"The Evolution of the Revolution of the Phonograph and Recorded Sound."


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 Phonographia.com.

The original book (unpublished) focused on phonograph advertising and the "B-side" of the phonograph's history including how the phonograph was marketed, how it changed the definition of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 with on-line digitization and services like newspapers.com make searches accessible on thousands of newspapers and millions of pages. Hundreds of thousands of recordings are on-line and collectors, researchers and museums have the artifacts and resources to tell stories and related history from many perspectives.

Using a website and digital components means that Phonographia.com obviously 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 can host innumerable examples of phonograph connections with multimedia options and hyperlinks possible with anything on the intranet.

All, of course, unimaginable in a book.

Phonographia.com is also easy to update: Find a new phonograph 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, read, remember, connect and then paste into the website...which also means it has limitations at each of those steps because of its solo author.

But the limitations of an individual (like my own) will not be the challenge of the future for creating a phonographia-like scrapbook. An Internet Bot and AI can already use any of the work-in-progress 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 the future searches will find.

How soon will Phonographia.com become a web artifact?

Sooner than many would guess. But perhaps, even then, Phonographia can 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 bigger challenges in the next decades than finding phonograph connections or speculating about the future of websites like Phonographia.com.

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 now and for future generations.

If not, apologies from us to our children and grandchildren will be too little and too late.

That is all!


Updated February 16, 2023

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

Bing Ai Chat returned an answer after several seconds which referenced Phonographia.com as its first and third sources for composing the answer which included "The Phonograph's Birthday is celebrated on December 6, 1877...."

See Endnote (1) for the full response by Bing Ai Chat.

Addendum B: In an article titled "How to Live Forever" by David Owen in The New Yorker, May 18, 2024, Owen explains the importance of writing down personal and family history and quotes actress and author Marilu Henner who has HSAM (hyperthymestic syndrome, later renamed highly superior autobiographical memory, or hsam). Henner describes a good autobiographical memory as “a line of defense against meaninglessness.”

Owen later describes the difference between preserving personal history digitally and in a book with the following:

Turning the pages of a physical book is a different experience from swiping a finger across a screen, and, if you don’t store your memories on paper, you allow your past to be held hostage by a potentially obsolete digital format or by Google’s unpredictable commitment to the cloud.

I can also relate to the final paragraph of Owen's article:

My preservation projects have given me a nearly Einsteinian view of time and mortality. I picture myself in a nursing home—not soon, I hope!—surrounded by photo books and letters and e-mail excerpts and portable hard drives, busily adding images to text, reading and rereading everything, creating compilations of compilations, contentedly living forever, backward and forward, until the end.



Updated May 19, 2924