The Stage of the World

"The best seat in the house. Forever."

 

 

The revolution of sound that began with the Phonograph was a social, cultural, and literal (in rpms) revolution. It has also been a continuum. We still have record players and descendent technologies that record and reproduce sound and deliver entertainment to the home or the individual.

Advertising promises have been made by each sound delivering technology that has followed the original phonograph -- the radio, television, high-fidelity, stereophonic, 45 and LP phonograph systems, VHS and Beta video tape systems, reel-to-reel, 8-track and cassette playing systems, laser discs, CEDs, CDs, DVD and Blu-ray systems, computers, iPods and all of the many streaming devices. Formats and media differ but each new product still pursues the phonograph's primary advertising promise; namely, that their device will deliver music and entertainment to you as if it's just for you, and it will be an experience equal to or better than the "best seat in the house." Anytime. Forever.

Your seat awaits you. You only need to choose what, when, and how often you want to 'attend' the performance.

The following are some advertisements that show the phonograph and its descendent devices through the decades, each promising realism and "The Stage of the World" in your home.

 

"It is reality, nothing less; for "The Stage of the World" presents the artists themselves to you..." Columbia Grafonola, 1916

 

 

 

""The whole enchanted realm of grand opera...comes to life through the magic portals of the Columbia Grafonola," 1917

 

 

 

"Ring Up the Graphophone Curtain in Your Home, and the Whole World of Entertainment Appears!" 1906

 

 

 

Munsey's, Victor Talking Machine Co., 1906

 

 

 

Victor The Fireside Theatre brings to each family exactly the music that it wants; the veritable voice, the actual performance. And all in the comfort and privacy of home.

 

 

 

"At the Christmas Matinee" - The Best Seat in the House - Collier's, December 1908

 

 

 

"A home without a Victor is a stage without a play." 1908

 

 

 

"Home is more comfortable than an opera house... whenever you want, without going a single step away from home. 1910

 

 

 

 

The Edison Phonograph is the theatre... "The voice of all the people on the stage - The choice of all the people off the stage. Edison ad, artwork by Gil Spear 1911

 

 

 

 

"This beats putting on your dress suit and paying $5.00 to sit in a camp chair in a crowded theatre." February 1914, The Talking Machine World

 

 

 

"Hearing is Believing" Columbia Phonograph Company, 1911

 

 

 

"Just as real, just as enjoyable, in your own home" 1912

 

 

 

An Edison Phonograph - "A Minstrel Show in Your Own Home with no end of good, clean, bright music and songs." St. Nicholas magazine, 1911 *Disclaimer

 

 

 

"right in your own home the charming selections from the popular operettas now delighting the public..." St. Nicholas, 1913

 

 

 

 

Columbia Records on the Columbia Grafonola bring the best music of all lands and all ages into the friendly intimacy of your own home." Ladies' Home Journal 1918

 

 

 

"A Magical Voice of Music," Columbia Grafonola, 1919

 

 

 

Yours is the privilege of hearing this group of marvelously gifts artists "from the depths of your pet arm chair, any evening you choose. March 1919, The National Geographic

 

 

 

 

1920

 

 

 

An all-star bill appearing each night at home, Columbia 1920 Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

"With the Victrola you can have a concert by these same great bands in your home..." 1921

 

 

 

"Grand Opera", Tusca Radio, 1923

 

 

 

RCA Radiola - Full orchestra on a lanterned lawn - 1926

 

 

"Lights out...a glow springs up along the stage's rim...The curtains part..." Victor Red Seal Records, 1927

 

 

 

"Almost, you look into the faces of the musicians themselves, so perfect is the illusion..." 1928 - Edmund Wilson artist

 

 

"Without stretch of the imagination, they are right in the very room with you." 1928 - Edmund Wilson artist

 

 

"You're at a Broadway vaudeville show---in your own home!" 1928 - Edmund Wilson artist

 

 

"the utmost possible fidelity and realism..." .RCA Radiola, December 1929

 

 

Magnavox - Radio-Phonograph 1945 "true-to-life tone"

"Close your eyes and enjoy the illusion that singers and orchestra are in the very room with you."

 

 

 

New Worlds of listening pleasure for you, RCA 1947

 

 

 

Du Mont, with Television, the world is your stage, 1949

 

 

 

1946

 

 

1948 Spartan Radio - "It brought the entire world to their fingertips"

 

 

 

1949 - The magic of radio and television bring America's Grandest Entertainment. "Enjoy FM and AM radio--and records--in natural color tone."

 

 

1950 Zenith - Watching ballet in the afternoon "with startling new life-like clarity and detail..."




"Command the world's most celebrated stars to perform for you, privately, in your own home." GE Television, The Saturday Evening Post, September 15, 1951

 



 

Webcor, Life, September 20, 1954

 

 

 

1954 Sylvania Television - "Chairside Theatre"

 

 

 

Carnegie Hall - Magavox Stereophonic High-Fidelity -- "recorded music suddenly comes alive...creating an exciting illusion of "living presence...with amazing realism." 1958

 

 

 

 

Magavox Stereo Theatre in your home, 1962

 

 

 

"Fifth-Row-Center-Sound"

"Full, live sound..." Wollensak Stereo Tape Recorder 1963

 

 

RCA Victor Stereo - realism that rivals the concert hall, Time, 1967

 

 

 

"RCA Victor Stereo...realism that rivals the concert hall," 1965

 

 

"RCA Victor Stereo...realism that rivals the concert hall," 1965

 

 

"RCA Victor Stereo...realism that rivals the concert hall," 1966

 

 

 

"RCA - realism that rivals the concert hall" 1967

 

 

 

Realism that rivals the concert hall - closer to the music, RCA 1968

 

 

 

"Unparalleled in sight and sound," Magnavox 1979

 

 

1984 Stereo Broadcasts of San Francisco Opera -- "The effect is amazingly realistic."

 

 

 

1984 Sony Compact Disc - Sony's "Revolution"

Since the invention of the phonograph player back in 1877...the basic concept hasn't changed a bit. Until now."

 

 

1992 RCA Home Theatre - "So lifelike...you'll feel like part of the show."

 

 

 

 

 

"...hear something you've never heard before: perfection." "you listen to your favorite artists as though you, and your armchair, were centered in the spotlight above." Courtesy Sony 1983

 

 

 

 

Dell, Presidents Day Sale, February 2017

 

 

The Phonograph

A revolution of sound that created the"The best seat in the house. Forever"

 

 

Friends of the Phonograph by Doug Boilesen and Phonographia ©