the fact that LPs are beautiful objects and CDs have always looked like plastic office supplies. So enjoying what an LP has to offer is in no way contingent on convincing yourself that they necessarily sound better than CDs."



Friends of the Phonograph - Favorite Movies

(1) - Favorite Movies Selected by Friends of the Phonograph is a roundabout way to celebrate the connection between the phonograph and talking movies which began when W. K. L. Dickson's Kinetophonograph's synchronized film and with recorded sound using an Edison cylinder Phonograph. Watch the circa 1895 experiment courtesy of the Library of Congress and The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

For a more complete description of this experiment and details of its restoration see Wikipedia's The Dickson Experimental Sound Film.



Phonograph Memories and a few stories - Friends of the Phonograph

(1) The Memories of the Phonograph section was created as a place to document my parent's first recollections of the phonograph. The memories, however, expanded to include other FOTP stories and also more stories about my parents growing up in Nebraska in the 1920's and 30's.

The phonograph and its records are still being played in the 21st century but significantly less people will have the first hand experience of growing up with a record player since the phonograph has become a niche market for a distinct group of music listeners. Nevertheless, the FOTP Memories section will host stories about the phonograph and recorded sound because recorded music continues to bring the sounds of the world into personal spaces, and memories are still being created about how, when and where recorded sound is experienced.

Finding connections and examining six degrees of separation connections are in my DNA. What Ted Kooser said in his book Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps is likewise true for me: "'ll find me wandering off the track from time to time to talk about my family and the past. As my neighbor's would say, "Sheltered by a wall, even an old man becomes courageous."



FOTP Celebrations, Lists and Reference Material - Friends of the Phonograph

(2) Friends of the Phonograph celebrate phonographia with lists and birthdays. For example, celebrating the birthday of the Phonograph or birthday of one of the phonograph pioneers; celebrating a phonographia On This Day event; using the Phonographia Dictionary to find a definition influenced or focused on its phonograph related perspective, etc.

Over the years my Friends of the Phonograph have been encouraged to identify some of their favorites about the phonograph and make tops five lists, e.g., lists of their favorite songs, record albums, record album covers, movies (with or without phonograph references), etc. This aspect of Phonographia is a remnant of the early years of Friends of the Phonograph, before, and probably has less interest to the general public. Nevertheless, those friendships and roots remain important to me and are therefore now part of


Phonograph Memories and a few stories

(8) Ann Patchett's 2011 interview with Melissa Block was part of NPR Music's 2011 Winter Series where musicians, writers and listeners shared stories about a song that evokes winter for them, along with a memory or story that goes with it. Ann's song is The Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin.'"


(9) Maia Sharp - 2009 - Paul Simon's 1973 single "Kodachrome" was the soundtrack to one of Maia Sharp's cherished childhood triumphs. Interviewed by Melissa Block as part of NPR Music's 2009 Summer Series Maia tells the details of her good memories associated with "Kodachrome."


(10) The Miraculous Phonograph Record by William Saroyan - Saturday Evening Post, September 1983. This short story appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, September 1983 and is based on the fondness William Saroyan still had for his wind-up Victor talking machine and record that he had in 1921 when he was 13.


In Memory of Friends of the Phonograph

(1) William C. Ptacek* by Rene Rondeau - DB Editor's Note - I have included this tribute to Bill whom I did not personally know but who I had the good fortunate to correspond with and then acquire from him one of his replica "Kreusi" tinfoil phonographs. It's a beautiful machine and I also remember how well it was packed.

I had hoped to acquire one of his Brady tinfoil replicas since April 18 is my Dad's birthday and I always thought having a Brady tinfoil (Edison's second tinfoil model) to mark the event of Edison taking it to Washington, D.C. to present to the Academy of Sciences was a poetic touch and reminder of my dad's birthday. On the following day Edison had his photograph taken in the Brady Studio (which is why that model is called the "Brady" phonograph by collectors). Unfortunately Bill's tragic death prevented Bill making one more. Although he was never an official member of Friends of the Phonograph he has been added posthumously as an honorary one.


Memories of the Phonograph - Quotes

(2) "And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray . . . when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea . . .But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop; of their essence, the vast structure of recollection." Marcel Proust À la recherche du temps perdu as quoted in To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting by Philipp Blom. From Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann, Paris, 1954 pp. 46-7. The translation is quoted in Swann's Way, trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff, London, 1960 p.41.


(3) "A Memory is only a Prince Charming..." - De Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Google Scholar], p.184


(4) "The construction and demolition of monuments are history..." Richard White emeritus professor of American history at Stanford University and the author, with the photographer Jesse White, of California Exposures: Envisioning Myth and History. New York TImes Opinion piece.


(5) "A story is what holds us together..." Marshall Dodge, a Maine storyteller at the WYNC Storytelling Festival, New Yorker, October 22, 1979 p.32.



The pages of these scrapbooks are from typical sources: newspaper clippings, postcards, trade cards, photographs and a variety of other ephemera that are "minor transient documents of everyday life." Collected from multiple popular culture sources everything in phonographia has a thematic place in one of its scrapbooks.

In Helen Macdonald's collection of essays titled Vesper Flights she describes her book as a "Wunderkammer," or "Cabinet of Curiosities." Her book, she says "is full of strange things and it is concerned with the quality of wonder."

The themes inside Phonographia's scrapbooks are certainly not comparable to the importance of Macdonald's subjects of the environment and the non-human beings of this planet. But phonograph related ephemera, like Macdonald's "Wunkerkammer," include interesting things from multiple time periods of popular culture and wonder does describe the phonograph, a machine that changed the human perception of ephemeral sound itself.

Phonograph connections with popular culture can also be displayed as new examples of Cabinets of Curiosities. The context and details of related ephemera added to the artifacts can resonate in ways that can make these exhibits quite remarkable and recognizable for their place in the evolution of recorded sound and consumerism.


Photograph courtesy of William Maus, May 2019 at the Johnson Victrola Museum


(2) "bottles it up for future use" - The New York Times November 7, 1877 in an article titled THE PHONOGRAPH: "The telephone was justly regarded as an ingenious invention when it was first brought before the public, but it is destined to be entirely eclipsed by the new invention of the phonograph. The former transmitted sound. The latter bottles it up for future use....“


(3) "every home" - "I want to See a Phonograph in Every American Home." Thomas A. Edison, 1907 ad




(4) "small stories" - How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History By JENNA WORTHAM JUNE 21, 2016 The New York Times Magazine

"We’ve long known that this is how human history works — an unimaginable number of small stories, compressed into one big one."



(4A) the 'B-side" of the phonograph's history is about popular culture and the phonograph as it became a consumer product -- learning about it, hearing recorded music in homes, and seeing multiple aspects of it in daily life. This was a machine that could be called a democratic technology because of its ability to provide voices and music for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Although the later radio would be the device that was truly democratic with its free programming over the air, the phonograph was the technology which allowed the creation and mass production of records with voices and music for the public like the printing press mass produced text in newspapers, pamphlets and books.

To own a phonograph and listen to its records didn't require purchasing tickets or going to a theatre. Class-status or the wealth of a J. P. Morgan were not prerequisites. Advertisements displayed scenes of privileged homes enjoying Grand Opera stars performing and every home was said to have the opportunity to hear those same performers in their own home. Newspapers and periodicals carried messages like the following Edison ad that the phonograph belonged in every American home. In 1908 Edison furthered that opportunity with his offer of "Free Trial Offer. No C.O.D. No Deposit. Not one cent in advance. After the free trial send cash in full or pay on easy monthly terms."

Edison even offered to pay for the return of the phonograph if you didn't want to keep it. His goal was to "see a Phonograph in every American home." All you had to be was "a reliable, responsible person living anywhere in the United States" and you could have the Edison Phonograph Outfit.


Newspaper ad by Edison Phonograph Distributers, Frederick Babson, 1908 (PM-2130)


The A-side of the phonograph's history is what is normally associated with the phonograph, i.e., the record player as the machine that plays music, the phonograph as a consumer product, the physical records, and the recording artists with their respective discographies.

Much of the A-side of phonograph history has been preserved by phonograph collectors and documented by those collectors and organizations like the Antique Phonograph Society, the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS), The City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society (CLPGS) and other scholars and researchers around the world.

See Phonographia's Phonograph Related Resources - Societies, Libraries, Archives, Recordings for references and more details about the A-side of the Phonograph's history including the current definitive series of illustrated books on the phonograph by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul.


(5) "prismatic recollection of history" ibid.
Last year, two scientists presented a theory in quantum mechanics that they called “entangled histories.” They argue that the existence of a particle in space is fractured along many alternate timelines, all of which must be considered to understand the full chronology of its life cycle. It is baffling and exhilarating in the way only quantum physics can be, but one idea stood out as particularly resonant. Jordan Cotler, an author of the paper and a graduate student at Stanford University, has said, “Our best description of the past is not a fixed chronology but multiple chronologies that are intertwined with each other.” We’ve long known that this is how human history works — an unimaginable number of small stories, compressed into one big one. But maybe now we finally have the ability to record and capture them all, and history can become something else entirely: not a handful of voices, but a cacophony.
Using the internet and archives of social media will be a way to "generate a more prismatic recollection of history."


(6) Yo-Yo Ma "connections as a circular loop."

The "circular loop" aspect of connections as described by Yo-Yo Ma, is the human to human relationship and the time/space those happen within. In a New York Times Magazine article by David Marchese (November 20, 2020 titled "Yo-Yo Ma and the Meaning of Life." Yo-Yo responds to the question "What was your own evolution with music and politics?" with the following:

"I think of it almost in terms of young children and how they engage in the world. Growing up is becoming familiar with a series of rolling concentric circles. You’re kind of circling your space, your home, your family. You’re exploring all around. So to your question, becoming a parent was a huge thing. Once you have a child, your sense of time completely changes. You start thinking about a longer stretch of time, where you have to be responsible for another person’s life. You have to think differently responsibilities. If you have a parent who becomes ill and you’re there, that’s a familial responsibility. A friend is in trouble; you help the friend. These are extensions of that concentric circle. New neighbors move in; you try to welcome them. It’s all the connections we make in life. Once you’re connected, you feel responsibility. And “connected” means that it’s a circular loop. I know you, but you have to know me, too. There’s an energy circle that goes back and forth."

This description of "connected" as a circular loop and "an energy circle that goes back and forth" adds spatial dimensions to the historical descriptions of moments in timelines and chronologies beyond being simply connected points. For me the "prismatic recollection of history" with its "unimaginable number of small stories that are not a "fixed chronology but multiple chronologies that are intertwined with each other" combined with these concentric circles" is a more complete description and definition of a 'connection.'


About This Site


(7) "in the funhouse of endless hyperlinks." This phrase is used in a review by Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune, in regards to The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. (Carr, Nicholas, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains The Shallows, W. W. Norton & Co., New York ©2011)

DB's note: I agree with Carr's thesis that the internet is changing human brains for a multiple of reasons. However, I think following connections in the context of popular culture and the phonograph provide new discoveries in the simplest of details. Hyperlinks can be used without the frenetic altering of human attention into rabbit holes and funhouses and for me can be more like pieces of a multi-dimensional puzzle. You can't see all of the pieces on the table but relationships and patterns emerge, and pieces can be put together.

Collecting and Phonographia
(2) p. 137. To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting by Philipp Blom, The Overland Press 2003

Note: See Chapter "Three Flying Ducks" for a history of kitch and the premise that "collected objects have a value for the individual collector that only other collectors can understand." p.166, To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting by Philipp Blom, The Overland Press 2003

"Researchers know that of the two primary forms of accessing memory, recognition and recall, the former is a simpler and more reliable process. It is the association of a physical object with something previously encountered or experienced. This could be because tangible memories utilize all five senses, evoking emotional triggers and transporting us back to a precise time, place or moment."

Excerpt from The New York Times article "Does Anyone Collect Old Emails?" by Peter Funt, April 5, 2019.


(3) Excerpt from The New Yorker "Was this man a genius?" by Julie Hecht, November 22, 1999
"One night in 1975, I was tying up the garbage when my husband called me to come and see something he was watching on TV. “You have to see this!” he called. I couldn’t believe there was anything on television that I had to see, but he sounded as if he had found something exciting and wonderful.


There was a tall, dark, and almost handsome man, dressed in a black turtleneck sweater, with a button-down shirt and a checked sports jacket over it. He was standing on a stage, with a small record-player next to him, and when he put the needle on, it played the Mighty Mouse theme song. The man appeared to have no idea what he was doing until the singing began. Then he knew just what he was doing, and suddenly he turned into a baritone star from a nineteen-fifties musical as he started to lip-synch the words. It wasn’t funny the way other things are funny. It just made you laugh.

The mysterious man was Andy Kaufman, on Saturday Night Live.”

Note: This appearance by Andy Kaufman was on the premiere episode of Saturday Night Life, originally titled NBC Saturday Night, October 11, 1975


There is also Andy Kaufman's reading of "The Great Gatsby" where he starts reading the entire book until the audience gets completely restless. Kaufman then asks the audience if they want him to play the record instead, which he then does. The record player, of course, starts playing an audio LP of "The Great Gatsby."

"The Great Gatsby" Reading by Kaufman and Record Player with "The Great Gatsby" record. Kaufman was known for doing this performance during the early 1970's often to disapproving audiences.


Collecting and Phonographia

(3A) Excerpt from The New York Times article "Does Anyone Collect Old Emails?" by Peter Funt, April 5, 2019

Researchers know that of the two primary forms of accessing memory, recognition and recall, the former is a simpler and more reliable process. It is the association of a physical object with something previously encountered or experienced. This could be because tangible memories utilize all five senses, evoking emotional triggers and transporting us back to a precise time, place or moment.


(3B) "This is emotional, visceral communication that goes far beyond the power of the printed page."

The Belfer archive allows us to feel this sense of history even more vividly, because we can hear what musicians, artists, authors, actors, statesmen, politicians, and other historical figures actually sounded like. This is emotional, visceral communication that goes far beyond the power of the printed page." -- Belfer Audio Archive: Our Cultural Heritage in Sound by John Harvith, p. 152 The Courier: Harvith, John, "Belfer Audio Archive: Our Cultural Heritage in Sound" (1995). The Courier. 323.


(3C) "Music of the past tells us what it felt like to live during the period when it was created. "

"One of the most memorable things anyone has ever said to me about music came from musicologist James Hepokoski, formerly of Oberlin College, now at the University of Minnesota. What Jim said was both incredibly simple and profound: Music of the past tells us what it felt like to live during the period when it was created. Ibid p. 152

On the other hand, can anything (words, music, photographs, etc.) really take us to a place where we think we know how it felt to live during that time period? We can reproduce sound, but is hearing that music really feeling another moment in time with all of its own contextual moments and experiences including its popular culture connections?

In an Ezra Klein interview of author George Saunders, Saunders describes a book by Edmund Wilson called "Patriotic Gore" as follows:

It's "a series of sketches of the literary lights of the 19th century, most of whom we’ve never heard of. And it’s a really beautiful evocation of a world that was totally as real as ours that has vanished. We don’t know these people. It’s really, really hard to recreate their mindsets. And of course, they were very passionate about it. And people wrote 30, 40 novels. And so for me, it was kind of a great book just to say, oh yeah, this cultural moment that we’re in is sort of a beautiful illusion. It seems real to us. You and I could talk for hours about different cultural references. And in another 100 years, it’ll all seem kind of like beautiful nonsense." - The Ezra Klein Show, February 19, 2021 , New York Times interview of George Saunders



Collecting and Phonographia

(3D) "It's never enough. Otherwise it wouldn't be called collecting." The Mercury News, By Matthew Wilson | Bay Area News Group February 16, 2010 re: The Darlene Thorne Collection


(4) "Things are in the saddle, And ride mankind." From Ode, Inscribed to William H. Channing by Ralph Waldo Emerson.



Collecting and Phonographia

(5) illusions of embracing what is forever fading away

"As an object, single or multiplied, it serves the basic function that collecting — call it hoarding, call it installation art — does. It lets us keep the illusion that we can forever embrace, and be embraced by, what is forever fading away." Excerpt from the New York TImes Art Review "The Keeper Reveals the Passion for Collecting."

The University of California at Santa Barbara's Library offers another reason and sequence of becoming an "accidental collector":

Greg Scholl never sought out to become a collector. In fact, as is the case for many accidental collectors, it all started with a curiosity about a subject that turned into a casual hobby and then morphed into a multi-decade long pursuit of collection completion. "How an Accidental Collector Ended Up With 7,500 78 RPM Recordings."

The desire to collect could also be related to wanting to preserve childhood or happy memories in an affection for the past which we now call nostalgia.
Nostalgia - Oxford Languages -- "A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."

It's interesting that 'nostalgia' which was originally a medical term for a form of melancholy or severe homesickness.

In 1898, The New York Times reported that an American soldier had died from a disease so rare that it caused “considerable comment among physicians”: nostalgia. According to a medical authority quoted in The Times, nostalgia was “a form of melancholy brought about by an unsatisfied longing for home. As a medical condition, nostalgia was likened to severe homesickness. Those suffering from it — often, soldiers — were consumed by sadness; some would lose their appetite; others would become weak or lethargic.”

By the 20th century, the definition of “nostalgia” had broadened to mean an everyday feeling of sentimentality or longing. (Sarah Diamond's "Nostalgia", May 20, 2024, The New York Times.)

Collecting can involve many emotions and rationales, positive and negative, for accumulating things: passion; hoarding; historical preservation; curiosity; nostalgia. My favorite reason for collecting, however, is simply for the fun of it, the love of it, and the friends it brings.


(5A) "objects and 'collectibles' exist and have their stories and in the case of recordings, their sounds. They are part of our history and can have extended lives because of collectors." See Harry Smith’s Musical Catalogue of Human Experience “The Anthology of American Folk Music” by Amanda Petrusich, September 28, 2020, The New Yorker who wrote the following:

“The Anthology of American Folk Music” is probably the most significant example of how a particular collector’s preferences can guide (if not dictate) a historical canon. Obscure records tend to survive only when there are collectors willing to seek out and preserve them. Most early recording masters were either destroyed or melted down for reuse, so the pressed and sold records became the only material evidence of these performances. If a record is lost to time or circumstance—78s are made from a shellac compound that is brittle and shatters easily—the performance is effectively erased."

(5B) "connections within the connections" just like every piece of art contains every piece of art.

"The Harry Smith B-Sides,” is a boxed set containing the flip sides of every 78 Smith used for the “Anthology of American Folk Music." Because Phonographia displays connections upon connections in popular culture I found Petrusich's observation regarding the interconnectedness of art to resonate as clear as a Sonora bell:

There’s a narrative consonance between the two sides of the record—a hungering for oblivion. Smith loved these simple points of communion. He believed in interconnectedness—that every piece of art contains every piece of art.

The potential impact of collecting and being able to hear music like The Harry Smith B-Sides can be significant. As Eli Smith is quoted regarding these records "these performers “by necessity had a very different relationship to nature, family, work, play, food, consumerism, money, et cetera. . . . It does not feel alienated.” He goes on to describe the set as “an esoteric beacon, broadcasting outside of our dysfunctional culture system.”


Collecting and Phonographia

(6) The work done by scholars, collectors, and institutions continues to rapidly expand onto the internet. As examples, go to the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), the Library of Congress National Jukebox Project, the Internet Archive's Audio Archive with its Great 78 and Cylinder Records Project, or David Giovannoni's to see some of the current sound recordings that are now available along with associated reference material.


(6B) Recording Studios

The Antique Phonograph Monthly Vol. 6, No. 6 featured an article titled A Phonographic Studio by E.W. Mayo which examined the rise of the "Art of Making Records and its Rapid Growth" in 1899. The original article was submitted by Ray Wile from Quaker Magazine, July 1899 courtesy Bob Healy and APM's Allen Koenigsberg. According to Robert Feinstein, "the phonographic studio is definitely that of Gianni Bettini."



(7) Choosing is a consideration that could be based on a number of factors not the least being an individual's fascination with a particular subject that "they come to believe it is the key to understanding everything." Social psychologist Johnathan Haidt writes the following about this phenomenon and how it is applicable to his own book:

"People who devote their lives to studying something often come to believe that the object of their fascination is the key to understanding everything. Books have been published in recent years on the transformative role in human history played by cooking, mothering, war...even salt. This is one of those books. I study moral psychology, and I'm going to make the case that morality is the extraordinary human capacity that made civilization possible. I don't mean to imply that cooking, mothering, war and salt were not also necessary, but in this book I'm going to take you on a tour of human nature and history from the perspective of moral psychology."
Johnathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind, Pantheon Books, New York ©2012

The phonograph began a revolution in personal and home entertainment. How does that relate to me collecting phonographia or museums displaying phonographs? I believe that there is value in conserving and preserving and presenting 'objects' because they provide pieces of history, context and in this case an opportunity to understand the changes technology brings to daily life, e.g., how we entertain ourselves, how the world of live performance has been impacted by recorded sound, how products like the phonograph are promoted and how consumers shop for these new necessities, etc.

We also clearly are able to listen to music today that we would otherwise never hear. I do not think we should underestimate that change. But does anyone stop and appreciate how amazing that is and at the same time how much that changes our perception of sound and ephemeral moments?

Experiencing collected objects and their stories is also part of that "prismatic history of recollection" and "entangled histories" that I think is mind-bending and very likely. (1)



Collecting and Phonographia

(8) "Interesting" - The word interesting originally meant "of concern"; it was a synonym of important. It comes from the verb interest, which in its original use meant "to induce or persuade to participate or engage." If you were interested in something, you were not willing to be a bystander; you felt the need to participate or engage. Merriam-Webster

Arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention. synonyms: absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling, compulsive, spellbinding, captivating, engaging, enthralling, entrancing, beguiling

"A few years ago one of the Cambridge colleges had a very conservative Master. He regarded the newfangled Cambridge Ph.D. degree as a vulgar concession to transatlantic academic pilgrims, and the publishing of papers as one of the more degrading forms of self-advertisement. 'In my time,' he used to say, 'it was of the essence of a gentleman that his name should never appear in print.' It so happened that the College had just elected into a Fellowship a young man who not only had a few papers to his name but also the temerity to propose, at the first Fellow' meeting in which he took part, a number of measures concerning College policy. The Master listened frowningly, and when the novice had finished, he said: 'Interesting, interesting' -- and 'interesting' meant that he was both alarmed and bored, two states of mind that he was expert at blending--'interesting; but it would seem to me that your suggestions are a little contradictory to the tradition of the College.' 'Not at all, Master,' replied the aspiring reformer, 'I have studied the history of the College and I can assure you that my proposals are perfectly in keeping with the ways of the College over the last three hundred years.' 'This may well be,' said the Master, 'but wouldn't you agree that the last three hundred years have been, to say the least of them, rather exceptional?'" -- The Artist's Journey into the Interior and other essays by Erich Heller, Vintage books, 1968, p.3



(9) "Just as we should cultivate more gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment."

"This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but also a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we may receive some benefit today, but in the long run, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness, published by Snow Lion Publications.




Collecting and Phonographia

(10) "We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men...."

"We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men; but it never occurred to me until this storm-day, while swinging in the wind, that trees are travelers, in the ordinary sense. They make many journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true; but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings--many of them not so much."

John Muir Source: " A Wind Storm in the Forests of the Yuba", Scribner's Monthly, volume XVII, number 1 (November 1878) pages 55-59 (at page 59); modified slightly and reprinted in The Mountains of California (1894), chapter 10: A Wind-Storm in the Forests.



(11) The Overstory by Richard Powers, ©2018 Richard Powers, W. W. Norton & Company


"One of the most memorable things anyone has ever said to me about music came from musicologist James Hepokoski, formerly of Oberlin College, now at the University of Minnesota. What Jim said was both incredibly simple and profound: Music of the past tells us what it felt like to live during the period when it was created.

The Belfer archive allows us to feel this sense of history even more vividly, because we can hear what musicians, artists, authors, actors, statesmen, politicians, and other historical figures actually sounded like. This is emotional, visceral communication that goes far beyond the power ofthe printed page." -- Belfer Audio Archive: Our Cultural Heritage in Sound by John Harvith, p. 152 The Courier: Harvith, John, "Belfer Audio Archive: Our Cultural Heritage in Sound" (1995). The Courier. 323.




On This Day Calendar


(1) What day it is? Motorola TV ad and a quote from the 1937 movie A Dasmel in Distress, starring Gracie Allen and George Burns and Gracie's response that she doesn't know what day it is since she only has yesterday's paper available to read.



February 12, 1924 Rhapsody in Blue

(1) Millard, A. J., American on Record: a history of recorded sound, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 108

(2) "Birthday for American Music" - Shaw, Jazz Age, p. 47, quoting Isaac Goldberg, Tin Pan Alley, p. 265

(3) "I hear it as sort of a musical kaleidoscope..." - Gershwin quote in Leonard, Jazz and the White Americans, p 86



February 16, 1903 Lambert Records Elephant Logo

(1) See The Antique Phonograph's article "Lambert Cylinders" by Allen Koenigsberg, September 2021 - The "log-rolling" elephant with its "Can't Break 'Em" replaced the earlier Juggler and the "Can't Hurt Them".



On This Day April 25, 1854 Birthday of Charles Sumner Tainter


(1) The circa 1886 photograph of Tainter taken from a scan of a newspaper page (San Diego Union, September 30, 1917 in an article titled "Charles Sumner Tainter, 'Father of the Talking Machine,' who is now a San Diego resident, and some of the medals awarded him for scientific achievement."


(2) Bell-Tainter Type K Electric Graphophone is from the Rene Rondeau collection who wrote the following about the Graphophone:

"When Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell was stunned that this opportunity had slipped through his fingers. In the 1880's, while Edison was pre-occupied with his electric light research, Bell founded a research laboratory where his cousin Chichester Bell and physicist Charles Sumner Tainter worked on improving the phonograph. They dubbed their version the "Graphophone" and designed it to play 6" long records consisting of a cardboard tube with a thin ozocerite wax coating (as seen in photograph). There was no mandrel -- the record fit between plungers at each end. Edison was outraged at this appropriation of his invention, and set about making his own 'perfected' phonograph, the Class M, in 1888.
The Graphophone of that era had a foot-powered sewing machine treadle as its motor, and in competition with the Edison Class M it was a dismal failure. By 1894 the company had a large backlog of unsold Graphophones. These were recycled by taking the upper works from treadle model Bell-Tainters and fitting them to new cabinets and motors. The Type K was made in early 1895, first with a battery-powered electric motor as in this example, and later with a newly-designed spring motor. A removable mandrel to fit the now-standard Edison cylinders was supplied with the Type K. (The entire mandrel has to be removed to put on a record, a very inconvenient arrangement.)
At $150 these were not big sellers, and it wasn't until the totally new Type N of late 1895 (priced at an amazingly low $40) that the Graphophone finally took off in the market. Very few Bell-Tainter styles were sold and today they are even rarer than the elusive Edison Class M."

(3) Charles Sumner Tainter photograph taken in San Diego, California, 1919. (Smithsonian photo 42729-A)


On This Day February 6, 1867

(1) Eldridge Reeves Johnson photo (age 5) and photograph age 35 courtesy of The Marvelous Talking Machine - Extraordinary Times


(2) Photograph of Eldridge R. Johnson's Machine Shop, 108 N. Front Street, Camden, NJ, ca. 1890s Courtesy Camden County Historical Archives and Historic Camden County


(3) Photograph of Johnson 1902 courtesy of Sound of the Hound and the article Victor Ludorum: The Forgotten man of History: Eldridge R. Johnson by Carey Fleiner, July 19, 2011.



On This Day May 20, 1851

(1) Berliner, Emile. Emile Berliner. Young Israel, S.l, 1871. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>


(2) Biography of Berliner, courtesy Wikipedia


(3) Photograph of Berliner's original Gramophone courtesy of Sound of the Hound and the article Victor Ludorum: The Forgotten man of History: Eldridge R. Johnson by Carey Fleiner, July 19, 2011.

The Sound of the Hound is an excellent "dog blog dedicated to the history of recorded music. We are specifically interested in the fine work of the EMI Group Archive Trust but we want to look wider at how the sound got on the rounds and all the widgets that made the digits."


(4) Berliner Gramophone, the first hand driven toy Gramophone made by Kammer & Reinhardt in Germany 1890, playing a 5 inch record courtesy of Phonogalerie, The Phono Museum Paris.

ThePhonogalerie is an exhibition and saleroom devoted to the history of the reproduction of sound. Talking machines, records, cylinders, posters and documents : everything to reawaken the sounds of the past.


(5 Bain News Service, Publisher. Emile Berliner. [No Date Recorded on Caption Card] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>


(6) An E. Berliner, Montreal black disc with gold scroll lettering, circa 1901. Source: Library and Archives Canada/Music Collection




Coll-Toc is a pseudonym which would designate a duo of caricaturists, Alexandre Collignon and Georges Tocqueville1. Caricaturing famous men from 1882, their work made the front page of Men of Today. Little by little, Collignon works alone under the pseudonym; he also worked to illustrate scores of songs, then other works, which gave him a certain reputation; he obtained the academic awards in 1888. Alexandre Collignon disappeared with his pseudonym in 1891. Wikipedia




On This Day October 21, 1915


(2) October 21, 1915 - Ackley, Laura, author of SAN FRANCISCO’S JEWEL CITY: THE PANAMA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OF 1915, extracted from PPIE On this Day entry for October 21, August 9, 2019.


(3) It was a most happy thought of Chief Engineer Hutchinson, of the Edison Laboratories, that came to him "to utilize the transcontinental telephone, so recently perfected, to carry the music of the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph from ocean to ocean, while Mr. Edison was three thousand miles and more away, at the Pacific end of the wire" and to do this on "Edison Day," October 21st.

On the 21st with Edison on one end of the telephone and the other end connected with the Orange, New Jersey laboratory group that began playing Case's record "word was sent back by telegraph during its playing: "Mr. Edison is hearing it perfectly." "Then Mr. Edison put the same selection on his Diamond Disc at San Francisco, in order that guests at the Laboratory might hear as he had heard. The tones were sweet and clear and perfectly audible, without any strain to hear them; the high notes and trills being exactly as clear as if heard over a short distance 'phone, although not quite so loud." - The Edison Phonograph Monthly, November, 1915 pp. 9-10


(4)" The first Tone Test on the Pacific coast was given at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in October 1915 by Christine Miller..." Frow, George L., The Edison Disc Phonographs and the Diamond Discs" p.237

Frow also notes that "Live-versus recorded demonstrations -- called Recitals -- took place in 1913 some time after the official unveiling of the Edison Disc Phonographs, but details are elusive." - Frow, George L., The Edison Disc Phonographs and the Diamond Discs" p.236


(5) "The first tone-test was given at the Panama-Pacific exposition on October 21, Edison Day, as it was called..." The Boston Sunday Herald, Boston, November 21, 1915.

A footnote in The Edison Phonograph Monthly November, 1915, p. 10 noted the following: Oct. 23.--"Tone-Test Recital at San Francisco at SCOTTISH RITE HALL, very successful -- Attendance 944. Most appreciative audience yet. Acoustics and presentation perfect.' -- V. E. B. Fuller.



(6) Photograph of Edison and Ford at Western Union exhibit examining the Edison Telegraph Perforator. Liberal Arts Palace. Cardinell-Vincent Company, Photographer. 1915. Courtesy of the University of California, Davis.



On This Day December 6, 1877 Birthday of the Phonograph

(1) On December 4, 1877, Charles Batchelor, one of Edison's aids, recorded in his diary: "Kruesi made the phonograph today." Edison Cylinder Records 1889 - 1912 With an Illustrated History of the Phonograph, Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press ©1987. p. xii


(2) On December 6, 1877 Charles Batchelor recorded in his diary: "Kruesi finished the phonograph." Ibid


(3) Edison with his Phonograph in his Menlo Park Laboratory newspaper Illustration from 04/10/1878 New York Graphic -- Clippings "The Wizard of Menlo Park", New York Graphic [MBSB1] Special Collections Series -- Charles Batchelor Collection -- Scrapbooks: Cat. 1240 (1876-1878) [MBSB10500X; TAEM 94:158] Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Extracted from Rutgers The Thomas Edison Papers



On This Day December 26, 1863 Birthday of Charles Pathe

(1) 1898 Pathe French phonograph catalog "Compagnie Général de Cinématographes Phonographes et Pellicules", published by Pathé Frères.



On This Day December 28, 1895

(1) Cinematographe quotes from History of Film by ©1995 David Parkinson, Thames and Hudson, pp. 16-17

(2) This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. - extracted Feb-6-2020

(3) Newspaper article courtesy of California Digital Newspaper Collection, San Francisco Call, 19 August 1894, Volume 76, Number 80

(4) Phonograph and Kinetoscope Parlor 1895 photo and text courtesy of National Park Service (extracted 206-2020)

(5) Edison Kinetoscope logo courtesy of The American Society of Cinematographers Museum



On This Day December 29, 1888

(1) PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHAVARI, December 29, 1888, extracted on 10-02-2019 from The Internet Archive and entry for Punch by Lemon, Mark, 1809-1870, ed; Mayhew, Henry, 1812-1887, ed; Taylor, Tom, 1817-1880, ed; Brooks, Shirley, 1815-1874, ed; Burnand, F. C. (Francis Cowley), Sir, 1836-1917, ed; Seaman, Owen, Sir, 1861-1936, ed, from the collection of Robarts - University of Toronto.



The 'Ola' Brands

(1) The pianola's name was likely based on "piano" and "viola." Allen Koenigsberg has traced the 'ola' suffix in a word to sheet music (pre-phono) as Musaeola in 1863. The Brooklyn Historical Society has in their collection a May 31, 1864 Grand Promenade Concert ticket sponsored by Musaeola Academy of Music.


An even earlier use of the word "musaeola" comes from an April 15, 1613 entry from the Letters of Dorothy Wadham 1609-1618 who described 'the most perfect building in Oxford...the quadrangle with its harmoniously arranged staircases, the chambers with their three-light windows, each having two or three studies (musaeola) with a single light, remain visible throughout the facade both inside and out..." (with "musaeola" having no apparent relationship with music).


'-Ola' Sources

(1A) The beginning and sources used in Phonographia's '-ola' Brands list.

I started my '-ola' list in 1980 having noticed over the years how many brand names used 'ola' as a suffix and deciding it would be interesting to know how many there might actually be. My initial list relied on early phonograph ads in periodicals, trade magazines (e.g., The Talking Machine World), and other phonograph related resources.

When I read R. J. Wakeman's February 2020 Antique Phonograph Society article Off-Brand" Talking Machines it triggered a review of my dormant 'ola' list and in the process I added some new ones for my '-Ola Factola' web page.



(AK) Allen Koenigsberg is referenced by (AK) for The Patent History of the Phonograph 1877 - 1912 by Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press, 1991 and also as for the names and/or information used from his list of "-ola" machines which Mr. Koenigsberg compiled and published in 2004 in the Sound Box and kindly sent me a copy which I have used to add machines I was missing and also some additional information since Koenigsberg's list also included Registration Number, Date Filed, Registered Source, Used Since and -Ola Owner. Machines added from Allen's list or supplemented information related to previous entries from my original list are referenced as (AK).

Other AK assistance or information shared in correspondences may be linked to the respective source or are simply referenced as "AK" as the source.



The following abbreviations are used to identify sources for all listed "-olas". Some have been identified here (and there are multiple lists/sources that could be referenced) because sources like the CAPS Project have details, photographs and on-going research that make them more than simply an entry on a list.


RJW and EM - Information from R.J. Wakeman's February 2020 article for the Antique Phonograph Society (2) titled "Off-Brand Talking Machines" is referenced below by EM and RJW (2A); Wakeman extensively used the trade magazine Talking Machine World (TMW) in his research to identify which companies were making talking machines and when they may have first marketed their machines. He includes dates for his entries and notes that those dates refer to the date of "a machine’s first TMW advertisement, which in turn roughly indicates when a machine was first marketed. Manufacturers were quick to advertise in TMW all new products. Many but not all companies applied for a trademark." He identifies in his list EM = email) for machines that are known to exist but for which there is little information about the brand. Mr. Wakeman's list of 'off-brand' talking machines from 1910-1925 totals over 460 brands. Those extracted from his list here are '-olas' that were not already part of my list or which added an earlier TMW reference for something I had already identified. As applicable, those are noted as RJW TMW.


CAPS - Canadian Antique Phonograph Society examples of "ola's" is referenced by CAPS or CAPS (2B) and their Canadian Antique Phonograph Project. (2B)

(TMC2), (GGG), (DAP), (PWF), (ADV), (A&C), (GRA) - Information from these books by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul are referenced by their respective book title codes (see 2C for full references).

(C.L.P.G.S.) - City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society is referenced by C.L.P.G.S.

(CPG) - References from Christopher Proudfoot's Collecting Phonographs and Gramophones is referenced as (CPG) (2E).

(GK) - Grant Kornberg, TechnoGallerie a.k.a. Firebottles (A Museum of Science and Invention where the exhibits are for sale.)


(FOTP) Brand identifications, photographs and/or advertisements that originate with Phonographia research or that are part of the Phonographia Collection are referenced (FOTP) or may have an inventory number, e.g., PM-XXXX or FPXXXX.

'Endnote' reference numbers are also used to provide additional information, as applicable.




(APS) The Antique Phonograph Society ( - The Antique Phonograph is a worldwide society of 1000+ members who share a passion for the preservation of antique phonographs, gramophones and records. We encourage, promote, publish and present research on the history of sound recording and reproduction, including the machines that create and preserve these wonderful voices and sounds. To that end, our Society maintains informative articles on its website which are open to the public, as well as an exhaustive online searchable archive of over 20,000 pages of phonograph and record research material available to members. We publish a full-color quarterly journal called The Antique Phonograph. The APS also sponsors an annual antique phonograph/record Expo and banquet, to which all are welcome. JOIN TODAY!





(2) Mulholland Press (MP) - Phonograph Brands in America by Robert W. Baumbach ©2014. Like R. J. Wakeman's list, the source of Baumbach's brands is Talking Machine World. Brand names are linked to respective advertisements.




(2B) The Canadian Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) interests range across all aspects of sound recording and its history: phonographs and gramophones, all types of sound recordings of historic importance, ephemera and related memorabilia. There is particular emphasis placed on the history of recorded sound in Canada. JOIN TODAY!



(2C) Title Codes for referenced books by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul


TMC2 = Talking Machine Compendium, Second Edition - The Talking Machine, An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929, Schiffer Publishing Limited, ©2005

GGG = Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gimmicks


DAP = Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929, by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing Limited, ©2000

PWF = Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction

ADV = Antique Phonograph Advertising

A&C = Accessories and Contraptions

GRA = Phonographica The Early History of Recorded Sound Observed



(3) The Brant-ola - For details, see the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project's entry for Brant-ola, Extracted 9-13-2019


(4) Curtiss Aeronola - For details, see the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project's entry for Curtiss Aeronola - Logo from inside lid courtesy of Stephen McKendry-Smith, CAPS, Extracted 9-13-2019


(5) Curtiss Aeronola Advertisement courtesy of Keith Wright and CAPS, Edmonton Journal Sept. 27, 1919 pg 19 Extracted 9-13-2019



Amphiola, March 26, 1919 The Musical Trades



(6) Grandola - also Mfg. by Purdy Phonograph Co., Toronto, courtesy of CAPS Project ca. 1920 extracted 9-14-2019



(7) Gunn-Sun-Ola Courtesy Betty Pratt and CAPS Project, extracted 9-14-2019


(8) Hectrola - "Hectrola" records were pressed for a time by the Compo Co. of Montreal Canada - see full article on the Compo Co. by Steven C. Barr for the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society. Courtesy of CAPS Project, extracted 9-14-2019.


(8A) Multinola – Information from Phonograph Accessories & Contraptions by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2003. p. 173 identified as one of the "obscure, never-seen oddities." A&C


(9) Phonola - The Pollock Manufacturing Company of Berlin, Ontario 1914-1933 - Comprehensive history can be found in CAPS Project for Phonola and From Roll Back The Years, by Edward Moogk, National Library of Canada, 1975 - Per CAPS there is no connection between Pollock/Electrohome/Phonola and the US machines made under the 'Phonola' name by Conley and later Waters Conley. Logo and info extracted 9-14-2019.


(10) Phonola Conley Company History - Conley Company to Waters Conley Company History excerpted from "Photographs To Phonographs" by David N. Sterling which seems to have been an article for "The Photographic Collector's Newsletter", Volume III, Number 4, (June 1975). Summary extracted from CAPS Project 9-14-2019


(11) Rayola - Edward Moogk in Roll Back The Years (National Library of Canada, 1975) p. 63 states: "During 1917, London, Ontario, began to get some of the action...the imported Crescent Silver Tone and Rayola phonographs were handled by the London Phonograph Co..." (extracted 9-14-2019 from CAPS Rayola )



(12) Photograph of McLaughlin Buick circa 1917 advertising London Phonograph Co., from Allan Noon's book, East of Adelaide, Photographs of commercial, industrial and working-class urban Ontario, 1905-1930, London Regional Art and Historical Museums, 1989. W.J. Wray & Co., Jewelers, of 234 Dundas St. London (extracted from CAPS Rayola 9-14-2019.


(13) Ro-Tone-Ola, J. T. Rowe, Aylmer Organ/Phonograph Manufacturer, John Street North, Aylmer, Ontario. Courtesy of CAPS Ro-Tone Ola.


(14) Symphonola - Edward Moogk's Roll Back The Years on p. 63 states: " 406-408 [Yonge St., Toronto] the Canadian Symphonola Co. Ltd. was promoting the symphonola [sic] as Canada's "premier phonograph." Photograph of logo courtesy of Keith Wright. Info and photo extracted from CAPS Symphonola on 9-14-2019


(15) The Rock-Ola Scale Company was founded in 1927 by David Cullen Rockola. The company became the Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation in 1932.



The "Phone" and "Graph" Brands

(1) Naming his invention the 'Phonograph' - The telegraph and telephone were in Edison's DNA (as a former telegraph operator, inventor of the quadruplex telegraph, his 1876 work on the telephone to improve the transmitter, and his work (just prior to the phonograph) on a device to record telephone messages that connected his "Hallo" moment with his soon-to-be phonograph). The name 'phonograph' seems a natural naming choice for Edison.

For an excellent video connecting Edison's telegraph and telephone work with his invention of the phonograph see the PBS An American Experience Edison: From the Telephone and Telegraph Comes the Phonograph.

Edison apparently did consider other names for his Phonograph which he documented in a list and which Rebecca J. Rosen wrote about in her article "Edison's Other Names for the Phonograph: Klangophone, Kosmophone, Didaskophone" By Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, February 9, 2012. Here is Rosen's opening paragraph:

"When Thomas Edison sketched out a machine that could record sound onto paper tape in August of 1877, he labeled it a "phonograph." But Edison was apparently dissatisfied by that name, because a note of his from November of that year lists about 50 alternatives, mostly derived from combinations of English, Greek, and Latin, perhaps believing that the older languages would confer a sort of scientific dignity to his very modern machine. On the list: hemerologophone ("speaking almanac"), bittakophone ("parrot speaker"), and kosmophone ("universal sounder"). But, in the end, phonograph stuck."

Rosen's article has a link to see Edison's list of fifty alternative names Via Letters of Note and courtesy of The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University. The Atlantic article's link no longer exists so I have copied the list which Rosen used in her article "preceded by a helpful transcription put together by Lists of Note."

Names in BOLD actually did become phonograph company names.

Auto-Electrograph = Electric Pen



Polyphone = Manifold Sounder

Autophone = Self sounder

Kosmophone = Universal Sounder

Acoustophone = Sound hearer = Audible speaker

Octophone = Ear-sounder = speaker

Anitphone = Back-talker

Liguphone = Clear speaker

Minuttophone = Minute-sounder

Meistophone = Smallest sounder

Anchiphone = Near sounder or speaker

Palmatophone = Vibration sounder

Chronophone = Time-announcer = Speaking clock

Didaskophone = Teaching speaker, Portable teacher

Glottophone = Language sounder or speaker

Climatophone = Weather announcer

Atmophone = Fog sounder or Vapor-speaker

Palmophone = Pendulum sounder or Sounding pendulum

Pinakophone = Sound Register

Hemerologophone = Speaking almanac

Kalendophone = Speaking Calendar

Sphygmophone = Pulse speaker

Halmophone = Heart-beat sounder

Seismophone = Earthquake sounder

Electrophone = Electric speaker

Brontophone = Thunder speaker

Klangophone = Bird-cry sounder

Surigmophone = Whistling sounder

Bremophone = Wind sounder

Bittakophone = Parrot speaker

Krogmophone = Croaking or Cawing sounder

Hulagmophone = Barking sounder

Trematophone = Sound borer

Telephemist telephemy telepheme

Electrophemist electrophemy electropheme

Phemegraph = speech writer

Omphegraph -gram = voice writer or researcher



Melpograph -gram = song writer

Epograph = speech writer, lecture or sermon

Rhetograph = speech writer

Kinemograph = motion writer

Atmophone = vapor or steam sound

Aerophone = air sound

Symphraxometer = pressure measurer

Synothemeter = pressure measurer

Orcheograph = vibration record Orcheometer



(1A) The beginning of Phonographia's '-phone' and 'graph' brands list, like my "-ola list," started in 1980 with my interest in etymology and in having noticed for a number of years how many names of company's had these phonograph related prefixes and suffixes. The Phonoscope's initial edition of November 1896 and their section titled 'Graphs, 'Phones and 'Scopes added to my thematic choice.

The Phonoscope, Vol. I Number 1, November 1896, p. 7


Another Phonoscope article in September 1899 described a new talking-machine called the Vitaphone and then commented that "as the patents on talking-machines expire one by one, the public undoubtedly will be treated to an epidemic of "Phones" and "Graphs" of all descriptions, sizes and kinds. We wonder if this machine is a forerunner of this approaching era." The Phonoscope, September, 1899

When I read R. J. Wakeman's February 2020 Antique Phonograph Society article "Off-Brand Talking Machines" it triggered a review of my 'phone' and 'graph' brands and in the process provided some new ones to add to mine.

The following abbreviations are used to identify the sources for adding a 'phone' or 'graph' machine to my list.

(RJW) - R. J. Wakeman's February 2020 article for the Antique Phonograph Society (2) titled "Off-Brand" Talking Machines and referenced (EM) (for the machines he only had email information about) and RJW (2A);

(CAPS) - Canadian Antique Phonograph Society referenced by CAPS (2B);

(2C) Title Codes for referenced books by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul

TMC2 = Talking Machine Compendium, Second Edition - The Talking Machine, An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929, Schiffer Publishing Limited, ©2005

GGG = Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gimmicks

DAP = Discovering Antique Phonographs

PWF = Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction

ADV = Antique Phonograph Advertising

A&C = Accessories and Contraptions

GRA = Phonographica The Early History of Recorded Sound Observed


(HCP) - Gert J. Almind is referenced (HCP) for his information related to respective coin-operated phonographs with 'phone' branding referenced by (HCP) (2D) .

(C.L.P.G.S.) - City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society is referenced by C.L.P.G.S.

(CPG) - References from Christopher Proudfoot are Collecting Phonographs and Gramophones (CPG) (2E).

(78 RPM Club) - The 78 RPM Club is a website that includes a list of Gramophones. Mission statement: "The 78 rpm Club collects and preserves everything concerning the fragile sound carriers. This site shall be informative and diverting. May the groove be with you!"

(GK) - Grant Kornberg, TechnoGallerie a.k.a. Firebottles (A Museum of Science and Invention where the exhibits are for sale.)


(AK) - Allen Koenigsberg is referenced by (AK) for The Patent History of the Phonograph 1877 - 1912 by Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press.

Other references are directly linked to their source.

Brand identifications, photographs and/or advertisements that originate with Phonographia research or that are part of the Phonographia Collection are referenced (FOTP).

'Endnote' reference numbers are also used to provide additional information, as applicable.



(2) The Antique Phonograph Society ( - The Antique Phonograph is a worldwide society of 1000+ members who share a passion for the preservation of antique phonographs, gramophones and records. We encourage, promote, publish and present research on the history of sound recording and reproduction, including the machines that create and preserve these wonderful voices and sounds. To that end, our Society maintains informative articles on its website which are open to the public, as well as an exhaustive online searchable archive of over 20,000 pages of phonograph and record research material available to members. We publish a full-color quarterly journal called The Antique Phonograph. The APS also sponsors an annual antique phonograph/record Expo and banquet, to which all are welcome. JOIN TODAY!


(2A) R.J. Wakeman compiled a list of 'off-brand' talking machines for his February 2020 Antique Phonograph Society article titled "Off-Brand" Talking Machines. Wakeman extensively used the trade magazine Talking Machine World (TMW) in his research to identify which companies were making talking machines and when they may have first marketed their machines. He includes dates for his entries and notes that those dates refer to the date of "a machine’s first TMW advertisement, which in turn roughly indicates when a machine was first marketed. Manufacturers were quick to advertise in TMW all new products. Many but not all companies applied for a trademark."

Wakeman also used his correspondence with other collectors (which he identifies in his list as EM = email) for identifying machines that are known to exist but for which there is little information about the brand. Mr. Wakeman's list of 'off-brand' talking machines from 1910-1925 totals over 460 brands. Those extracted here are the -'phones'' and 'graphs' that were not in my previous list and are referenced here as TMW if it is an earlier date, RJW, or EM.


(2B) The Canadian Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) whose interests range across all aspects of sound recording and its history: phonographs and gramophones, all types of sound recordings of historic importance, ephemera and related memorabilia. There is particular emphasis placed on the history of recorded sound in Canada. JOIN TODAY!


2C) Title Codes for referenced books by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul - References to photographs in these books are included (e.g., (4-65) p. 195. A&C) so buy their books and enjoy the photographs and definitive information.

TMC2 = Talking Machine Compendium, Second Edition

GGG = Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gimmicks

DAP = Discovering Antique Phonographs

PWF = Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction

ADV = Antique Phonograph Advertising

A&C = Accessories and Contraptions

GRA = Phonographica The Early History of Recorded Sound Observed



FOTP = Friends of the Phonograph - A small group of friends that in 1980 began celebrating the birthday of Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph.

Phonographia and Friends of the Phonograph websites were started in 2002 by Doug Boilesen. FOTP continues to remember the phonograph with annual phonograph birthday partys and to enjoy images, sounds, and words that made the phonograph the icon of recorded sound.




(2D) HCP - Gert J. Almind unpublished 12.12.18 manuscript 'THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary' referenced as HCP for information related to respective coin-operated phonographs with 'phone' branding.



(2E) CPG - Collecting Phonographs and Gramophones, Christopher Proudfoot, Christie's International Collectors Series, Mayflower Books, New York City, 1980


(3A) The Allegrophone information from 4-65, Antique Phonograph Accessories & Contraptions by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2003. A photograph of the Allegrophone is (4-65) on p. 195. A&C


(3B) The 12 selection cylinder playing machine was made in San Francisco by The Autophone Co. Page 15 from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript by THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind



(3C) The Auxetophone, marketed in United States by Victor Talking Machine Company, information from p. 104, Antique Phonograph Advertising: An Illustrated History by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2002. Photograph of Auxteophone outside Start Theatre in Ashland, Oregon used to promote its moving pictures 2-120 ADV



(3D) The Biophone information from 4-17, The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005. A photograph of the Biophone is 4-97 on p. 166. TMC2



(4) Canadian made machines have also been included from the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project, extracted on 9/5/2019 and noted as such on applicable machines.



(4A) The Cailophone information from (4-116), The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005. A photograph of the Calilphone is (4-116) on p. 173. TMC2



(4B) The Cortinaphone information from (3-127) Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2000. A photograph of the Cortinaphone is (3-127) p. 150 along with a Cortina Language Record box. Fabrizio and Paul note that by the "end of 1913, the U.S. Company, exhausted from long legal harassment by Edison, ceased operation." DAP



(5) The Cremonophone by Norman F. Brooks article extracted 9/5/2019 from CAPS which originated in the September-October, 1998 issue of the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society publication, Antique Phonograph News.



(5A) Cylo-Phone - pictured in Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2000, (3-95 with cabinet closed) and (3-96) p. 133 in open position with an Edison 'Home' Phonograph installed. "The cabinet was capable of storing 140 cylinders." Cabinet Courtesy of the Sanfilippo collection.


(5B) Deflex-O-Graph* - Not a machine but rather an accessory for the soundbox. "The 'Deflex-O-Graph,' like the 'Bakertone,' was a secondary needle chuck which functioned on a principle of variable interference. When positioned diagonally to the soundbox diaphragm, much of the sound from the record was lost, and reproduction affected." (3-82) p.86, Antique Phonograph Gadgets, Gizmos & Gimmicks by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 1999. GGG



(6) The Dictaphone from Clarence Charles Smith (1922) The Expert Typist, MacMillan Co., New York, USA, p.123, fig.37 extracted from Google Books 9-18-2019



(6A) Dupliphone - "The king of bizarre cylinder talking machine attachments must surely have been the Hawthorne & Sheble 'Dupliphone.'...A long extension tube raised the height of the reproducer to play the larger records, or the machine could be operated 'normally' -- hence the coined name of the device." (2-29) p.74 Antique Phonograph Accessories & Contraptions by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2003. A&C



(7) Echophone (Amet) - 1896 cylinder talking machine was originally called the Metaphone by Edward H. Amet (see "Metaphone" entry). In Antique Phonograph Accessories & Contraptions the machine is described as "quite a peculiarity. The inventor, Edward H. Amet, designed certain features to discourage patent litigations by companies holding the rights to fundamental elements of cylinder talking machine construction." From p. 69, Antique Phonograph Accessories & Contraptions by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2003. A&C



(8) Echophone (Swiss) - Compagnie P. Jeanrenaud, Sainte Croix, Switzerland. The company made a 6-selection phonograph called the Théatrophone "and a smaller version called “Echophone” in the early years of the 20th centurym but only a few models have survived in museums, and not much information about the Swiss production is known today, unfortunately. The company was founded on the basis of the 1880s patent(s) by Albert Jeanrenaud for the ‘plerodienique’ type musical box."

Extracted page 14 information from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind



(8A) Extrafon - (A-25) p. 261, The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005, TMC2



(8B) Figuraphone - A-34, p. 265, The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005. "German-made child's phonograph. An appropriately diminutive record plays, the horses race, and it's a contest to see which will prevail - your favorite nag or the strength of the tiny spring motor." TMC2



(9) Hexaphone - Regina Music Box Co. from 1909 until 1921.

"The 6-selection “Hexaphone” announced in December, 1908, and produced by Regina Music Box Co. from 1909 until 1921 (‘Hexa’-prefix from Greek meaning ‘Six’) was probably the most popular ‘nickel-in-the-slot’ phonograph of the acoustic era on the American market with a production run of at least 6,500 machines. The first “Hexaphones”, the “Style 101”, played two-minute cylinders, but those became rather obsolete around 1909/10 and the later models played four-minute cylinders."

Extracted page 16 information from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind



(9A) Highamophone - Prototype shown in (4-39) TMC2 Courtesy of the Charles Hummel collections. "'The Twentieth Century' Graphophone ('BC') of 1905 had a "sound-amplifying reproducer based on the patent of Daniel Higham." p.143 TMC2 The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005.

"American Graphophone had purchased from Daniel Higham the rights to his invention, which he had briefly tried to market as the "Highamophone." The reproducer with its 4" diameter diaphragm was capable of stentorian volume..." p.142 TMC2



(10) Hydraphonograph - The 6 selection German Phonograph - page 14 from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind



(10A) Keenolophone - See photographs pp. 16-17, "Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction" by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing ©2001 PWF. In "Discovering Antique Phonographs," Fabrizio and Paul, Schiffer Publishing ©2001, p. 158 the Keenolophone is also noted with this Factola: "In a stroke of linguistic brilliance, Morris Keen incorporated both "phone" and "ola" into the name of his product, one-upping fellow independent manufacturers who usually appropriated one suffix of the other."



(11) The Lyraphone - Lippert Furniture Company, extracted 9/5/2019 from CAPS



(11A) The Manafone - information from Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2000. A photograph of the Manafone is 3-123 p. 149 - Fabrizio and Paul describe this machine as "a simple, hand-driven talking machine with no markings other than the attractive horn label. The soundbox was an anachronism, resembling that of a Berlinger Gramophone from an earlier period." DAP

A photograph of the "Wondophone" is on p. 149 (3-125) DAP



(12) Metophone - Information courtesy of The Routledge Guide to Music Technology edited by Thom Holmes, published by Routledge Taylor and Frances Group, 2006. See "Echophone (Amet)" above.



(13) Miraphon or Miraphone -Combination Music Box and Talking Machine, p. 123 Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972 EAMI



(14) Multiphone - The 24 selection Multiphone text - page 15 from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind. For additional information about the history of this company (which offered shares of stock in November 1906 in the Multiphone Operating Company of New York City but by May 1908 was bankrupt and in receivership), see p. 129 Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2000. DAP



(15) Multiphone - Photograph from 8x10" b-w negative and part of Emile Berliner Collection, Library of Congress. The Multiphone. , 1871. Photograph. Note: Citation date is incorrect but unknown correct date. Extracted 10-20-2019



(16) Kenneth C. Shyvers, an inventor from Seattle, is best known for the creation of the Multiphone, an early version of a coin-operated restaurant jukebox that played music through telephone lines from a central music library. He developed the product with his wife Lois in 1939, gaining a patent for its coin control device one-year prior. It was not until 1946/47 that he patented the music box itself.

The product's design shows that Shyvers found inspiration from New York architecture, namely the Empire State Building. Although, the original Pre-War model of the music box (then called the "Music-Phone" more resembled a rocket ship. This design change might have been due to an increase in Shyvers' desire to show patriotism in the years after the war, or his ideas of what would appeal more to the costumers at the time. Extracted 10-21-2019 from The Dead Media Archive, NYU - Department of Media, Culture, and Communication



(17) Photograph and text of Shyvers Multiphone Selector courtesy of decophobia 20th Century Design.



(18) Team of all female disc jockeys photograph supplying music for Shyver's Multiphone.

Shyver's Multiphone separated itself from these previous music telephone line systems through its much greater selection. Users could pick from up to 170 different selections as opposed to the average coin-op automatic phonographs of the time, which could gave users only 24 choices at most. The system became popular throughout cafes and diners in cities in the Northwest including Shyver's home of Seattle. Many diners and cafes installed the Multiphone either at the bar or on individual booths for customer use.

The Multiphone then required two leased phone lines: one for the machine itself, which connected to the Shyver library in Seattle, and one for the speakers. At the central music library in Seattle, a team of female disc jockeys managed all of the Multiphone user requests and put the records on manually. Once the customer inserted payment, the two lights on the Multiphone would light up, indicating that the telephone line was connecting to the library to get a disc jockey's services. The customer would actually speak to the disc jockey through the small speaker found at the top of the Multiphone, telling her his or her request through the system. Each song was given a number, which was displayed on the Multiphone in a cylindrical case, which could be rotated to make room for all the possible selections.

Extracted 10-21-2019 from A Centralized Music Library, The Dead Media Archive, NYU - Department of Media, Culture, and Communication



(19) Musicphone - Edward Moogk's Roll Back The Years on p. 62 states: "Operations started up in other Ontario centres. In Hamilton, the Newbigging Cabinet Company, specialists in player-piano rolls and record cabinets, came out with its Musicphone, a Canadian-built machine with an electrical motor, capable of playing both vertical and lateral cut records." Extracted 9/5/2019 from CAPS



(19A) Orchestrophone - referenced in Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2000, p.89. DAP



(19B) Oratiograph – Made by John Schoenner Factory, Germany 1902 - "The Oratiograph outfit comprises of a box containing the mechanism, a box containing the cylinders, and a collapseable paper horn. Once set-up, unlike other phonographs, the reproducer and horn remain static, as it is the madrel which moves beneath it. The cylinders were wax on a tin core and came in a red box with decorative lid.” Photo and information Courtesy EMI Archive Trust collection.



19C) Paelophone – Cros' "method of transforming the Phonautograph's transcribed sound waves into a three-dimensional record, through a photoengraving process, inspired Emile Berliner to delve further"...which "resulted in the first commercially feasible disc recording method." 1-1 p.8 Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2000, p.89. DAP



(19D) Pantograph"Unscrupulous entrepreneurs often used pantographs to duplicate professional recordings, thus avoiding overhead costs." Photograph of an example of a Pantograph 2-3, p.31 The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005. TMC2



19E) Parlograph – Carl Lindström A.G. became the holding company for Odeon Records, Parlophone Records (originally "Parlophon"), Beka Records, Okeh Records, Fonotipia Records, Lyrophon, Homophon, and other labels. Carl Lindström - Wikipedia

Parlograph Courtesy of Rupriikki Media Museum, Tampere, Finland


(19F) Parlophone – referenced in Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing 2000, p.89. DAP



(20) Phono-Grand - J. P. Seeburg Piano Company of Chicago, combination player piano and phonograph from p.611, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972



(20A) Polyphone - Attachment with two reproducers. The $15.00 Polyphone attachment shown in TMC22-91 p. 67 is mounted on an 1898 Type "AT" Graphophone." Courtesy of the Howard Hazelcorn collection and The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005 TMC2



(21) Rectorphone - "Enoch J. Rector had envisioned his machine (patented August 15, 1905, No. 797,020) as an accessory for the treadle-powered sewing machines that were popular throughout the world. A friction wheel would run the phonograph right off the sewing machine belt. The production model, however, employed a typical talking machine motor with main-spring." 4-114 p. 172 The Talking Machine An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2005 TMC2



(21A) Reginaphone - The Regina Company, Rahway, N.J. - Regina advertisement and description from p.179, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972



(22) Sonophone - Photography of logo inside lid courtesy of the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project and the Uxbridge Historical Centre



(23) Sono-phonic - P. T. Legaré was a large commercial empire in Quebec (known for farm equipment and knitting machines in particular), the machine above may be manufactured by them or the rebranding of another - information and image extracted from the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project on 9/5/2019



(24) Super-Phonic - Brochure from 1928 providinig information about Standard Phonograph Accessories and Supply Co of Montreal and illustrations of 5 Super-Phonic machines, courtesy of Norman Brooks, author of the article on the Cremonaphone (see endnote #5).



(25 Théatrophone - Compagnie P. Jeanrenaud, Sainte Croix, Switzerland. The company made a 6-selection phonograph called the Théatrophone "and a smaller version called “Echophone” in the early years of the 20th century but only a few models have survived in museums, and not much information about the Swiss production is known today, unfortunately. The company was founded on the basis of the 1880s patent(s) by Albert Jeanrenaud for the ‘plerodienique’ type musical box."

Extracted page 14 information from the unpublished 12-12-2018 Manuscript THE HISTORY OF COIN-OPERATED PHONOGRAPHS 1888 - 1998 An Illustrated Jukebox Documentary by Gert J. Almind



(26) Vanophone - Vanophone logo and information extracted from the Canadian Antique Phonograph Project on 9/5/2019; Music Trade Review, p. 10, November 2, 1918 courtesy of Betty Pratt, CAPS.



(27) Vitaphone - "Canadian Vitaphone Company. Phonograph manufacturer located in Toronto 1913-16. Its product, the Vitaphone, was devised by the US inventor Clinton B. Repp and featured a wooden tone-arm and stationary sound-box. The company, headed by W.R. Fosdick (former manager of His Master's Voice Ltd in Toronto), also imported Columbia recordings for release on the Vitaphone Label, from masters leased from Columbia in the USA.

Artists included the popular Canadian tenors Henry Burr and Harold Jarvis, the Columbia Male Quartette (renamed the Maple Leaf Male Quartette), and Prince's Band (renamed the Vitaphone Military Band). The Vitaphone series is listed in Roll Back the Years by Edward B. Moogk. Information courtesy of Betty Pratt, CAPS, extracted on 9/5/2019



(28) The Wondophone information from 3-125 Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Second Edition, Schiffer Publishing 2000. A photograph of the Wondophone is 3-125 p. 149 DAP



Speaking Trumpets

(1) "Speaking trumpets may go back to Ancient Greece (5th Century BC..." - Montgomery, Henry C. (1959). "Amplification and High Fidelity in the Greek Theater". The Classical Journal. 54 (6): 242–245. JSTOR 3294133. - Wikipedia






(1) Bing

• Founded 1863 (toy making in 1880)

• Nuremberg / Germany

Brothers Ignaz and Adolf Bing began the manufacture of metal objects for the home and kitchen. In 1880 they began to make their first toys: success was enormous and in a few years the factory became the most important for toy production in the world. Before the first world war, if one counts the various factories and agencies throughout Europe, the company employed nearly 5,000. The company exported all over the world, but above all to America. In fact the 1929 crisis dealt it a fatal blow, and it foundered. The factory was acquired in 1932 by Karl Bub. This was the end of the largest toy factory that had ever existed in the world. (Courtesy DGCollection)



The Bing Corporation in New York, which was the American branch of the German company called Bing Werke (Gebrüder Bing AG) in Nuremberg. In 1925 the Bing Corporation introduced its own gramophone called Bingophone. Other Gramophones were Kiddyphon, Beymir, Bingola I - (Courtesy of 78RPM-Club)



The "Our Song" Phenomenon - A Phonograph Recollection

(1) A Phonograph Recollection, named with a tip of the hat to Mari Sandoz's The Christmas of the Phonograph Records - A Recollection.



(2) Original Valentino's pizza restaurant, 35th and Holdrege. Lincoln, NE 1957 (courtesy of Valentino's and Lincoln Journal Star). Val's pizza didn't have delivery service so before any of us could drive there was a significant dependency of an adult picking it up on the other side of town.

Ordering was also a challenge. It was common on a Friday or Saturday that we would start dialing around 4:00 pm to put in an order and we might get busy signals for an hour or more. There was a phone in the Keister basement (rotary phone) so this meant dialing, getting a busy signal and then redialing until we could get through. There was no auto redial on telephones. And at Val's there was no putting us "on hold" option. We actually would take turns doing the dialing until we got through and completed an order.

Even when we got our order placed it might not be ready for over an hour.

For an Ode to the Landline see Roger Cohen's NY Times article "A Longing for the Lost Landline" where Cohen calls the landline's dial tone "a rhapsody" and a "prelude to something like an orchestra tuning its instruments." Cohen's advice:

Go on, wow your kids! Use the landline to call Gramma. Pass the receiver. Explain the dial tone. Tell them it is a prelude to something. Like an orchestra tuning its instruments. When each violin and each bow is propped at a slightly different angle reflecting the particularities of each human being. When the orchestra is on the verge of unison in the quest for the sublime.





Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks, Alfred A. Knopf, © Oliver Sacks, 2007.

“musical perception, musical sensibility, musical emotion and musical memory can survive long after other forms of memory have disappeared.” p. 337

"Familiar music acts as a sort of Proustian mnemonic, eliciting emotions and associations that had been long forgotten, giving the patient access once again to mood and memories, thoughts and worlds that had seemingly been completely lost.” p. 344

Interestingly, Sacks also writes that "it seems to make little difference whether catchy songs have lyrics or not--the wordless themes of Mission: Impossible or Beethoven's Fifth can be just as irresistible as an advertising jingle in which the words are almost inseparable from the music (as in Alka-Seltzer's "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz" or Kit Kat's "Gimme a break, gimme a break...") p. 44

Sacks further notes that "the perception of music and the emotions it can stir is not soley dependent on memory, and music does not have to be familiar to exert its emotional power. I have seen deeply demented patients weep or shiver as they listen to music they have never heard before, and I think that they can experience the entire range of feelings the rest of us can, and that dementia, at least at these times, is no bar to emotional depth. Once one has seen such responses, one knows that there is still a self to be called upon, even if music, and only music, can do the calling. p. 346.

"Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does--humans are a musical species." - Preface

As the book's promotional jacket points out "Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks tells us why."




(3) "de gustibus non est disputandum"

There's no accounting for taste, a.k.a. "Music. How my tastes have changed..."



Post Raisin Bran box with Bobby Sherman on back that could be cut-out and played on a record player - (Courtesy of A Journal of Musical Things where you can also listen to this record).

For a list of the Top 10 Cereal Records of all time per Mr. Breakfast (Courtesy of

See Michael Cumella's The Internet Museum of FLEXI/CARDBOARD/ODDITY for records like these (and more)- Highly Recommended


Assortment of cut-out records (Courtesy of Michael Cumella)



"I’m so old I once got a phonograph record on a cereal box. It played. And I remember what a “phonograph” is!" Posted on June 21, 2022 by geezerbill


FACTOLA, 1956 - Phonograph records were put on cereal boxes as a premium to cut-out and play. According to and Discogs the first records were on General Mills' Wheaties cereal boxes in 1956, 78 RPM cut-outs for Walt Disney's Mouseketeer Records of Chip 'N Dale performing "Ten Little Indians" and "The Laughing Song."





Eastridge is a designated Historic District in Lincoln, NE. See the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service Register of Historic Places Registration Form on Lincoln's City Planning Department website for the form and more details about Eastridge including a list of the original owners of homes in Eastridge which included my parents home at 544 Lyncrest Drive which the Strauss Bros. built for them in 1954.


PhonoLiterature - Abide by Jake Adam York

(1) Curiously, at the time Leon Scott invented his phonautograph, he had devised a way only to make a visual record of a voice, but not to reproduce the sound. Scott's recording bristle -- from a pig or a bird -- scratched the surface of the blackened paper to make a visual tracing of the voice. "He never anticipated that these tracings could be used to reproduce the voice," Koenigsberg said. "They were only used for visual study."

Courtesy of Allen Koenigsberg and the New York Times, March 25, 1999 by Katie Hafner


(2) Jake was inspired by the Civil Rights Memorial to take on a project he called Inscriptions for Air. He wrote of this project:

Inscriptions for Air is the collective name for the body of elegiac poetry I’ve been writing for the last decade, dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement, known and unknown. Inscriptions for Air is a book with several spines, with many bindings, which include those of Murder Ballads, A Murmuration of Starlings, and Persons Unknown, while also exceeding them.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Review of Books, The Air We Make Together: The Life and Poetry of Jake Adam York April 7, 2013 By Jon Tribble




PhonoLiterature - The Big Book of Time

(1) Readers Digest Kids Big Book of Time, Written by William Edmonds - Illustrations by Helen Marsden Copyright © 1994 Marshall Editions Developments Ltd., Text copyright © 1994 William Edmonds ISBN 0-89577-579-4 (1)



PhonoLiterature - The Castle of the Carpathians by Jules Verne

(1) 1893 First Edition courtesy of Raptis Rare Books




PhonoLiterature - The Tribulations of a Chinaman by Jules Verne

(1) The Tribulations of a Chinese in China: Verne and the Celestial Empire by William Butcher, The Journal of Foreign Languages, No. 5 September 2006, p. 76.




PhonoLiterature - Voyages to the Moon and the Sun

(1) Cyrano de Bergerac's literary prediction of the phonograph as invented by Moonmen as noted by Daniel Marty in his book The Illustrated History of Phonographs, VILO Inc. New York, English edition ©1981, p.10




PhonoLiterature - The Phonograph Girl

(1) "as it travelled its Western circuit of vaudeville" - The newspaper reviews include the identification of the theatres where this musical skit had performed. "The Phonograph Girls" was part of the world of vaudeville in 1906. As noted in the 2018 exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center titled "Vaudeville" the life on the road was an essential aspect "for the thousands of entertainers who traveled around the country performing in theatres that were part of a vast network of venues."


(2) vaudeville - "For more than a century, vaudeville was the most popular form of American entertainment and one of the country's largest cultural exports. Performances on the vaudeville stage included comic sketches, acrobatics, animal tricks, magic, blackface performance, celebrity appearances, early film, and more. Shows featuring immigrant acts, racial stereotypes, and frequent appeals to nationalism defined a complex and often problematic sense of American identity at the turn of the 19th century." - 2018 exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center titled "Vaudeville."

"Vaudeville was a snapshot of America in the moment it was happening," says Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Ransom Center and organizer of the exhibition. "It captured some of the best and worst of society, and the jokes, songs and formulas developed by vaudevillians over a century ago can still be found in television, film and performance today." - Harry Random Exhibition Shares the Story of Vaudeville.

See the following short video produced for a preview of the Harry Ransom center Exhibition "Vaudeville."


(3) Sarah Bernhardt at the New Orlean's Greenwall Theatre, March 1906 - Bernhardt's seven-night stand "was billed as the farewell tour of “The Divine Sarah,” but it would be a long farewell — it was the first of four such “retirement” tours she made.

In true New Orleans style, the affection for her locally was expressed in culinary fashion, with the Sarah Bernhardt Cake — ostensibly invented by the old Dixiana Bakery at North Broad and Bruxelles Street. It was popular for decades, available at bakeries well into the 1990s."


"Part of a 1954 newspaper ad for the old Dixiana Bakery at North Broad and Bruxelles Street included an image of its Sarah Bernhardt Cake, which was popular among New Orleanians for decades, well into the 1990s."

The Bernhardt at the Greenwall Theatre and the Bernhardt cake information extracted from article by Mike Scott, May 17, 2021, The New Orleans Advocate and The Time-Picayune


(4) Lillie Langtry, aka "The Jersey Lillie," "née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton (1853-1929) – One of the most famous actresses of the 19th century, Langtry was born in Jersey, an island off the coast of Normandy, France on October 13, 1853. She was the only daughter of the Dean of Jersey." Courtesy Legends of America.

Langtry first toured the U.S. in October 1882 until May 1883 and it was highly successful.

In 1903, she starred in the U.S. in The Crossways. She returned to the United States for vaudeville tours in 1906 and again in 1912. She last appeared on the stage in America in 1917. Wikipedia

"She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She was the subject of widespread public and media interest." Wikipedia




PhonoLiterature - Le Courrier Véritable

1) A description of a voyage by Captain Vosterloch in Le Courrier Véritable for April 1633 - The Illustrated History of Phonographs by Daniel Marty, VILO Inc. New York, English edition ©1981, p.10; Also an engraving with the caption "An imaginary gramophone of 1632: sound contained in a sponge is given out when the sponge is squeezed." Le Courrier Véritable. ibid p.8.




PhonoLiterature - Gargantua and his son Pantagruel, Book IV, Chapter LVI

(1) Francois Rabelais' description of frozen words in as noted by Daniel Marty in his book The Illustrated History of Phonographs, VILO Inc. New York, English edition ©1981, p.9.




PhonoLiterature - The Machine Stops

(1) "where music is available everywhere via "music-tubes" and the experience of life on earth's surface is captured and preserved through phonograph records and movies," Selling Sounds - The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman, ©Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2009, p.247




Newspapers named The Phonograph

(1) The Phonograph newspaper is identified as a daily newspaper in The History and Present Condition of the Newspaper and Periodical Press with a Catalogue of the Publications of the Census Year. Washington, Government Printing Office 1884 with two additonal newspapers identified by (i.e., Pence, KS and Hillsboro, KS)

Phillips Phonograph - Phillips, Maine, weekly newspaper begun in 1878 - Franklin County, Maine

Lewiston Phonograph - Lewiston, Maine, weekly newspaper that was suspended in June 1880 (unknown when it started).

Phonograph - St. Paul, Nebraska, Howard County Pop. 4,391 weekly newspaper begun in 1878 - 1966*

St. Paul Phonograph - St. Paul, Nebraska, Howard County 1887 - 1902* (only counted once for this Factola, see above*)

Texas Phonograph - Taylorsville, Williamson County, Texas, weekly newspaper begun in 1880

Phonograph, Blanchard - La Fayette County, Wisconsin, weekly newspaper started in 1878, suspended in July 1880

Colby Phonograph, Colby Clark County, Wisconsin, weekly newspaper started in 1878

Phonograph - Plymouth, Hancock County, Illinois, weekly newspaper started in 1879

Sunday Phonograph - Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, Sunday newspaper started in 1879

Rockwell Phonograph - Rockwell, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, weekly newspaper started in 1879

Corning Phonograph - Corning - Steuben County, New York, weekly newspaper suspended in July 1880

The Pence Phonograph - Pence, Scott County, Kansas started in 1887 and ended in 1889

The Phonograph, Hillsboro, Kansas 1881



(2) "released as a floppy disk magazine"

"The magazine is two disks in a case with a label on it that looks like a miniature magazine cover. Insert a 3 1/2-inch disk in a disk drive and an image of Aladdin pops up on the screen seated next to a lamp billowing smoke where tiles of stories appear and then fade with the push of a button."

The July-August 1987 issue of The Futurist magazine explained this new reading experience. "How does it work? One sample magazine story might be about how to refinance your home. With most magazines, you would have to read hypothetical stories that may not apply to your own situation. But with The New Aladdin, you plugged your own facts and figures into the story to find out precisely how much refinancing your home would cost and how much it may save you in the future."

Source: The magazine of the future (on floppy disk!) By: Matt Novak, October 13, 2016

Phonograph Connections with the Sewing Machine


(1) "The new phonograph takes up, with its table, about the space occupied by a sewing-machine, and might at first be taken for one." The Atlantic, February 1889


(1A) "Mr. Charles Batchelor, a very skillful mechanic..." from Tom Edison's Career, The Red Cloud Chief, April 11, 1878, page 2

"Charles Batchelor became one of Edison's closest laboratory assistants and business partners during the 1870s and 1880s." - Wikipedia



(2) "Uncle Sam--Now Let Some of the Other Fellows Invent Something" by Charles Nelan, New York Herald, January 9, 1898 courtesy of Ohio State Library, Cartoonist Collection,>



(3) Phono-Graphics - The Visual Parphernalia of The Talking Machine by Arnold Schwartzman, ©1993 Chronicle Books; Photograph by Garry Brod ©1993

This is a superb book of phonograph related images and graphic styles used "to adorn and advertise phonographs and phonograph accourtrements during the golden age of the Talking Machine" including this set of Columbia Graphophone needle tins from the collection of the author, Arnold Schwartman.


Factola MENU


Edison: From theTelephone and the Telegraph comes the Phonograph

(1) The New York Times November 7, 1877 in an article titled THE PHONOGRAPH began "The telephone was justly regarded as an ingenious invention when it was first brought before the public, but it is destined to be entirely eclipsed by the new invention of the phonograph. The former transmitted sound. The latter bottles it up for future use....“If the Phonograph proves to be what its inventor claims that it is, both book-making and reading will fall into disuse. Why should we print a speech when it can be bottled, and why should we learn to read when, if some skillful elocutionist merely repeats one of "George Eliot's" novels aloud in the presence of a phonograph, we can subsequently listen to it without taking the slightest trouble?



Advertising and Phonograph Industry MENU


The Edison Phonograph's Double Service

(1) In 1903 Double Service became an Edison advertising theme to emphasize the employment of Edison Records for Amusement and Language Study. An article in the Edison Phonograph Monthly of August 1903 noted that the I.C.S.'s Manager was reporting "very satisfactory progress in the matter of having I.C.S. language outfits handled by the trade."

Double Service - Language Study and Amusement

Language Study - French, German, Spanish and English
Dictation for business and pleasure, e.g., Business letters and 'The Modern Valentine' - sending your Valentine 'card' as a recorded message
Amusement - Music and Entertainment for Every Home and Everyone in the Home



(1) - Miscellaneous Phonograph connections in history and popular culture

Phonograph related images - in advertisements and photographs, on the intranet, etc.
Phonograph related phrases - heard in sayings such as "sounds like a broken record", "in the groove", and "record album".
Phonograph related experiences - stories related to growing up with recorded sound, listening to vinyl records played by phonographs, etc.
Phonograph related facts called Factolas - facts related to the phonograph and recorded sound




(1) Stollwerck phonograph and records displayed as logo courtesy of EMI Archive Trust




Why December 6th?


(1) Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912, Koenigsberg, Allen, APM Press, ©1987, p. xii) - December 6, 1877: "Kruesi finished the phonograph.", as recorded in the diary of Charles Batchelor, one of Edison's aides.


(1A) On the subject of the phonograph's birthday being celebrated on December 6th by Friends of the Phonograph, Allen Koenigsberg agreed with that date in his December 6, 2022 correspondence with Doug Boilesen, a Friend of the Phonograph, but he added some "twists." In Allen's words "Certainly Dec 6th is better than the various others that have floated during the last century. There are always slight twists to these things, as didn't Batchelor give Dec 4, for "How do you get that" as the first recorded words? (before "Mary"). On the other hand, there is (also) the 'Halloo Phonograph' (pre-cylinder) of late July 1877, which looked like a flat slide-rule, and held a small strip of paraffined paper (enough for one word anyway). TAE refers to it in early Feb 1878."


(2) Note 3. Charles Batchelor made an entry in his diary for Friday, 7 December 1877, in which he recorded, "Went to New York today...Took Phonograph to Scientific American." The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Volume 3, The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Vol. 3, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, ©1994, p. 659.

Technical Note -1143- is a letter from Charles Batchelor to George Bliss dated Dec 6 [1877] and Batchelor tells Bliss that the Phonograph is a success saying "Well we have done it and have today shown it in New York to the Scientific American people who are now sketching the apparatus for a future issue." The editors, however, put a footnote next to Dec 6 in the letter and state that "According to his diary entry (Cat. 1233:341, Batchelor [TAEM 90:223] and Edward Johnson's letter (Doc. 1147) the phonograph was not taken to the Scientific American office until 7 December."

Another letter by Charles Batchelor to the Editor of the English Mechanic [-1144-] is dated Dec 7th [1877] informs its Editor that "Edison has just devised a method of recording and reproducing the human voice." Batchelor then goes on to say "It has been exhibited for the last few days in New York and has excited the admiration of many scientific men." Therefore, apparently Batchelor misdated two letters if the Diary entry of December 7 when they went to New York and office of Scientific American takes precedence which is where the weight of opinion to this point has gone, i.e., Batchelor's diary entry Dated Dec 7 for the visit to New York and Scientific American.

Edward Johnson sent a telegram to Uriah Painter on December 7, 1877 with time indicated as 1:30 pm stating "Phonograph Delivered to me today. Complete success Talks plainer than telephone inform Henry & Butler."

A letter from Edward Johnson to Uriah Painter dated December 8 [-1147-] gives more details about a December 7 visit to Scientific American demonstration as Johnson writes: "The Scientific American was all ready to go to Press when I took the machine up there yesty. They stopped it -- took a sketch of the machine made an engraving of it last night (engraver boards at our House & sat up all night in his room working on it) & will issue one day later in consequence."

Despite the inconsistencies of the dates of the letters and dates in the diary, the current understanding remains, based on Batchelor's diary, that the Phonograph was finished on December 6 and was taken to New York on December 7.


(2A) (National Park Service) - "He liked the phonograph so much he called it his "baby." He also worked on the phonograph longer than any other invention -- 52 years--and made many improvements."


(3) Technical Notes 968, Speaking Telegraph, July 17, 1877. Ibid p. 438.


(4) Patrick Feaster, "Speech Acoustics and the Keyboard Telephone: Rethinking Edison's Discovery of the Phonograph Principle," ARSC Journal 38:1 (Spring 2007), 10-43


(5) Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, Allen Koenigsberg p. xi - "But Edison, as early as July 18, 1877, had already discovered the basic principle of the phonograph, and mentioned it almost in passing on a laboratory work sheet. Edison was concerned at the time with developing a cheap and efficient method of transferring telegraph signals from station to station. He conceived an automatic electro-mechanical device and built both cyulinder and disc models. As he later recalled it was his hearing difficult which caused him to attach a sharp point to a telephone diaphragm and the vibrations actually caused the point to prick his finger. He then reasoned that the mechanical force of the diaphragm would be equivalent to the electrical embossing point of the telegraph apparatus. By the end of July he had constructed a paraffin paper deviced called a telephonic repeater, and immediately filed for a patent in Great Britain."


(6) Rutgers - - "In July 1877, while developing his telephone transmitter..."


(7) Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, Allen Koenigsberg p. xii


(8) America's Story - see source 7 for details


(9) Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, Allen Koenigsberg p. xii ""apparently this sketch that his workman, John Kruesi, used to construct the first tin-foil model."


(10) Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, Allen Koenigsberg p. xii ""Kruesi made phonograph today.", as recorded in the diary of Charles Batchelor, one of Edison's aides.


(11) Rutgers - - The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project is co-sponsored by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the National Park Service, the New Jersey Historical Commission, and the Smithsonian Institution.


(12) Charles Cros, for his due credit as described in “The Talking Machine”, p. 9, by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul



Why December 6th?

Kruesi Patent Model completed on December 7, 1877

The Time Sheet for Kruesi's work on the Patent Model for the Phonograph is courtesy ENHS (now called Thomas Edison National Historical Park) and includes the following explanatory text courtesy of Allen Koenigsberg. ("Koenigsberg, Allen, Edison Cylinder Records 1889 - 1912," 2nd edition, 1987, p. 172.)



Moorestown, NJ and the Nipper connection

(1) The connection of Nipper to Moorestown is Eldridge R. Johnson, the early 20th century businessman and inventor who moved his family to Moorestown in 1919. Johnson bought the American rights to the painting of Nipper, "His Master's Voice," in 1900. Nipper became one of the most famous advertising icons in the world promoting the Victor Talking Machine, the Victrola and millions of phonograph and gramophone records.

After the 1929 purchase of the Victor Talking Machine Company by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) the company became RCA Victor and continued to use Nipper as its trademark for radios and a variety of other technologies.



Nipper statue on roof of Maryland Historical Society, Balitimore Maryland

(2) A large statue of Nipper can be seen on the top of the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood in the 600 block of Park Avenue. Alongside Nipper, the Society contains the original manuscript of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “papers of Maryland’s colonial governors and signers of the Declaration of Independence.”

The Nipper statue originally came from D&H Distributing company, located on Russell Street, in Baltimore, Maryland. The statue is 18-feet-tall, made by the Triangle Sign company, and was originally installed on the RCA building in the 1950s. When the RCA company discontinued use of the icon, collector Jim Wells (who helped bring the carousel to the National Mall) purchased the statue and placed it in the front yard of his home at 8731 Lee Highway in Merrifield, Virginia. He bought the statue for the meager price of $1. A townhouse development has been built over his house’s property with a street lovingly called Nipper Way in tribute to the dog who also resided there for nearly 20 years. Nipper was then sold to the Baltimore City Life Museum for $25,000 for a brief period, before moving to its current home atop the Maryland Historical Society’s building.


(3) World's Largest Nipper Statue

SITTING ATOP A STORAGE BUILDING in the North End neighborhood of Albany, New York, is a four-ton, 28-foot tall steel and fiberglass statue of Nipper, the canine mascot of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), the now-defunct consumer electronics behemoth.

According to the Albany Institute of History and Art, Nipper came to be perched atop the crenellated parapet in 1958 following renovation of the dilapidated concrete warehouse for use by RTA Corporation, an appliance distributor specializing in products by RCA. The statue was made in Chicago, shipped in five sections by rail, and attached to a metal frame on the roof with the aid of a 10-story crane.

Nipper is the largest of the four monumental terriers that once sat atop RTA’s distribution centers, and he’s the last dog to still exist on the building upon which he was originally installed. There were once enormous Nippers peering over the skylines of Chicago and Los Angeles, but those have since been demolished or removed.



(4) Cool Tunes


Syntonic's Environments disc 11



Cotesfield, NE - A Brief History

(1) "Cotesfield, Howard County". Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies. University of Nebraska. Retrieved 13 August 2014. Wikipedia


(2) Capace, Nancy (1999). Encyclopedia of Nebraska. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-403-09834-7. Wikipedia


(3) Fitzpatrick, Lillian L. (1960). Nebraska Place-Names. University of Nebraska Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-8032-5060-6. A 1925 edition is available for download at University of Nebraska—Lincoln Digital Commons. WIkipedia


(4) "Charles and James Adams were... and a doctor." Courtesy of Lester Boilesen and Nebraska Our Towns - Central and North Central 1989 , p. 148, A Second Century Publication, 1989


(5) Photograph Main Street Cotesfield 1905, courtesy of Lester Boilesen and Nebraska Our Towns - Central and North Central 1989 , p. 149, A Second Century Publication, 1989


(6) Photograph Main Street Cotesfield 1988, courtesy of Harris and Nebraska Our Towns - Central and North Central 1989 , p. 149, A Second Century Publication, 1989


(7) "Cotesfield Post Office". Howard County Historical Society. Retrieved 13 August 2014. Wikipedia


(8) Schweitzer, Amy. 138-year-old Cotesfield Church to Close, Grand Island Independent, Dec 3, 2011, ( accessed August 4, 2019)




PhonoAvenue - Phonograph Museums

(1) MUSEUM COLLECTION - Three photographs from Moscow Official Website, extracted on 9-5-2019 related to The House of Vintage Music, Moscow as described in an article of April 15, 2017- it is not known if this collection later became part of MUSEUM COLLECTION.

Phonograph Hall, late 19th century to 1920s

Klingsor Phonograph 1920s

Phonograph. France. 1900s


(2) PhonoAvenue Logo - Courtesy of Collections of Maine Historical Society, Maine Memory Network - Street scene - The Columbia Phonograph Co. was at 550 Congress Street at the corner of Congress and Oak streets in Portland, Maine, ca. 1912. Purchase a reproduction of this item on



The National Museum of American History

(1) One was a room described as a rural tenant farmer's kitchen, "the smaller of the two first-floor rooms in a house from Bowie, Maryland...." The National Museum of American History - A Smithsonian Museum by Shirley Abbott, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1981. p.363



(1) Massani 1905 Oil Painting "The Phonograph" as described in 1906 by Edison trade magazine:

A STRIKING OIL PAINTING. A calendar for 1906 was mailed to the entire trade early in January. Its principal feature was a reproduction by the three-color process of an oil painting of an old couple listening in delighted amazement to an Edison Phonograph for the first time. The original of this picture was painted by Massani, a noted Italian painter. It was imported a year ago by William Johnson, then of Fifth avenue, New York city. Its first public exhibition in this country was at the Chalfonte Hotel, Atlantic City, where Mr. Johnson had an extensive exhibit of paintings, and where it was priced at $1,050. It was there bought by the National Phonograph Co. It is now being reproduced in a handsome and life-like manner in fourteen colors of lithography, and copies will later be distributed to the trade. This reproduction will be the full size of the original painting, 17 x 25 inches. It will be worth a place in any home. Other uses of the painting will follow. The subject is universally regarded as one of the most striking ever put out in connection with a talking machine.

The Edison Phonograph Monthly, March 1906


(2) The Massani painting with the old couple and a Puck-style cylinder phonograph was recopied by an American artist and the Puck-style phonograph was replaced with "an Edison Home Phonograph" (Allen Koenigsberg, March 2022). This identification of the Edison Home phonograph as "the actual final version" of the machine replacing the original model painted by Massani was updated by Mr. Koenigsberg to correct the previous identification of the "Edison Standard" made in his 1993 Antique Phonograph Monthly article "Lost and Found: The Massani-Edison Painting Mystery" (Volume 11 Number 2 ). The Edison Home would be the model seen in all of Edison's "Old Couple" advertisements.

See letter from S. Johnson to Mr. J. R. Schermerhorn Asst. General Manager of the National Phonograph Co., for details of the purchase of this painting and transfer to Edison's National Phonograph Co. - page 4, Volume 11 Number 2 of the Antique Phonograph Monthly.



Munich for the Holidays 2008



Entertainment - Growing Up in Elba, Nebraska - Betty Ann

(1) Parcheesi - This Parcheesi board game could be ordered from a Montgomery Wards & Co. Catalogue in 1930.




(1) Sister Bev, Brother James, etc. - I love Tracy Chevalier's books and her At the Edge of the Orchard includes 17 years of annual letter writing on New Year's Day by brother Robert who poignantly never receives the letters sister Martha sends to him. In those letters it caught my fancy how they addressed each other with "Dear Sister" and "Dear Brothers and Sisters" and how Martha signs her letters "I am your sister Martha" and Robert signs "Your brother Robert."

After reading At the Edge of the Orchard I adopted these salutation and complimentary closing 'styles' for relatives when I write a letter or an email or if I leave a message on the phone.

This somewhat extraneous endnote is also my way of enthusiastically recommending all of Tracy Chevalier books.


Dictionary of Phonographia

(1) The Dictionary of Phonographia is authored by Doug Boilesen as a Friend of the Phonograph. The scope of this dictionary is "words and phrases with connections to the phonograph." The intent is to include content that is more whimsically connected to the phonograph than scholarly Phonograph Glossaries. Popular culture ephemera and artifacts provide examples related to meaning, 'how used' and context. In some cases the word or phrase and its respective definition will only be found in this dictionary.

For scholarly and comprehensive phonograph related dictionaries and glossaries see the following:

Glossary for The Talking Machine, An Illustrated Compendium 1877-1929 by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., ©2005

Glossary for American Record Companies and Producers 1888 - 1950 by Allan Sutton, Mainspring Press, Denver, Colorado ©2018 by Allan Sutton

The Routledge Guide to Music Technology edited by Thom Holmes, published by Routledge ©2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. "Definitions and a guide to all things musical in the technological universe."



(2) Sculpting Sound: The Life of a Field Recordist - Jack Needham speaks to practitioners of the art of field recording about the history of the craft and their distinct creative philosophies, March 24, 2017 -


(3) Connections - 'little circle" of man's experiences - My Antonia by Willa Cather, Scholarly Edition, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln & London 1994, p. 360

"I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man's experience is. For Antonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past."

arum phonographicum - "Singing Lily," from Salesman's Seed Catalog, Punch magazine 1911 cartoon drawn by George Morrow


Recording Factola - Video Games on Vinyl

(1) Excerpt from Video Game Soundtracks On Vinyl To Add To Your Collection, September 17, 2019 by Mathan Raj, extracted on 9-17-2019.

Firstly, do you remember these titles? Castlevania, God Of War, The Last Of Us, and Resident Evil 2. At first look, they are recognized as video games. These titles also share something in common. Each of the titles has inspired the creation of a vinyl record that has charted on the Billboard 200.
Certainly, video game soundtracks have been contributing to the vinyl resurgence. iam8bit is one such label which prides itself as a label dedicated to producing video game soundtracks on vinyl. The label has sold 200,000 albums to date. At the present time, in 2019 there are various labels that specialize in video game soundtracks on vinyl. For example, Mondo, Fangamer, Data Discs and more emerging as the demand for the medium increases.




Sally Grossman's Obituary - The New York Times

DBB: I thought this reader's comment about Neil Genzlinger obituary of Sally Grossman was perfect:

"Sometimes the best and most informative articles in the Times are the obituaries. Lives lived, captured on an album cover." - Rick Morris, Montreal, March 17, 2021



Entertainment Growing Up in Elba, Nebraska - Betty Ann Barr Boilesen

(1) A movie serial was a series of short movies or one-reelers that were designed to be seen as episodes. They were famous for leaving you wanting to know what was going to happen next.


(2) Little Orphan Annie In the Den of Thieves, Reprinted from daily strip beginning March 19, 1944 and ending July 28, 1944


(3) "The Balking Mule made by Marx is probably the more likely one Mom had which could have been ordered from a Montgomery Wards & Co. Catalogue in 1930 for 48 cents including postage.


(4) Home Ice Delivery - In many towns there was home ice delivery service as seen in circa 1910 postcard showing an ice company delivering ice via horse and wagon (place unknown other than the wagon says "Gibson Adams Ice.")




(5) Vanilla in ice cream - "Thomas Jefferson may have discovered vanilla ice cream when a bottle of vanilla extract accidentally spilled into the frozen milk and cream dessert he was preparing during the summer he wrote our Constitution, according to an interesting line in a class action federal lawsuit filed on Oct. 4 against Wegmans Food Markets." (by Tracy Schuhmacher, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, extracted on October 10, 2019 )


(6) GEM Ice Cream Freezer made by The American Machine Company, Philadelphia, PA. Catalogue and Price-List of Hardware Specialties, No. 10, 1889, page 5, Gem Ice Cream Freezer courtesy of The Smithsonian Libraries. Extracted on 2019-10-04


(7) Cherry Mash and the Chase Candy Company. Chase’s famous mascot, the ”Candy Cop,” was prominently featured on most of their candy bar wrappers. Extracted on 2019-10-04.


(8) "The original candy consisted of a quarter-pound mound of chopped roasted peanuts, blended with chocolate coating over a smooth cherry fondant center. It was originally called Cherry Chase, and then Cherry Chaser before becoming known as Cherry Mash." Wikipedia extracted 2019-10-04


The Hour of Charm - Courtesy of the Radio - Betty Ann Barr Boilesen

(1) The Hour of Charm All Girl Orchestra was assembled by conductor and band leader Phil Spitalny. Spitalny and the orchestra made their debut in New York City at the Capitol Theater, and began a network radio program, "The Hour of Charm," on January 3, 1935. He said that he found the best players in small towns, reasoning that the women were able to devote more time to practicing their instruments and developing good technique. He instructed them to follow a strict and rigid routine, rehearsing for five or six hours a day, and, as part of their contract, the women pledged not to leave and get married without giving six months' notice. Ranging in age from 17 to 30, it didn't take long for the band to become an attraction - and for years, their show was a fixture on Sundays, first over CBS (1935), then NBC (1936-46), and then back on CBS (1946-48). They became so popular by 1940 that the orchestra had expanded to 34 members. From Discogs & Wikipedia


(2) On May 20, 1936, Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act which was one of the most important pieces of legislation passed as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. This law allowed the federal government to make low-cost loans to farmers who had banded together to create non-profit cooperatives for the purpose of bringing electricity to rural America.



Annie's Good-Night Routine

(1) Burns & Allen Radio Show


Burns and Allen was an American comedy duo consisting of George Burns and his wife, Gracie Allen. They worked together as a successful comedy team that entertained vaudeville, film, radio, and television audiences for over forty years.

The duo met in 1922 and married in 1926. Burns was the straight man and Allen was a silly, addle-headed woman...Their 30-minute radio show debuted in September 1934 as The Adventures of Gracie, whose title changed to The Burns and Allen Show in 1936; the series ran, moving back and forth between NBC and CBS, until May 1950. - Courtesy Wikipedia



Anna Ellen Ender Vogt Barr

(1) Anna's sister Sarah (Tay) married Ernest Vogt, the brother of Anna's first husband (Frank Vogt). Tay and Ernest divorced due to Ernest's alcoholism. Ernest died in 1925 and the coroner determined that 'poison' was the cause of death resulting from some whiskey that he had received (this, of course, was during Prohibition in the US). His body was found near a pile of railroad ties on a railroad siding outside of town. The Howard County Herald reported that "Ernest was addicted to the use of intoxicating liquor for a number of years but was never known by relatives to remain out of doors after becoming intoxicated." Howard County Herald, October 1, 1925 p1.




Raymond Vogt

(1) Ray Vogt and Miss Edna Dallas were Thanksgiving guests...

Ray and Edna celebrate Thanksgiving at Manley and Anna Barr's home, The Phonograph, December 2, 1931


2) Ray looking for corn husking work in Western Nebraska

The Phonograph, November 11, 1931



Chris Vogt

(1) Chris was working for the Elba Broom Factory in 1934.

The Phonograph, July 4, 1934



The Regina Company's What-if?

(1) Regina Company background and photo of Gustave Brachhausen extracted from The Regina Music Box Company Photos and History on 19-23-2019 courtesy of Al Meekins and The Meekins Antique Regina Music Box website.


(2) The Regina Music Box Company Introductory Comments and History of the Regina Music Box Company sections, pp.170- 172, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972


(3) Historical Postscript in Q. David Bower's History of the Regina Music Box Company, pp. 171-172, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972


(4) Reginaphone - The Regina Company, Rahway, N.J. - Regina advertised as "two-instruments in one" and Bower's description of the business decision to incorporate a phonograph to several of its music box styles from p.179, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972


(5) During the last several years Regina made a valiant but too-late attempt from p.171, Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers, Vestal Press 1972



Axel and Betty Christmas Traditions

(1) The Christmas Tree - Hallmark Motion and Light Ornaments - Kringle's Toy Shop 1987 and Village Express 1986.



(2) Christmas Eve Supper - Yum Yums (sloppy joes) - The Yum-Yum Hut in Lincoln opened on the northwest corner of 29th and O Street circa 1932 and became known for its 10 cent 'loose meat sandwich' made of ground beef and other ingredients based on a secret family recipe. Tastee Inn was another popular sandwich similiar to the Yum Yum that included a drive through where the location of the serving window made the driver of the car have to use the passenger side window to pick-up the order.

Yum-Yum Hut photo courtesy of Lost Restaurants of Lincoln Nebraska by Jeff Korbelik



Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy joe's origins lie with the "loose meat sandwiches" sold in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1930s and were the creation of a cook named Joe. Source: Wikipedia and Reference The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson.

The recipe used for our Yum-Yums was apparently not the exact recipe of Lincoln's Yum-Yum Hut since the recipe that the Lincoln Journal had printed in their newspaper in the 1960's had to be denied by the Journal as Yum-Yum's: “Yum-Yum is a trademark registered in the state of Nebraska and other states and the recipe is copyrighted and cannot be disclosed. A recipe carried earlier in this column from a reader for a loose meat sandwich is not the Yum-Yum recipe used by ... the Yum-Yum Sandwich Hut in Lincoln.” Source: Lincoln Journal April 22, 2008

TASTEE INN & OUT, Lincoln's icon of "Good Food" on North 48th Street

Tastee's 1982 Lincoln Journal Star


Tastee Inn & Out Closed in January 2014 - Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star



Axel and Betty Christmas Traditions

(1) Christmas Punch - 7-Up and Lime Sherbet - 1965 magazine ad for 7-Up - ice-cream or sherbet



Axel Boilesen - Memories of the Phonograph and Other Stories

(1) "The Jolly Coppersmith" record or "Kreuzfidele Kupferschmied" played by the Edison Military Band (1902) on Edison Gold Moulded Record 8139 (Courtesy of Tim Gracyk)


(2) Now for Some Music poster - C. B. Falls was the artist of this poster which was designed to support World War I American troops by asking the public to bring in their unused records for the troops. Scrap metal drives, paper drives and even phonograph record drives were part of all citizens doing their part to support the war.f


(3 Fauser, Annegret: Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II, Oxford University Press © 2013.



Axel Boilesen and World War II

Dwain Rassmussen Gone...But Not Forgotten newspaper article excerpt by Lisa Fischer, The Greeley Citizen

It was also noted in this article that three others within a mile and a half radius of the Rasmussen farm were lost around the same time. "Within a couple months of each other, one Marine and two flyers."



Axel's Parents

Chris worked for the REA - about 1936 photograph: Front - Fred Spilger, Christ Boilesen, Pearl Bobrey, James Fisher, Ed Kolar, George Laurtsen, C. H. Kruse; Back - __________, Andrews Christensen, ________, Ed Deniski, Henry Bermer, Charles Doobry, Andrews Miller, ________, Geroge.

DBB Note: Two stories I heard in later years about my Grandpa Boilesen (Chris) working at the REA. First, during those years my dad, Axel, and his mom were primarily responsible for the farm while Chris drove to St. Paul and worked. Second, Chris was not promoted to REA management because he never finished high school.



Axel "felt like nothing had been accomplished and that the same would be true the next day."

In a 2008 interview Axel described his returning to Nebraska after World War II, getting married, going to the University of Nebraska to get his engineering degree and then taking a job with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. The interviewer then asked "so you decided that you didn't want to be a farmer." Axel laughed and then said, "Oh no, I knew that way back in '34." - CITY-TV Live and Learn Interview with Axel Boilesen March 2008 (16 minutes)




Hello or Ahoy - Memories of the Phonograph - "Halloo!" "Hello" and Edison

(1) The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everybody Uses But No One Reads by Ammon Shea, Perigee/Penguin 2010




(2) APM - Antique Phonograph Monthly published by Allen Koenigsberg from January 1973 to 1993. "This publication had two original goals: First, to provide a prompt, reliable advertising medium to collectors and dealers; and second, to publish pictures, articles, reviews, and accurate information for collectors, libraries, and historical societies."

On-line copies are available courtesy of Allen Koenigsberg and The Internet Archive.



(2A) Three examples of "Hello" used in 1833 by Col. David Crockett in the book "Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee" by Davy Crockett, published by J. & J. Harper, New York, 1833. Hello is used not as a 'greeting' but as a way to get the other persons attention and then say what he wants.

(3) Allen Koenigsberg said he would still like to know what exactly was going through Edison's mind at the moment of creation.

Editor's note:

In a correspondence with Allen Koenigsberg in 2021 he wrote me that over the years he has "pushed back the literal origins of Hello a few years, even before Edison's birth. At last count, it worked out briefly to 1826, in a regional newspaper, but the word seemed almost low-class at first, at least based on the people who were shown using the term, Blacks, rural folk, etc. In a world (back then) where even Purgatory (aka Hell) was always reluctantly hyphenated as H-ll, I wonder if there was some resistance in good company to that spelling, since we often saw common (pre-)variants of Halloo, Hollo, Hullo... generally with a sense of surprise and increased volume, but not as much with HEllo. There was even a religious group which refused (ca 1910) to use "Hello" but failed to promulgate their awkward substitution of "Heaven-o." Nonetheless it would appear that Edison had a lot of influence with making the word socialized and respectable as there were no song titles before ca. 1884. So I was perhaps too generous with Tom in terms of inventing the word itself. But Bell was fighting a losing battle.... "


Hello, Bab-by! Wm. A. Pond & Co., Chicago, 1884

First song title with "Hello" in it.

Courtesy Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins



Predictions and Possibilities identified by Thomas Edison - The North American Review article courtesy of JSTOR and University of Iowa

Family Record

(1) Alfred Lord Tennyson 1890 - Picker, John M., Victorian Landscapes, p. 11, Oxford University Press, 2003

(2) Video animation of Tennyson reading "The Charge of the Light Brigade", courtesy of poetryreincarnations by Jim Clark ©2011 - You Tube

(3) "The Sound of a Voice That is Still": Browning's Edison Cylinder by Michael Hancher and Jerrold Moore, The Browning Newsletter No. 4 (Spring, 1970), pp. 21-33 (13 pages) Published By: Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University (Courtesy of JSTOR

(4) Lithograph of “LISTENING TO THE MASTER’S VOICE,” FROM BLACK AND WHITE, 1891 (Courtesy of The Paris Review, "The Sound of a Voice That Is Still" by Dan Piepenbring May 7, 2015)



Speech and Other Utterances

(1) "No actual Lincoln recording, however, there is a photograph of Lincoln at the Gettysburg cemetery on the occasion of his Gettysburg address."

According to this AP article in 2013, President Lincoln at the dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863 is seated about two thirds up from bottom and 1 third in from left, no hat. These modern prints showing the crowd around the platform at Gettysburg and a detail from that picture of President Lincoln on the platform were made from the original glass plate negative at the National Archives. The plate lay unidentified in the Archives for some fifty-five years until in 1952, Josephine Cobb of the National Archives identified Lincoln in a photo taken by David Bachrach.


Courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine




Speech and Other Utterances

(2) Washington's Farewell Address in Popular Culture and "its return to public awareness"

According to political journalist John Avlon, the Farewell Address was "once celebrated as a civic Scripture, more widely reprinted than the Declaration of Independence" but adds that it "is now almost forgotten."[13] He suggested that it had long been "eclipsed in the national memory" until the Broadway musical Hamilton brought it back to popular awareness in the song "One Last Time", where lines are sung by Washington and Hamilton from the end of the Address.[14] - Extracted from Wikipedia 7-17-2020

[13] Avlon, John (2017). Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations. Simon and Schuster. p. 1.
[14] What We Can Learn From 'Washington's Farewell'". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. January 8, 2017.





The Lewis Phono-Metric Institute and School for Stammers - "lessons could be practiced..." p. 85, 2-66, Antique Phonograph Advertising: an illustrated histgory by Timothy C. Fabrizio & George F. Paul, Schiffer Publishing Co., ©2002.



Predictions and Possibilities identified by Thomas Edison


(1) Patrick Feaster's essay for the Thomas Edison National Historic Park titled "Things Enough for So Many Dolls to Say": A Cultural History of the Edison Talking Doll Record published on April 13, 2015.


(2) "and the very first idea..." Notebook entry of November 23, 1877, Document 1119, TAEB 3:629; TAED NV17018; TAEM 4:888.

Feasters continues: "It should come as no surprise that this was the first recreational use for the phonograph that came to Edison's mind, since the talking doll was then already an established commercial commodity. In fact, it was the only regularly manufactured product based on an older species of "talking machine" which relied on imitating the mechanical working of the human speech organs by means of reeds, bellows, and the like. Johann Nepomuk Maelzel had taken out a French patent on one such "talking doll, which pronounces the two words papa and maman," in 1823-24,[2] and in 1850 a doll-maker in High Holborn reported that he was selling "rather more than a dozen a year at £6 6s. each."[3] By the mid-1860s, talking dolls had become common enough that an author of children's stories could mention a girl playing with one on the assumption that readers would know what it was and how it worked."


(3) Toys which used records inside the doll or in the toy for the talking had their golden years. Some of its scope from its golden years can be seen in two excellent reference books: Talking Toys of the 20th Century by Kathy and Don Lewis and Chatty Cathy dolls an identification and value guide, also by Kathy and Don Lewis. Additionally, see Phonograph Dolls and Toys by Joan & Robin Rolfs, Mulholland Press, 2004.




Predictions and Possibilities identified by Thomas Edison

Phonographic Books

(1) Punch’s Almanack for 1878, December 14, 1877

A wine cellar of bottled music engraved by Joseph Swain for Punch's Almanack for 1878. See The Untold Story of the Talking Book by Matthew Rubery, Harvard University Press, 2016, page 33. For an excellent on-line essay adapted from Matthew Rubery’sThe Untold Story of the Talking Book, see Bottled Authors - The predigital dream of the audiobook by Matthew Rubery, March 16, 2021.



Predictions and Possibilities identified by Thomas Edison


(1) The Phonogram, June 1892, p. 136 "Art in Advertising" - "Sapolio and the phonograph are now entwined in a fervent embrace..."


(2) The Phonogram, June 1892, p. 130-131 "The Phonograph Becomes the Great American Advertiser."




MOTP - Memories and Stories


Life, Music and the Harman-Kardon Incident by Kim Keister

(1) Kaj - Noun (Armenian mythology)

A spirit of storm and wind; can be both ugly and beautiful; There existed destructive female demons called parik, whose husbands were known as kaj. (Source: The Cambridge History of Iran, volume 3, pt.1: Iran, Armenia and Georgia, page 611)





In the March 1915 Edison Phonograph Monthly, a contest to DRAW THEM TO YOUR STORE! was described as follows:

Mr. Wilmot decided upon a "slogan" contest in order to draw people to his store, 101 North Main St., Fall River, to hear the Edison diamond disc. His primary object was to obtain "prospects." For this purpose he offered three prizes of $50, $15 and $10 cash to be awarded respectively to the three persons sending in the best three slogans which could be used for advertising purposes. The judges were to be the Advertising Department of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., Orange, N. J., to which all replies were to be submitted in sealed envelopes.

Mr. Wilmot published an eight-page paper, Wilmot's Advergraph fully setting forth the contest, the rules, etc. These he sent out or gave away gratuitously. He also advertised extensively in his local papers, the Globe and the Herald.

In all 267 persons signed up as contestants on the entry blank. Of these 167 were represented by non- owners of the Edison, and 80 were submitted by Edison owners. It is a fact that nearly every non-owner of an Edison testified that he was convinced that the Edison was by far the best musical instrument yet.

A great many good advertising slogans were received. The prizes were awarded for the three successful ones as follows:

THE $50 PRIZE ADVERGRAPH was won by Miss Gertrude E. Fiske, a member of the family of Capt. Geo. E. Rowland of the Fall River Line of steamers between New York and Fall River, and the owner of a $250 Edison disc delivered to her as a Christmas present a year ago, Dec, 1913. Her contribution was:

Was there ever another wonder like Thomas A. Edison?

Each succeding generation will find in his wonderful creation, the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph, the same interest and entertainment that excites the admiration of the present.

It is true we are given other phonographs, but they lack the life-like, true tones of the Edison.

There seems to be a charm and mellowness about the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph found in no other machine.

Mr. Edison is the inventor of the talking machine, and no one has improved on it in his day, or ever will.


"The triumph of reproducing music perfectly has been realized at last in the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph. The fame of the instrument will lie wholly in its power of perfect reproduction—not in the names of its artists."

Miss Winn is daughter of Mr. Thomas F. Winn, 337 Washington St., in whose home, a $250 Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph has been giving entertainment since Christmas, 1913.





Character Trademarks by John Mendenhall Copyright © 1990 by John Mendenhall. Chronicle Books - San Francisco

This book has over eight hundred character trademarks from the past century. Four are phonograph/record related, naturally beginning with the most well-known of all Phonograph Trademarks, Nipper and His Master's Voice (HMV).


(2) "The RCA Service Man " - Character Trademarks by John Mendenhall ©1990 by John Mendenhall, Chronicle Books - San Francisco

(3) "Duck Records" - Character Trademarks by John Mendenhall ©1990 by John Mendenhall, Chronicle Books - San Francisco

(4) "Baly Records" - Character Trademarks by John Mendenhall ©1990 by John Mendenhall, Chronicle Books - San Francisco




Zon-o-Phone - "On Speaking Terms" - The Universal Talking Machine Mfg. Co abandoned their "monkey" trade-mark to the "figure of a child listening intently to the dulcet tones of a Zonophone record, with the legend attached, "On Speaking Terms." The Talking Machine World, October 1905




DB Stories - My Grandpa Barr

Hootchy Koochy - also other variants, e.g., Hootchey Koochey, etc. - a catch-all term to describe several sexually provocative belly dance-like dances from the mid-to late 1800s popular at carnivals, etc.

In The Phonoscope, November 1896, there is a listing for a Comic Song titled: Ootheey Koochey but I'm not sure if this is related.





DB Stories - Sunrise at Walden Pond - Photo by Tim Laman, Autumn sunrise, Walden Pond via Instagram and National Geographic




Advertising Factolas - Pre-1900 Phonograph Ads

(1) In 1893 the North American Phonograph Company - brochure from The Thomas Edison Papers, Rutgers [CA027F; TAEM 147:395]


Advertising Factolas - Pre-1900 Phonograph Ads

(1A) The Julius Block Recordings - Starting in 1889, what is now recognized as one of the earliest dates to record music, Julius Block recorded some of the most important artists and personalities of his time on cylinder.

The Marston three-CD set The Dawn of Recording The Julius Block Cylinders "range in date from 1889 to 1927, and were recorded in Russia, Germany, and Switzerland. Our three-CD set includes artists who have previously remained “silent” and will change the conception of many artists whose discography up until now were thought to be complete. These are the only known recordings of Anton Arensky, Paul Pabst, Sergei Taneyev, Leo Conus, Jules Conus, Anna Essipova, Jan Hrimaly, Anatoly Brandukov, Elizaveta Lavrovskaya, and Paul Juon. These are also the earliest surviving recordings of Josef Hofmann, Nikolai Figner, Eddy Brown, and Egon Petri. There are also recordings of the 11-year-old Heifetz one week after his sensational debut with Arthur Nikisch and the Berlin Philharmonic, which adds four pieces to Heifetz's discography. And, they include the first recorded performances of Bach, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Arensky." - Information courtesy of Marston




(2) "phonograph being used as an exhibition machine"

In 1897 Frank D. Thayer of Waterloo, Iowa sold Edison Grand Concert Phonographs and Exhibition Outfits and had five machines with operators to put on exhibitions wherever requested. He placed this advertisment in the phonograph trade magazine The Phonoscope, in December 1896.

The Phonoscope, December 1896



(3) Nickel-in-the-slot operators - Coin operated phonographs and phonograph parlors would continue to be seen into the first decade of the 20th century.

1904 Columbia magazine ad, 3" x 4"



(4) "greatest invention of the age and wonder of the world" - Exhibition handbill, 1893 courtesy of Nina and Dave Heitz as seen on p. 20 of Antique Phonograph Advertising, Fabrizio & Paul ; "Edison's Most Wonderful Invention" poster advertising Phonograph Concert for Methodist Church, February 14, 1896 from Talking Machine World, May 15, 1919.


Phonograph Concert, Chagrin Falls, February 14, 1896

"The poster advertises a concert given in a Methodist church, and puts special emphasis on the fact that there are no ear tubes on the machine, and that hundreds can hear it at the same time." Talking Machine World, May 15, 1919




Pre-1900 Advertising

(5) Edison Records are the Best - Edison Form 52 - Courtesy NYPL - Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Edison Records are the best" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1900.





(1) Looking for the Band - Coin-operated phonograph illustration (Feb. 1891 Phonogram) - On January 31, 1891, Albert K. Keller applied for his first patent on a coin-operated phonograph. He was eventually granted three patents on this device (#518,190, 518,191, and 518,192) which he assigned to the Automatic Phonograph Exhibition Co. of NY. - Courtesy p.109 Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912 by Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press, Brooklyn, NY ©1987




(1) "On September 17, 1915, Edison Records organized an invitation-only concert..." pp 65-665, Do Not Sell at Any Price by Amanda Petrusich ©2014 Scribner, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.



(1) PURE DELIGHT found in the Edison Phonograph - A variation of text used for this Edison ad in a smaller 1/12 page insertation in the The Saturday Evening Post, March 28, 1903.



(2) Selling Sounds The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman ©2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College, p. 116 - "on the back cover of the Saturday Evening Post, which had the largest circulation of any magazine in the United States, Victor ran its first full-page advertisement devoted to a single artist."




(3) Bettini Speciality Selections Catalog pp. 18-19, Stanford University Libraries, Reprint Series Publication no. 1 (1965) Original date 1898, Originally published: New York: Bettini Phonograph Laboratory {1898?} Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound,



"An Advertising Record," The Edison Phonograph Monthly, October 1904




PhonoHumor - Uncle Josh

(1) "I Wants a Graphophone" which Stewart wrote for comic Bob Roberts.



PhonoHumor Pre-1950

(1) Pleasant for Posterity cartoon courtesy of Yesterday's Papers - 'Phonograph Funnies' - editor John Adcock


(2) Electrical Exhibition Experiences - extracted from Yesterday's Papers - 'Phonograph Funnies' - editor John Adcock


(3) Photograph attempts to take picture of Dean, however, interrupted by an unfortunate selection on the phonograph.- courtesy Yesterday's Papers - 'Phonograph Funnies' - editor John Adcock



Edison Tone-Tests

(1) According to audio historian Emily Thompson between 1915 and 1920 the Edison company sponsored over four thousand tone tests, and twenty-five different sets of artists were scheduled to perform more than two thousand tone tests in 1920 alone. Emily Thompson, "Machines, Music, and the Quest for Fidelity: Marketing the Edison Phonograph in America, 1877-1925," The Musical Quarterly 79, no. 1 (1995): 131-71.



Sister Fay Alice Vogt Erickson

Eric Dahlberg Obituary (Andus Erickson's brother)








Photographer: Harry Walker (courtesy University of Houston Libraries)

Usage Terms: Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication

License: CC0



Connections that Created an Industry

(2) Six degrees of separation is a chain based on social connections also known as the 6 handshakes rule to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. The prototype opera stars identified by scholars who Willa Cather based as her own opera related characters that she used in various stories all were in actual life prima donnas and early phonograph recording stars. The theme of identifying these prototypes with characters in Cather's books, therefore is one 'handshake' away (even though in this case the handshake is with a fictional character).

(3) "The Edison Phonograph Monthly commented in their April 1911 Advance List edition by noting this about the singer of this song, Manuel Romain: "Lately returned from a successful vaudeville tour of the Western circuit, Mr. Romain is in excellent voice, as his rendition of the dainty number proves. Words and Music, Dempsey and Schmid; publishers, Weymann & Son, Philadelphia, Pa."

(4) "The Patent History of the Phonograph, 1877-1912" by Allen Koenigsberg, APM Press, 1991.

(4A) "The Greatest Triumph Known to Ancient or Modern Science!" From 1878 Broadside advertising lecture and demonstration for 25 Cents. This broadside is courtesy of the Howard Hazelcorn Collection as it appeared in Antique Phonograph Advertising, p. 7, Fabrizio & Paul, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., ©2002 by Timothy C. Fabrizio & George F. Paul.

(5) "Victor's enormous sign in New York City..." Selling Sounds - The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman, ©2009 Harvard University Press, p. 120


(6) INSTRUCTIONS, EDISON SPEAKING PHONOGRAPH CO, EDWARD HIBBERD JOHNSON, 1878 - Edison Papers Digital Edition, accessed May 23, 2021,


(7) "Each new home and personal entertainment device since the phonograph..."

This list is not intended to be comprehensive and only identifies a few well-known examples of audio devices that have used captured sound as part of its functionality. Every consumer product has a life cycle which can include improvements in technology, possible changes of formats and iterations of styles and models, but eventually obsolescence and disappearance from the market.
The phonograph has the 'record' for its duration of providing personal and home entertainment using 'captured sound" evolving with its sequence of record players, hi-fi's, stereos, and high-end systems that have played hundreds of millions of records throughout the decades and that continue to play in the 21st century.



The Phonograph in Multi-Media

(1) The Victor Talking Machine Co., Victor Victrola in the Media

Victor Talking Machine Co., in Camden, NJ is a subsidiary of Victor Corporation of America.® The reformation of the Victor Talking Machine Co. includes the creation of a website to support their new mission from Camden County, NJ - its original home base. "The Victor Victrola in the Media" web page is located here.

Brick by brick, song by song, and record pressed by record pressed - The Victor Company's new mission is simple and daunting; we are rebuilding the music industry to favor a healthy ecosystem of music business for artists and musicians. In the year 2020, we feel there is no nobler cause than to serve the health of the future of the music industry by reintegrating the manufacture of home audio instruments, the recording of music, the pressing of records, and the preservation of both Victor's unique history as the birther of the music industry - and its potential to (once again) establish a music business that helps musicians, in an era where much of the remaining music industry is designed to do the opposite. (Extracted from About Victor on 8/22/2020)


Divorceaversary Playlist

"One Less Cross to Bear" by Joe Bonamassa -- "I feel for Jesus and what he went through, Thank God He didn't have someone like you."



Favorite Album Covers - Why I chose this as my favorite

(1) Friends of the Phonograph Editor - Let is Bleed

Wikipedia summarizes the cover design and history nicely:

"The album cover displays a surreal sculpture designed by Robert Brownjohn. The image consists of the Let It Bleed record being played by the tone-arm of an antique phonograph, and a record-changer spindle supporting several items stacked on a plate in place of a stack of records: a film canister labelled Stones – Let It Bleed, a clock dial, a pizza, a motorcycle tyre and a cake with elaborate icing topped by figurines representing the band. The cake parts of the construction were prepared by then-unknown cookery writer Delia Smith. The reverse of the LP sleeve shows the same "record-stack" melange in a state of disarray. The artwork was inspired by the working title of the album, which was Automatic Changer.

Jagger originally asked artist M. C. Escher to design a cover for the album; Escher declined. The album cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010." Extracted from Wikipedia 9-7-2020.

As the FOTP editor I naturally love the creative stack of records being played by a phonograph tone arm but equally important is that this is a phonograph cake. And because the annual birthday party on December 6th celebrating the completion of Edison's original phonograph includes FOTP members enjoying a piece of cake I think of this "Let is Bleed" cake as the FOTP Birthday cake.

Instead of "Let it Bleed" I humbly propose "Let It Be a First Class Tribute" and a "Happy Birthday to the Phonograph!"


Favorite Album Covers - Why I chose this as my favorite

(2) Doug Boilesen - The South's Greatest Hits Volume II

As a Friend of the Phonograph I love additional album cover connections to the phonograph besides the vinyl record inside the sleeve.

The colors of this image, the setting sun, the tranquility of the record/pond with its record label in the middle of the pond, its rippling grooves and the fishing pole's hook in the water which itself could be the stylus playing the pond's record as the man and his dog seem to gaze in the same direction out and across the pond, listening and oblivious to fishing and instead both entranced by whatever the headphones are playing -- all of these pieces contribute to making this my 'favorite' album cover.


This cover also brings to mind the Judge magazine cover from 1922 when the radio was just becoming popular. A farmer is listening to the radio through his headphones while he milks his cow who likewise is wearing headphones along with the rooster also wearing headphones. Whether fishing or milking it seems that sounds from headphones are a nice thing to enjoy and to share with all beings.



Favorite Album Covers - Why I chose this as my favorite

(3) Nick Jester - Sky Blue Sky by Wilco

There’s so much motion in this image, and yet my eye is drawn to the one bird who isn’t with the pack. Is this bird boldly blazing it’s own trail in the sky? Or is it struggling to keep up with the others? It begs the viewer to listen and find out. Perhaps by doing so we can find our own place in the Sky Blue Sky. - NJ 9-5-2020



(4) Abraxas

"Annunciation" painting by Mati Klarwein, 1961


Gatefold photograph from Hejira album of Joni Mitchell skating at Lake




James Lee Caraway, Jr., January 3, 1920 - March 23, 2003.

Caraway was a commercial illustrator who did several art covers for RCA and an advertising series for Dictaphone in 1955. Documented here are two of those six-degrees of separation that serendipitously connected because one thing always leads to another.

Cover art for RCA 45 RPM Carousel illustrated by James Lee Caraway, Jr., 1953


Cover art for RCA 45 RPM Uncle Wiggily and the Pirates, illustrated by James Lee Caraway, Jr., ca. 1955



Favorite Songs

(1) "Message in a Bottle" by The Police selected by Doug Boilesen

This is a great song but its inclusion in my list of favorites was heavily influenced by its connection to the Phonograph. "Message in a Bottle" is about the isolation of one man, a castaway on an island, who sends out a message in a bottle hoping someone finds it and ultimately that he can find love. A year after sending out his bottle the man sees "a hundred billion bottles" on the shore, finding out that there are more people like him out there.

One of my favorite things that mankind has done with its technology is to send out Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts, one hundred years after the invention of the phonograph, and include on those spacecraft the "Golden Record" which was a phonograph record that could be played by whomever might intercept the spacecraft. The "Golden Record" was essentially the beings of Earth sending out a "message in a bottle" and "greetings from Earth."

When the New York Times reported in November 7, 1877 that the new Phonograph that was soon to be a reality, it described it as a sound storing machine "that bottles it up for future use."

The Voyager's phonograph record is the ultimate in stored up sound "for future use." And like the original tinfoil phonograph the Golden Record uses a needle and 'grooves.' Although not a laser disc, the Golden Record nevertheless has images recorded and viewable on the discs using analog technology with the audio playable at 16 2/3 rpm.

The overall intent is profound and remarkable - communicate "a story of our world to extraterrestrials." And even if the "Golden Record" is never played there is still the mind-bending possibility that the Voyager record will exist longer than humans on Earth.


And if mind-bending or awesome are inadequate here are some synonyms. Perhaps all of them together come closer.

SYNONYMS. breathtaking, amazing, stunning, astounding, astonishing, awe-inspiring, stupendous, staggering, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable. magnificent, wonderful, spectacular, remarkable, phenomenal, prodigious, miraculous, sublime.


Voyager 1 launched on September 5, 1977 (100 years after the invention of the Phonograph) - NASA/JPL


Look out for that Ice Wagon!

Listening to 'Rueben Haskin's Ride on a Cyclone Auto' at the Legacy Exhibit's Kiosk 2010




The Phonograph Witness.

(1) Copy of the Phonograph Witness extracted from Library of Congress, MLA Citation: Hill, Geo Wm. [from old catalog]. The Phonograph Witness ... Chicago, 1882.

The Permanent Link to this book.



Killarney and Miss Marie Narelle

(1) "In 1904 Gov. David. R. Francis of Missouri invited her to sing at the opening of St. Louis Exposition. She remained through the summer, singing in the Irish Village with John McCormack."


Marie Narelle's obituary in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1941


(2) Irish Village of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition - In her 2015 Thesis, "Blarney in St. Louie: Performing Irishness at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904" by Cassandra L. White Central Washington University, there is mention of John McCormack as one of the Irish vocalists but nothing about Narelle who would become more famous in the USA in following year when she recorded "Killarney" for Edison.

The Irish performed at the Irish Industrial Exposition (IIE) located on the Pike of the Lousiana Purchase Exposition (LPE). "Since Ireland was not an independent country at the time of the LPE, they could not exhibit in the main area of the LPE, except under the auspices of Great Britain." ibid, p.3.



The Routledge Guide to Music Technology edited by Thom Holmes, published by Routledge Taylor and Frances Group, 2006.

Do Not Sell at Any Price by Amanda Petrusich ©2014 Scribner, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Carrot Cake - Last scene in the movie Roger Rabbit: "Come on Roger. Let's go home. I'll bake you a carrot cake."



"Record Head" circa 1950, France from J. Peterman catalog offered for $475



Uncle Josh in an Automobile

(1) Image of havoc created by automobile driving through town.

Wren, James A., Jeffrey I. Godshall, Michael J. Kollins, James K. Wagner, and Anthony J. Yanik. "The Automobile—the Unwanted Child." SAE Transactions 98 (1989): 416-45. Accessed November 1, 2020.


(1) IRENE description from article "Going on Record" in Diablo Magazine by Justin Goldman, July 2008

The following is an excerpt from that article:

Wondering if you’ll ever be able to listen to your classic LPs again? Thanks to a few scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, you may sometime soon.

Carl Haber was conducting physics research that required precision optical measurements in 2000, when he heard that the Library of Congress was having problems preserving delicate sound recordings in its archive. He thought it would be possible to make an optical image of a record and then convert the data into a digital recording. Haber teamed up with Earl Cornell, a nuclear physicist with expertise in bioinstrumentation, to create a machine that would do just that.

In 2004, IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc.) —named after the first record they imaged, a 1950 Weavers’ cover of the Lead Belly song “Goodnight Irene”—was born. The machine, which looks like a turntable attached to a microscope, makes a map of the grooves in the record’s surface. Using a computer, Haber and Cornell delete imperfections from the map, creating impressively clean digital recordings from records that are scratched or even broken.

In addition, Haber and Cornell are working on a version of IRENE that would allow researchers to retrieve data from three-dimensional wax recording cylinders that anthropologists often used in fieldwork in the early 1900s. Berkeley’s Phoebe Hearst Museum has about 3,000 of these cylinders that contain song and speech from Native Americans.

“These are languages that are dying out,” Haber says. “Having better access to the primary existing recordings may help preserve them.” And, someday, you may be able to use an IRENE machine to put your beat-up 45s onto your iPod.


(1) By starting in 1888, the history of recorded music leaves out the decade of phonograph history following Edison's invention of the phonograph and the earlier 1857 history of Leon Scott de Martinville and his phonautograph.

Sound recording was actually invented twice, first by Leon Scott de Martinville's with his phonautograph, patented March 23, 1857 and his recording of Au Clair de la Lune made on April 9, 1860 (the earliest recognisable record of the human voice), and second by Edison in 1877.

Thomas Alva Edison and his head machinist, John Kruesi, completed work on the Phonograph at Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory on December 6, 1877. That 'completion' included the successful capture of the human voice and its playback (something Leon Scott never did).

Edison returned to work on his Phonograph in 1888 after abandoning it for nearly a decade while he developed and implemented an electrical lighting system. During that decade from 1878 to 1888 others had worked on improving the phonograph, e.g., Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Sumner Tainter, Chichester Bell with their Graphophone and Emile Berliner with his Gramophone. When Edison realized the improvements his competitors had made on his phonograph he was anxious to reclaim the phonograph as his invention as his "baby." With his attention refocused Edison and his assistants on June 16, 1888 "completed Edison's first commercial phonograph, which is generally known as the PERFECTED Phonograph." (See The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929 by George L. Frow and Albert F. Sefl, GLF 1985, Published in Great Britain, p. 2.

Apple's video bypassed significant years in the history of recorded sound by its starting point of 1888. But it was clearly not Apple's intent to be a documentary of the Phonograph or a scholarly history of recorded sound.

The selection of 1888 as a starting point also makes sense for Apple's presentation since before 1888 and before the improvements of the Columbia Graphophone and before the improvements made by Edison with his Perfected Phonograph of 1888 the Phonograph was essentially a novelty. It's development and intended future was as a business machine for dictation, i.e., it was a talking machine, not a musical machine. Scientific American, the first newspaper to report news of its invention, made this primary attribute of the Phonograph's clear with its headline to its article on December 22, 1877 "The Talking Phonograph."




(3) Information about guests of Col. Gouraud's dinner on October 5, 1888 with Sir Sullivan included the following:

The Phonograph’s first appearance in the “role” of Toast-master and Speech-maker. At a dinner given by Colonel Gouraud at his residence Little-Menlo, Beulah Hills, Upper Norwood, England, on the evening of October fifth, 1888, his guests being Her Majesty’s Postmaster General, Mr Cecil Raikes, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Mr Edmund Yates, Mr A. M. Broadley, Mr J. C. Parkinson, The Emperor Augustus Harris, “Drureolanus” and Acting Grand Chamberlain, Mr. H. de C. Hamilton.

The Phonograph standing upon a table behind the Host gave forth aloud the following toasts and speeches with perfect distinctness and fidelity to nature especially as regards the tones and mannerisms of the professional British Toastmaster, as to so paralyize [sic] the company that the electrical energy of a Schanschieff primary battery had to be applied to the guests to restore their mental and physical equilibrium.

Courtesy "The Phonograph as Toastmaster (October 5, 1888)" Patrick Feaster / April 5, 2017

Phono Needle Art

(1) "Needles were made of various materials..." The Routledge Guide to Music Technology, Edited by Thom Holmes, Published by Routledge, ©2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, p. 210




"Interaction between you and the object" - In a podcast by Ezra Klein on December 21, 2020, titled "What I've Learned, and What Comes Next" Klein reflects on his career at VOX as he moves to a new position at the New York Times, and comments on the importance of "doing the reading", of doing the research, and not simply relying on 'summaries of summaries." Klein says that if there is any single secret to this show, it is "that we do the reading." The importance is "the time you spend engaging or wrestling with the book, or the movie or the art or whatever it is. It's the interaction between you and the object that matters, you and the information, that's where something happens that creates something new that gives you your own perspective on it..."

After reading Nicholas Carr's The Shallows Klein was given a "language and framework for something I knew but didn't know and gave me a language and framework for alot of things I needed to know but didn't. Klein learned that "We are an actor in how we process information...the different modes, the different ways we experience information really matter for what happens next."

"Reading is an act of contemplation, where your whole mind is engaged." Nicholas Carr




Phonograph Sheet Music

(1) Strauss' Telephone and Phonograph Waltzes - Strauss. Strauss' Phonograph Waltzes. Mirsalis, Julius E., Philadelphia, monographic, 1878. Notated Music. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,



Phonographia in Movies


TOMORROWLAND and the Eiffel Tower

(1) Edison and his family's visit to Paris - "Edison with his wife and daughter, visited the Exposition on August 14, 1889, his third day in France, to visit the exhibit where his improved phonograph was being demonstrated. He also ascended to the viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower, where he was met by a group of Sioux Indians who were at the Exposition to perform in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show". Wikipedia Noteable Visitors and special events.


(2)" Factola 2: The Edison Record cylinder container shown in the movie appears to be an Edison 'Type H' container label. The gold-mouded record method used in August 1904 would have had the 'Type G' label on its box as shown on page 154 of Edison Cylinder Records (see also below the announcement from The Edison Phonograph Monthly, August 1904). Within a year, the felt-lined cardboard containers were introduced ('Type H')." Page xxiii, Edison Cylinder Records, 1889 - 1912 by Allen Koenigsberg, ©1987.

Since the Edison Phonograph Monthly for September 1905 discusses the New Record Box with the felt-lined cardboard containers this means that the Record Box in the movie would historically have been post-September 1905.

The dating of the Edison label, of course, has no relevance to the plot or the movie. Viewers of fiction always must have some "suspension of disbelief" and the record and Edison Phonograph are part of that staging designed to look like they belong within a time period when Edison, Verne, Tesla and Eiffel lived.

Friends of the Phonograph probably wonder, however, what was so special about this Edison Phonograph Record. Was it the music of La Marseillaise playing from that cylinder record that triggered the start of the countdown for the rocket launch? Or was it something else about playing that record that started some Rube Goldberg machine chain reaction?

And what about the rocket itself? "The first digging work of the Eiffel Tower started on the 26th January 1887 and completed on 31st March 1889. If the rocket that is used in the movie Tomorrowland was to be installed in the Eiffel Tower it seems it would have had to have been done at the time of the original construction of the Tower. Which means this secret society, the Plus Ultra, had to have been established substantially prior to 1887 (which again, for many reasons, could not have happened).

On the other hand, and speaking as a Friend of the Phonograph, I know we are all thrilled that the Phonograph and the Edison Cylinder Record were the stars of this movie, literally playing the record that saved the Earth. Given this role perhaps the Grammy should be a cylinder machine instead of a disc record player.

Type H Edison Label, page 154, ECR ibid



The Edison Phonograph Monthly, August 1904 (Type G)



The September Records with the carton "lined with felt".

The Edison Phonograph Monthly, September 1905 (Type H)



(3) The date of W. J. Hammer's visit to the Eiffel Tower with Edison appears to be documented by Hammer in a "sort of (unpublished) memoir of his experiences." The following was extracted by Allen Koenigsberg from that memoir in which Koenigsberg concludes that "it would appear that September 10, 1889 is the best (extrapolated) answer in Hammer's own modest words" for when Hammer visited the Eiffel Tower with Edison. "As to when he met with Carnot, was it the "same" time (exact or approximate)?"



TOMORROWLAND and the Eiffel Tower

(4)" Factola 3: A meeting of all four meeting is undocumented and also highly unlikely.

"It is also highly unlikely that it ever happened: While Tesla, Edison, Verne and Eiffel all attended the Fair in the summer of 1889, and while Edison and Verne did indeed meet in Eiffel’s apartment atop the Eiffel Tower on the evening of September 10, there is no historical evidence to substantiate the claim that all four men met to discuss, debate and even dream the shape and form of things to come. And yet, those who know this alleged tall tale find meaning within it. Edison and Tesla were bitter rivals in the war to bring electricity to the masses. The very idea that these enemies could muster the grace to put aside self-interest for a night to dream about a better future for the planet is extraordinarily inspiring – an example worth bringing from the realm of legend and making real in the world of today." Tomorrowland: Everything We Learned About The “1952” Box extracted from /Film


TOMORROWLAND and the Eiffel Tower

(5)" Factola 4: The first 'Kruesi" tinfoil phonograph which Edison completed on December 6, 1877 was displayed for several months in 1889 "with Edison's exhibit at the Universal Exposition in Paris." (i.e., The Exposition Universelle of 1889). The Antique Phonograph, "Completing the Kruesi" by René Rondeau, December 2017, page 11



Phonograph Birthdays

(1) "In the 1980's the Oakland-Emeryville-Berkeley" Friends of the Phonograph created their society rooted in East Bay Area friendships and to celebrate what DB called "the social event of the year." Seventy years earlier, also in Oakland, The Edison Phonograph Monthly March 1912 noted the recent organization of the "Oakland Grafonola-Victrola-Amberola Club" which is says is a rather "ominous name" but "is a step in the right direction."

FOTP members of the 21st century agree that it was the right direction.



(2) 2021 Phonograph Anniversary Birthday December 6 - "What's So Funny 'Bout' Peace, Love and Understanding."

This song was selected for my tribute song to recorded music because it's December 2021 and we are living in "troubled times". Who people trust is a fundamental issue that has existential consequences for democracy and the future of this planet:

So where are the strong

And who are the trusted?

And where is the harmony?

Sweet harmony

I also think that it has poetic timing since this was recorded by Costello in 1978 just a little over 100 years after Edison completed his Phonograph.

Here's some Wikipedia history about this recording:

"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" is a 1974 song written by English singer/songwriter Nick Lowe. Initially released by Lowe with his band Brinsley Schwarz on their 1974 album The New Favourites of... Brinsley Schwarz, the song was released as a single and did not chart.

The song was most famously covered by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, who recorded a version of the song that was released as a B-side to Lowe's 1978 solo single "American Squirm". The cover saw great popularity and was later included on the American version of Costello's 1979 album Armed Forces.




Phonograph Signs

Victor's 1906 The Opera at Home billboard - " "Illuminated by more than a thousand lightbulbs..." from Selling Sounds - The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman, Harvard University Press, ©2009, p. 118


(2) "The stage setting at the back is an enlarged duplicate of an illustration in colors which appeared in a double spread in the Saturday Evening Post the same week. That is pretty close connection between the national advertising and the store where the goods are to be sold." From Roy W. Johnson's Editorial on "Timeliness in Window Display" in Printers' Ink. The Talking Machine World, October 15, 1917


PhonoSigns Factola:

(3) William Joseph Hammer assisted Thomas Edison in the development of the incandescent light bulb: - 1] Kahn, Mark "William J. Hammer Collection," National Air and Space Archives, Accession No. XXXX-0074. Pages 1-3. Retrieved November 11, 2011- Wikipedia

(4) William Joseph Hammer built the world's first advertising sign using incandescent electric lights: Tell, Darcy "Times Square spectacular: lighting up Broadway," Smithsonian Books in association with Harper Collins, 2007. Page 35. ISBN 978-0-06-088433-8. Wikipedia






(1) On Fire - The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein, Simon & Schuster, ©2019 by Naomi Klein

"This is theproblem with what we might call the emerging "climate Keynesianism": the post-World War II economic boom did revive ailing economies, but it also kicked off suburban sprawl and set off a consumption tidal wave that would eventually be exported to every corner of the globe. In truth, policymakers are still dancing around the question of whether we are talking about slapping solar panels on the roof of Walmart and calling it green, or whether we are ready to have a more probing conversation about the limits of lifesystyles that treat shopping as the main way to form identity, community, and culture." p. 264


Period Victrolas 1917-1925

(2) Look for the Dog - An Illustrated Guide to Victor Talking Machines by Robert W. Baumbach, Stationery X-Press, ©1981 by Robert W. Baumbach, p. 122

(3) "By now the choice of cabinets in the period style was tremendous; a curious condition considering that most Victrola customers did not even know they existed. Not that it would have made much difference -- at prices averaging between $500 and $700, these instruments were out of the price range of all but a very few families.

Victor could claim to offer such a wide variety of style by virtue of the fact that each cabinet was a special order item. Unlike an instrument from the regular Victrola line which could generally be shipped from stock, any period Victrola was manufactured only upon receipt of a firm order. Victor confirmed that it was in the custom cabinet business in 1922 when it announced the the Victor Art Department stood ready to work with the customer to design a cabinet in any configuration imaginable, at prices ranging up to $1500. Ads in the most exclusive magazines illustrated suggested treatments for the customer cabinets." ibid, p. 122



(1) Columbia Record A3902 "Old King Tut" - Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Columbia matrix 80992. Old King Tut / Georgians," accessed February 13, 2021,



Dearborn or Bust 1967

Birthplace of the phonograph - For a Friend of the Phonograph this was a pilgrimage to the Phonograph's birthplace since it was in Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory where the Phonograph was completed on December 6, 1877 with its famous "Mary had a little lamb..."


"transplanted in Dearborn" - Greenfield Village is where Henry Ford, Edison's admirer and friend, relocated and reconstructed Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory using dirt and anything else that could be salvaged from the original Edison Laboratory site at Menlo Park, New Jersey.


"a replica reconstruction started in 1928" - The replica of Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory''s buildings "were laid out according to exact foundation measurements from the original site. It was furnished with original or faithful duplicates, all placed as they were orginally." - Wikipedia, The Henry Ford (museum), subcategory: "Greenfield Village;" bullet item: "A replica of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory complex from New Jersey."

The Edison Institute was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover to Ford's longtime friend Thomas Edison on October 21, 1929 – the 50th anniversary of the first successful incandescent light bulb.

The attendees included Marie Curie, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Will Rogers, Orville Wright, and about 250 others. The dedication was broadcast on radio with listeners encouraged to turn off their electric lights until the switch was flipped at the Museum.

The Edison Institute was, at first, a private site for educational purposes only, but after numerous inquiries about the complex, it was opened as a museum to the general public on June 22, 1933. It was originally composed of the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Greenfield Village Schools (an experimental learning facility). - Courtesy The Henry Ford - History- Wikipedia



Entertains Diners

(1) A record with their meal - Diners making a tabletop coin operated music selection. 1941 "Miss Laura Medford (left), and Mrs. Ruth Neily in a malted-milk shop insert a nickel in the slot to give them a record with their meal." October 13, 1941 - Photograph from news/media agency archive file.




Phonograph Posters

(1) Teppaz - Lyon - France

Artist: Gauthier Alain (1931-2020) circa 1960 Size (w x h): 61.8 x 45.3 in / 157 x 115 cm Printer: Etbls De la Vasselais, 4 rue Cimarosa, Paris Materials and Techniques: Colour lithograph on paper. Poster was used to promote the Teppaz portable record player. It is Marcel Teppaz who is the Lyon inventor of the portable recorder whose commercial campaign was entrusted to Alain Gauthier. Teppaz was the first brand to launch the 78T electric record player and then the record player. During the 1960s, the brand had considerable success with young adolescents and yéyés with its record players. The poster features a reclining woman dressed in flags, a record player, a sheet of music and the same phrase in different languages: "I bring Joy". Information and poster courtesy of Moufflet & C° - Paris Fine Art.




Axel, the Dougs, and the Glass Negatives

(1) "The phonograph was introduced in June 1915 and manufactured until 1918. It was a very popular model and became Edison's second-best seller in 1917." See The Edison Disc Phonographs and the Diamond Discs by George L. Frow, published 1982 by George L. Frow, "Salterns" Great Britain, p 106.





Believe it or Not Factolas!

(1) "a Bergmann Exhibition model phonograph" was owned by a Mr. S. D. Silver who in 1879 lived in Leadville..."

In September 1878 the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company registered the sale of a tinfoil phonograph, serial number 80, to “Silver & Lewis” for a price of $185.00. (See p. 160, Tinfoil Phonographs by René Rondeau, published by René Rondeau ©2001). Mr. L.D.(sic) Silver gave a phonograph exhibition in December 1878 in Fort Collins, Colorado as reported by Fort Collins Courier so we know Silver was touring Colorado with an Edison tinfoil phonograph. The Daily Denver Tribune on February 15, 1879 reported that Mr. S. D. Silver was exhibiting Eddison's (sic) phonograph throughout New Mexico so it is again confirmed that this must be the S.D. Silver who raffled the Edison phonograph in Leadville in August 1879.

December 7, 1878 Fort Collins Courier


February 15, 1879, Daily Denver Tribune



Axel's Parents

1) KFAB Farm Broadcasting

The University of Nebraska started KFAB in 1926 with market reports and talks on farming. - Farm Broadcasting The First Sixty Years by John C. Baker, ©1981 The Iowa State University Press, p.15

2) KFKX Hastings

In 1926 "Westinghouse put a powerful station, KFKX, on the air in Hastings, Nebraska, primarily to provide farmers with market reports off the USDA telegraph wire and transferred the pioneer farm director, Frank Mullen, to take charge in Hastings. His place at KDKA was taken by an actor and entertainer, Ralph Griffith, who called himself "Stockman Sam." After about a year the KFKX call letters were moved to Chicago and the USDA market reports were moved to KMMJ, Clay Center, Nebraska, under the care of George Kister, who had become acquainted with market reports at KFKX. Frank Mullen moved to Chicago where he helped open NBC's new headquarters and began dreaming up a farm program for the network." - Farm Broadcasting The First Sixty Years by John C. Baker, ©1981 The Iowa State University Press, p14.





(2) The Majestic Ballroom, San Jose, California 1938

1938 Majestic Ballroom, 55 North 3rd St. in San Jose. (Courtesy of Calisphere, University of California)



Judy Orlando

(3) Mack Wellington Kelley was an engineer who worked on tool designs at the E.W. Bliss Company in San Jose. The Bliss Company had added San Jose, California as one of their divisions in 1954.


(3A) (he also did instrument repairs as a part-time job) - Grandpa Mack and Maude had a second home (their vacation home) at La Selva beach near Santa Cruz - I sometimes went there in the summer or family get-togethers. In the basement of that house my grandfather had a workshop where he repaired musical instruments as sort of a second business.

It was while visiting my grandparents vacation home that I nearly drowned when I was about 11 (The La Selva Beach Incident).



(4) 1968 - Sharon remembers her mom making this hat and dress as one of the many outfits her mom made. This particular outfit had special memories for Sharon because her mom had just started to teach Sharon how to sew and Sharon was using the sewing machine while her mom was sitting at the table working on this hat.



(5) "the Mack Kelley Orchestra was pretty well known in the San Jose area..."

The Los Gatos Time-Saratoga Observer, March 8, 1946





Mrs. Lulu Vogt, was murdered on July 5, 1917

The Dannebrog News, July 5, 1917


The Dannebrog News, November 20, 1919


Allen V. Grammer and Alson B. Cole were executed on December 20, 1920. Grammer was the first person executed by electric chair in Nebraska. The Lincoln Journal noted in its December 20, 1920 edition, "It was fate's command that part of Mrs. Vogt's fortune should go to pay for the defense of the man charged with killing her."



The Age of Wonders

(1A) The model kitchen powered by electricity and Edison Phonograph Exhibit. [Images from Bancroft, Hubert Howe The Book of the Fair. The Bancroft Company, 1893.] Source is courtesy of


(2) Adelina Patti's first recording, according to Wikipedia, was "circa 1890 on phonograph cylinders for Thomas Marshall in New York." Unfortunately the title is not known and the record is lost.



The Phonograph for Business Use

"Based on the model of the Bell Telephone Company, North American would buy phonographs and graphophones and lease them to regional sub-companies, who would in turn rent the machines to local businesses for them to regional sub-companies, who would then rent the machines to local businesses for dictation." - Wile, Raymond (2004). "The North American Phonograph Company: Part 1 (1888-1892)". ARSC Journal. 35



The Christmas of the Phonograph Records


(1) Considerations and inconsistencies in dating the story.

On the morning of the phonograph's arrival Mari is awakened by her father thumping a broom handle against the attic ceiling where she and her small brother were sleeping. "Get up! The phonograph is here!"

"Young Jule and James, the brothers next to me in age, were up too..."

Mari was born May 11, 1896. Jule was born December 28, 1897. Fritz, her youngest brother who was the "small brother" sleeping in the attic with Mari at the time of the phonograph's arrival, was born July 30, 1903. There is no mention in the story of Mari's two youngest sisters, Flora who would be born on May 12, 1906 and Caroline, born May 21, 1910. Mari carries "little Fritzlie" down from the attic "heavy hulk that he was, and laid him with his brothers" so that Fritz would have been five and one half if its Christmas 1908. If Flora hadn't been born yet then Fritzlie would have been two and one-half for Christmas 1905. With all the cooking and work that Mari recounts her mother doing as part of that holiday week it seems odd not to mention Flora since she would have required attention throughout this holiday week that is being described. We know (from her book "Old Jules") that Mari watched over all of her siblings so if this story was post 1906 then mention of Flora would seem almost required.

When Mari is reading the instructions for the phonograph she says she "read out the instructions in my German-accented fifth-grade country school English."

Mari finished her eighth grade at age 17 so if she was in the fifth-grade at the time of this story then she would have been 13 in the holiday season of Christmas 1909. There is a good possibility, however, that Mari could be reading fifth grade material prior to actually being in the fifth grade and thereby being younger when the phonograph arrived supporting Christmas 1908.

The Sandoz took out a mortgage in 1907 and when Mari's mother reveals during this story that all of the inheritance has been spent without paying anything on the mortgage that would support a Christmas of 1908 event.

Other than the "no mention of Flora" in this story and the mention of a 2-minute recording of "Lucia" which is still being looked for most of the "considerations" can support dating this story between December 24, 1908 to New Year's Day, 1909.




(2) RFD and delivery of parcels

In an article for the Lincoln Journal Star, March 13, 2022 titled "Mail Delivery has run the gamut through the years" historian Jim McKee wrote the following about early mail and parcel delivery:

By 1863, the government provided free mail service within larger cities but did not serve rural areas. By the 1880s, people, even in cities, had to go to the post office for mail, with each post office generally serving nearly 100 square miles around it.

With well more than half the U.S. population living outside cities, many rural dwellers picked up their mail only once a week and even as late as 1896, only letters, no packages were handled. Parcels were handled by firms such as Wells Fargo, which formed in 1866, becoming American Railway Express in 1918. But even their customers still had to travel to city offices for delivery.

In 1890, the Grange began pushing post offices to extend city service to people who lived in rural settings, two to 12 miles from a post office. The idea was championed by U.S. Postmaster General John Wanamaker, who also owned Wanamaker Department Store. He recommended giving city-style delivery service through towns of less than 10,000 people.

In 1898, the U.S. Post Office announced that “any group of farmers could have delivery merely by sending a petition (with 100 or more signers), along with a description of their community and roads — to their congressman.” Each route would be 25 miles and serve at least 100 families. By year’s end, about 41,000 pieces of mail were being delivered per route. So overwhelming was the petition response that, by April of 1900, the Post Office had run out of funding for the concept.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt announced that RFD “had become fixed policy,” though some senators felt it “would bankrupt the nation.” Coincidentally, in 1901-02, the number of post offices in the U.S. reached its peak of 76,045.


(3) 1909 map showing train stations at Hay Springs, Rushville and Gordon, Nebraska Railroads in "The Cornhusker State, " February 7, 2022 by Adam Burns


(4) Was an Edison 2-minute or 2 and 4-minute Combination Machine purchased?

Most of the records that Mari identifies in the story had 2-minute cylinder records that were available prior to December 1908 and could have been purchased by Jules.

The sextette from "Lucia" is the first song played after the Phonograph is unpacked. The Edison Sextette from "Lucia" was released in October 1908 and it would become a popular version and it meets the description of Mari's "Lucia" with its vocals on the record. The problem, however, is that it's a 4-minute record. Edison had released a 2-minute Gold Moulded Record of "Lucia" circa 1902 but that record was performed by the Edison Concert Band (Record No. 88) and there was no sextette or vocals, just the band.

Resolving this "Lucia" record question therefore has two solutions.

First, as previously noted, Jules had spent a significant amount of money in buying foreign records so one of those records (which hasn't yet been identified) could have been a 2-minute version of "Lucia" with vocals.

Second, Jules could have purchased a combination 2 and 4-minute machine and part of the instructions that Mari read on how to operate the machine explained how to play the two and four minute records. She followed the directions and, since she was in charge of running the machine, played the records but didn't go into those operational details in her story, i.e., changing the speed control and switching the stylus.

On that second point, however, Mari is very specific about how she placed the cylinder on the machine and how she had to wind it. There is no description that any record required the changing of the stylus or switching the record speed gear (which you would have to do with a combination 2 and 4-minute machine).

On the other hand, Jules did obtain several hundred "foreign records" at a stiff price and if his Swiss friend had also recommended records that required a four-minute machine then it's highly likely that he did so as it was his character to do whatever he wanted to do. As Jules' wife bitterly reminded him "You did not buy the overshoes for the children. You forgot everything except your stamp collection, your guns, and the phonograph!" (p. 9)

Because the Triumph was a larger and a more expensive machine and its triple-spring required less winding I do not think an Edison Triumph was the model purchased. The Edison Standard and Edison Home models were popular cylinder phonographs in rural Nebraska at this time and were the ones most commonly advertised in newspapers and stores.


(5) "The interloping disc machines had finally arrived in the new Sears catalog..." from "Columbia Thru Sears - Part 3" by Peter Betz, The Talking Machine Review, page 102, June No. 4 1970).

By spring, 1905 in the Sears catalog "both Columbia and Victor had made over a great number of the discs in their catalogs. The new records were better and often had orchestrial accompaniments." (ibid., page 103)

The Montgomery Ward Catalog 68 1900-01 had "an extensive phonograph listing. Edison Phonographs are represented by the "improved" Gem in oak case for $10...The Edison Standard Phonograph was offered for $20...Edison's Home Phonograph was offered for $30. The Edison Concert sold for $75 with floor stand and 24-inch brass horn...Graphophones offered included the type AT in ornate case for $25. The AG Grand sold for $50 and there is no mention of the GG Grand. Polyphones are offered in four types."

"This catalog also contains a drawing of the "latest, improved 1900 model" Berliner's Gramophone." The Talking Machine Review, August No. 5 1970, page 139-140 Ernest C. Allen.



(6) In 1906 Pathé Frères, one of the largest manufacturers, quit "the cylinder business altogether and concentrated on disc records." The Edison Disc Phonographs and the Diamond Discs, a history with illustrations by George L. Frow, published ©1982 by George Frow, Flo-Print, Kent, p.6.



Additional Credits/Information

Roof of an apartment building with Victor Talking Machine and records, ca. 1919, "Living on a Skyscraper," ca. 1919 Library of Congress - Photo by Bain News Service, N.Y.C. - LC-USZ62-34614





(1) "unexamined stereotypes" are harmful. See The End of Bias: A Beginning - The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias by Jessica Nordell, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company, 2021.

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The Talking Machine World, December 15, 1908 - This Zonophone advertisement is just one of the examples where an institution or website like Phonographia obviously does not endorse the image expressed in the ad.

Perhaps an overall position as one enters the doors of a museum or website should state "We do not endorse the views expressed in those respective documents, images and recordings which may contain content offensive to visitors" needs more prominence in addition to respective explanations of context within individual exhibits and articles. has tried to do both while finding a balance. That said, please contact if 'offensive' material and the overall intent of the disclaimers in has not been met.