Memories of the Phonograph


Hats off to the Phonograph! ©1982 is the book that was the primary source for the themes of phonograph connections in popular culture now seen in

The original book (unpublished) focused on phonograph advertising and the "B-side" of the phonograph's history including how the phonograph was marketed, how it changed the definition of home and personal entertainment and how the phonograph continued to evolve in the popular culture revolution of recorded sound.

Over forty-years later much has changed. More and more primary sources are now on-line; microfilm has been replaced by on-line digitized documents and services like make searches on thousands of newspapers and millions of pages easily accessible. Hundreds of thousands of recordings are on-line and research by collectors and scholars from many fields has produced diverse, colorful, and well-documented material for anyone interested in the history of the phonograph and recorded sound.

Using a website and digital components means that doesn't have the tangible qualities of a book. A digital recording, likewise, doesn't have the tangible experience of actually playing a record on a phonograph.

But a website obviously allows innumerable examples of phonograph connections to be shown, provides multi-media options and links to anything on the intranet.

All, of course, unimaginable in a book. is also easy to update: Find a new connection, add, edit; find a new connection, add, edit; and repeat like a broken record. It's been a project based on what I see, remember, connect and then paste into the website...which also means it has limitations at each of those steps because of its author.

But the limitations of an individual (like my own) will not be the challenge of the future. An Internet Bot can already use any of the WIP Phonographia 'lists', galleries and themes and find an unbelievable number of new connections in minutes, seconds, microseconds...who knows how much, how fast, and what future results will be. (1)

How soon will become a web artifact? Sooner than many would guess. But perhaps even then Phonographia could still be viewed on something like the Internet Archive's Way Back Machine -- which in my case would be synchronistic since I was always a fan of Sherman and Mr. Peabody.

And who knows when the Internet itself will become part of the "Dead Media Project".

At that point (if I was still here) I'd probably be saying that a book would have been a better idea than a website.

I hope Phonographia's virtual scrapbooks are enjoyed now and in the coming years.

This planet and its beings, however, have much bigger challenges in the next decade than finding phonograph connections or speculating about the future of sites like

More attention and prioritization to understanding our connections with all beings and planet Earth and less on material things and the unsustainable consumption of Earth's resources seem required steps for the future.

If not, apologies to our children and grandchildren will be meaningless.

That is all!


Updated February 16, 2023

Note: My question on August 27, 2023 using Microsoft Bing Ai Chat for the first time - "When is the Phonograph's Birthday?"

Bing Ai Chat returned an answer after several seconds referencing as its first and third sources for composing the answer. See Endnote (1) for more information.