Friends of the Phonograph Go Green

The Edison Phonograph - It's GREEN


By Doug Boilesen, 2011

The phonograph, a.k.a. record player, is a survivor in the history of media. Various record formats have been used as recording media throughout the twentieth-century. And although challenged in the 1990's, vinyl records made a comeback. (1) Vinyl record stores even established a day to celebrate LPs with "Record Store Day" becoming an annual international event in 2008.

Record players and their 33 1/3 RPM vinyl records are currently alive, albeit a niche market, but with devoted users. The Edison Phonograph and its wax records, on the other hand, are on life-support being used by a much smaller group of collectors and phonographians.

Edison wax cylinders are still living because they have collectors and several sites putting thousands of their records on-line. In addition, a few companies are making cylinder records for these machines. Compare this with other media that really have perished.

Although the Edison cylinder machines and wax records are in museums this does not make them dead media like the phenakistoscope and the teleharmonium because the Edison Phonograph is part of a different cultural memory bank. The early phonographs are iconic and have a protected niche of collectors and Friends of the Phonograph that prevent the writing of its final obituary.

Let's also give the Edison Phonograph a tip of the hat by pointing out that not only are Edison Phonographs still being played they are environmentally green machines.

How green?

Consider these good citizen of planet Earth factolas about the Edison Phonograph:

1) It is a spring-wound machine and doesn't require any electricity to play a song

2) It uses old records which are passed down from earlier users and recycled

3) It doesn't require new manufucturing or use of raw materials/resources to own one of these machines

4) And finally, very few Edison Phonographs will now end up in landfills.

QED: The Edison Phonograph is an environmentally friendly entertainment medium that still has a pulse.

In that spirit, and with its continued use and pop culture connections, I believe Phonographians can proclaim the Edison Phonograph to be alive and "Green."


The motto of Phonographians?



The mantra of Phonographians?




Additional GREEN

The Westminster Colorado chapter of Friends of the Phonograph has adopted the walking path and pond of one of the city's open spaces known as Mushroom Pond. Since this adopted trail is a popular place to walk dogs it seems fitting that Phonographians (who are Go Green and Friends of Nipper), keep this trail clean for people and man's best friend.






Go Green and "Remember the Phonograph"

Mushroom Pond 2011 - Westminster, Colorado




Mushroom Pond 2022 - Westminster, Colorado