This gallery features cartoons with phonograph connections. Additional special collections are listed in the following menu. Click on any image to enlarge.

 

Frank and Ernest

Artist: Bob Thaves, 2002

"Mary had a little lamb..." were the first words reported spoken by Edison into his tinfoil phonograph on December 6, 1877 at Menlo Park, NJ. For Friends of the Phonograph, it's still number one!

 

 

 

Phonotoons: Dennis the Menace

Phonotoons: Peanuts

 

 

Bryan's Speeches - Courtesy of Philadelphia Record as it appeared in The Edison Phonograph Monthly

Artist: Unknown, c. August 1908

William Jennings Bryan, in his Presidential bid of 1908 recorded a series of cylinder phonograph records for the Edison Phonograph Company. In this cartoon, Taft is seen complaining that he has missed out on this innovative campaigning. The Edison Phonograph Monthly in September 1908, however, announced the release of 12 Edison Records by William H. Taft made at Virginia Hot Springs, after Mr. Taft delivered his speech of acceptance at Cincinnati. The EPM called this an announcement of great importance, noting that "no matter how the November election may result we shall have Records by the next President. This makes new history. It indicates progress."

 

 

Making the Taft Records

The morning papers were filled with accounts of Taft's 'canned speeches.' Everybody ... was discussing them as well as the report that Mr. Bryan said the opposition had stolen his campaign thunder. They all seemed greatly interested in the part that the Edison is playing in the Presidential campaign.

...both Messrs. Bryan and Taft gave the Edison first choice for introducing their personal views into American homes. Was ever such a compliment paid a talking machine?

As reported by The Edison Phonograph Monthly, September 1908

Caption: "Stop it, John, stop it! That won't do now--that's a rank record."

Artist: Harper's Weekly

In 1908, for the first time in history, Americans could listen to the recorded voices of the presidential candidates, Republican William Howard Taft and Democrat William Jennings Bryan. In this cartoon, Bryan reacts in horror to his own statements for "government ownership," "initiative and referendum," and "any old ism"; his criticisms of previous Democratic nominees, President Grover Cleveland and Alton Parker; and his contradictory comments for and against imperialism. Bryan bellows to his vice-presidential running mate, John Kern, who is turning the gramophone, to stop the infernal racket. Between them the dog of "hard times" wails, while on the shelf (upper-left) a bust of Andrew Jackson, on a base inscribed "Thomas Jefferson," casts a distressed glance at the party's current standard-bearer.

(Source: Harpweek.com cartoons)

 

Blondie

Artist: Dean Young & Denis Lebrun, 7-1-2001

   
   

 

 

Happy Hooligan Gets a New Hat

Artist: W. C. Patrick, c 1903

This drawing appeared in The Edison Phonograph Monthly, July 1903, which noted that an Edison Moulded Record had been substituted for Happy's trademark tin-can hat. An irony to this substitution is the fact that recorded music was often called "canned music" during this time period. And of course, Edison's original phonograph recorded on a cylinder wrapped with tin-foil.

 

 

In 1900, Frederick Burr Opper created the always-in-trouble Happy Hooligan, a comic strip character who was known for his tiny tin-can hat. The cartoon to the left is panel number 1 from the June 21, 1903, a comic strip entitled, "Happy Hooligan Takes His Little Nephews to the Photographer," published by William Randolph Hearst newspapers.

 

 

The Yellow Kid and His New Phonograph

Artist: R. F. Outcault, 1896

The Yellow Kid has been called America's first popular newspaper-cartoon character. In this early cartoon, the Yellow Kid's creator, R. F. Outcault, created a multiple panel cartoon featuring the "New Phonograph."

 

 

 

 

Henry

Artist: Carl Anderson, 1935

Tradecard shows Henry spinning upside down on a turntable. Henry was a popular cartoon character first appearing in the comic strip by the same name in 1932.

 

 

 

Herman

Artist: Unger, February 11, 1987

 

 

 

Suggested "Ad" for a Graphophone Company

Artist: Life Magazine, 1910

Why go the Metropolitan Opera House when you can sleep so much more comfortably at home?

 

 

 

That Hawaiian Record

Artist: Life Magazine, 1910

 

 

 

Record Club

Artist: Unknown

"You mean you left this lying flat since ten this morning?"

 

 

 

The Phonograph in Russian

Artist: Unknown

Delight and Astonishment of the Czar to hear Mrs' Potts Irons are shipped.

 

 

 

The Listening Room

Artist: Stereo Review, August 1980

"...Of course you realize it won't sound exactly the same in your listening room, sir..."

 

 

 

Test Record - Second Opinion

Artist: Stereo Review, May 1987

 

 

 

Divine Sounds

Artist: Stereo Review

"Those Gregorian chants sound absolutely divine on that speak, Father McKeon, and I say that as an agnostic!"

 

 

 

25 Watt Hi-Fi

Artist: Stereo Review

"That's not so hot! I paid only $7.95 for a 1000 watt iron.

 

 

 

Hi-Fi Performers

Artist: Stereo Review

"Now watch this -- I'm going to put two of the three bassoonists inside that pail...

 

 

 

Slightly Used Recorders

Artist: Unknown

"Here's a good buy. It was returned by a customer who found he had nothing to say."

 

 

 

The Purists

Artist: Unknown

"...Why won't that arm track at less than 3 grams, Why? Why?"

 

 

 

The Buckets

Artist: Greg Cravens, October 7, 2007

LPs vs.CDs

 

 

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