Phonographia Endnotes

One of Ours - Popular Culture and Six-Degrees of Phonographia

(1) "with a consumerist orientation" which was for the most part "to bolster morale, arouse indignation... Harris, Neil & Teri Edelstein, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I, The University of Chicago Library, 2014, p. 1

"The scale of the conflict and the enveloping mobilization meant that no aspect of life would remain untouched. To sustain the huge costs and maintain acceptable levels of public support, every instrument of persuasion became exploitable. "Total" war required commitment to a sense of mission. And this in turn meant production of an unending flood of messages aimed at every sector of the population. Reportage was not the principal mission for this group of artists. It was, instead, a broader commentary, meant, for the most part, to bolster morale, arouse indignation, ridicule the enemy, glorify heroic traditions, add some needed humor, and satisfy the need for diversion during the long agonies of war. They devised thousands of books, prints, posters, postcards, broadsides, magazine issues, pamphlets, advertisements, toys, and games referencing the conflict. This consumerist orientation disposed their creators to formulate an art that was accessible, drawing on well-established currents of storytelling. This exhibition presents a wide range of themes relevant to a deeper understanding of the war in France: patriotism, nationalism, propaganda, the soldier's experience, as well as the mobilization of the home front as seen through fashion, music, humor, and children's literature."

(1A) "music machine..put out under the name of a great American inventor." The great American inventor is Thomas A. Edison as noted in the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition's Explanatory Note 103.

In this 1897 when the Edison spring-motor Phonographs were first being sold as consumer entertainment devices, the phrase "Genuine Edison Phonographs" was proudly emphasized.

The Phonoscope, August-July 1897


Edison's trademark signature was first used in 1898. (Allen Koenigsberg, The Antique Phonograph Monthly, Vol. II, No. 7, 1974, p.5)


Edison trademark signature, The Phonoscope, February 1898


Edison trademark signature, The Phonoscope, March 1898


The following 1899 example from the trade magazine The Phonoscope states multiple Edison "Phonograph Truisms" including the "signature of Thomas A. Edison being on every genuine Edison Phonograph" which was what Ralph Wheeler was following when he said he wanted a phonograph "put out under the name of a great American inventor."

"When a man who is famous the world over, backs the Phonograph with his name, it stands to reason it's a pretty good talking-machine...genuine Edison Phonographs; they are made with accuracy and precision, to uphold the Fame of the Name of the Man who stands behind them. The signature of Thomas A. Edison, is on every genuine Edison Phonograph." The Phonoscope, September 1899


The Phonoscope, September 1899

(1AA) "outfit for life in Yucca county" - 1906 - 1908 is the time period for Ralph moving to Yucca county suggested by Tracy Tucker, Education Director & Archivist for the National Willa Cather Center, who notes that this "may correspond to G.P. Cather's taking of a Kincaid in western Nebraska, which occurred between 1906 and 1908." Tucker also clarifies that "it wasn't actually Colorado, but it was western Nebraska..."



(1B) Possible Edison Phonographs purchased - Between 1906 and 1908 there are several Edison phonographs that seem the most likely to have been purchased by Ralph Wheeler: An Edison Standard, Edison Home or Edison Triumph. If the time period was at the end of 1907 the models can be identified more precisely but they are still basically the same three machines: the Edison Standard Model B, the Edison Home Model B, or the Edison Triumph Model B Phonograph (the Triumph being the nicest of those three machines). According to Frow and Sefl (The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929), "it had long been apparent that the 14 in. horn supplied with Edison machines as standard equipment was too limited and unattractive to prospective buyers, who were obliged to accept it with their Edison phonograph, then purchase a larger one for louder output. Therefore in Sept. 1907 the TRIUMPH was supplied with a straight black horn with gilt decoration. This had 12 panels, was 33 in. in length with a 24 in. bell, measured from opposite points."


The Edison Triumph Phonograph Model C introduced in February 1908 as regular 2-minute machine, with 33 inch 12-panelled straight horn. (courtesy The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, Frow & Sefl, ©1978 by George L. Frow)


Edison ad, February 15, 1907 The Red Cloud Chief



Edison ad, September 6, 1907 The Webster County Argus




Edison ad, December 6, 1907 The Webster County Argus


(1C) Edison's Phonograph and context of circa 1906 for phonograph industry and its future

Edison essentially abandoned his Phonograph after 1878 and returned to work on in it 1887 stimulated by the development and improvements made by Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell (with financial backing from Alexander Graham Bell) on their machine they called the Graphophone. Bell and Tainter had replaced tin-foil with wax cylinders as early as October 1881. Edison returned to work on his phonograph announcing a NEW Phonograph which used 'solid wax cylinders' in 1887 but his machine required significant improvements resulting in the phonograph that is generally known as Edison's PERFECTED Phonograph of June 16, 1888 which was an electric phonograph.

In the 1906-1908 period Edison was still only making cylinder playing machines and records. In 1906 the Victor Talking Machine Company introduced their Victrola, an internal horn machine designed to remove the large phonograph horn from the room and replace it with an elegant piece of furniture. Additionally, Victor was increasing their advertising budget with an emphasis on opera and their artists and the associated advertising theme that they had "The World's Greatest Artists" recording for the Victor Company.

Edison therefore faced several problems. First, the Victor Talking Machine Company and their disc records were challenging Edison, the world famous inventor of the Phonograph, his brand, and his cylinder record technology with their disc records and their famous opera stars as recording artists. Additionally, the other major United States company, The Columbia Phonograph Company, was competing with Victor for these same famous artists and prima donnas, and would soon focus on disc machines and records.

Edison's other main problem was his personal "choice of repertoire." This would become particularly noteable when Edison introduced his disc machine in 1912 but in essence Edison was always in charge and had his opinions about music and who and what would be recorded. See Michael Sherman's article "Introduction to the Edison Diamond Disc" in the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR) for more details about the production of Edison's disc records and Edison's role as "self-appointed Musical Director."

Edison would continue to use cylinder records for his phonographs until 1912 when the disc market and success of the Victor Talking Machine Co. and the Columbia Phonograph Co. forced him to develop a competing disc record and respective machine to play his disc records.

Edison released his Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph in October 1912. "The New Edison" displaced his Diamond Disc Phonograph in 1916 and in 1918 Edison introduced The New Edison - "The Phonograph with a Soul." Throughout this time and until 1929 Edison continued making cylinder records for his cylinder record playing phonographs. Edison's diamond disc records produced outstanding fidelity and low surface noise and the Edison disc machines were the best sounding phonographs in the business until the Victrola Orthophonic machine was released in 1925 and electrical recordings also started being made.

Edison issued his last Edison Record List for disc records the week of October 18, 1929.



(1D) Explanatory Note 103 corrections/addenda to The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition:

Edison's incandescent lightbulb was 1879 (not 1868). Edison named his invention which could record and playback sound the "Phonograph" and his February 19, 1878 patent was titled "T. A. Edison Phonograph or Speaking Machine." The Phonograph was a trade-marked name just like the later "Victrola" of the Victor Talking Machine Company and both the Victrola and the Phonograph would become generic names for devices that could play recorded sound using "records." On December 22, 1877 when Scientific American published the first report of Edison's new invention which he had completed on December 6 and then taken to the Scientific American office on December 7, the article was titled "The Talking Phonograph."

The Kinetoscope is a device made by Edison to show moving pictures. A prototype was shown in 1891 and the first public demonstration of the Kinetoscope was held at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on May 9, 1893. The Kinetograph was the device, i.e., a camera, invented by W. K. L. Dickson and Edison to capture moving photographs which could then be viewed in the kinetoscope ( a peep-hole viewing device).

(1E) "solos by accordian, banjo, bagpipe, etc." - list created from instruments used for solo records in the "Index of Edison Standard-size brown wax and Gold-Moulded "Two-Minute' Cylinder Records, 1896-1912." Koenigsberg, Allen, "Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912 With an Illustrated History of the Phonograph," APM Press, Brooklyn, New York, 1987



(1F) "Then what of the national throat?

But let the mechanical music-maker be generally introduced into the homes; hour for hour these same girls will listen to the machine’s performance and, sure as can be, lose finally all interest in technical study.

Under such conditions the tide of amateurism cannot but recede, until there will be left only the mechanical device and the professional executant. Singing will no longer be a fine accomplishment; vocal exercises, so important a factor in the curriculum of physical culture, will be out of vogue! Then what of the national throat? Will it not weaken? What of the national chest? Will it not shrink?

"The Menace of Mechanical Music" by John Philip Sousa, Appleton's Magazine, September 1906



(1G) "Will the infant be put to sleep by machinery?"

When a mother can turn on the phonograph with the same ease that she applies to the electric light, will she croon her baby to slumber with sweet lullabys, or will the infant be put to sleep by machinery? ("The Menace of Mechanical Music" ibid)



(2) In the case "widely reported in the press" Hunting was "sentenced to three months in prison" for violating the Comstock Act of 1873.

"The sting operation of June 24, 1896 was widely reported in the press. On that day one of Comstock's detectives, George Oram, paid a visit to Hunting's home in New York City....When the Warrant was executed the police officers seized fifty-three cylinders, said to contain bad records."

"The phonographic trade press extended the professional courtesy of not naming Hunting or Carson. Otherwise it pulled no punches. More concerned with the corrupting effects on the industry than the audience, the "Edison Phonograph News" noted that the culprits were "likely to see the inside of the Penitentiary before long" and editorialized under the headling "Welcome Tidings."

Hunting was "sentenced to three months in prison for violating the same obscenity laws that governed written literature and visual images."

"With Hunting out of commission, competing performers began making Casey records of their own, and he never again regained his monopoloy over the series he had created." (ibid) pp. 8-9

Source: "Actionable Offenses, Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890," Archeophone Records, © 2007 p. 9 - All selections from the CD are Public Domain. CD and booklet are available for purchase at Archeophone Records.





Rube Series, The Rube and the Country Doctor, "Comments on Edison Gold Moulded Records for November 1906," The Edison Phonograph Monthly, September 1906, p. 8





William F. Denny in his great monologue entitled "A Matrimonial Chat." The Edison Phonograph Monthly, April 1906, p. 9




(2A) Novelty trade card card depicting "a dull evening at home," circa 1908. By holding the card to the light a Zon-O-Phone magically appears as the "Ideal Home Entertainer - it drives dull care away." Antique Phonograph, Gadgets, Gizmos & Gimmicks" by Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, A Schiffer Book for Collectors, Atglen, PA ©1999, p. 181.




(2AA) The violin and recording artist David Gerhardt - The following text from Explanatory Note 492, One of Ours Scholarly Edition (ibid). Lieutenant David Gerhardt: In a letter to Dorothy Canfield Fisher ([7 Apr. 1922]), Cather said that David Gerhardt was based in large part on the concert violinist David Hochstein of Rochester, New York. Hochstein studied violin with Otakar Sevcik in Vienna and with the great teacher Leopold Auer in St. Petersburg, Russia. After successful concert appearances in Europe from 1909 to 1911, Hochstein returned to the United States, where his performances consistently received outstanding reviews. Despite an exemption from military service, Hochstein enlisted in the army in 1917; shortly after his arrival in France, on 24 July 1918, he requested transfer to a combat unit (Lenti 22-23). He was killed in an explosion in the Argonne Forest on 15 October 1918, at the age of twenty-five, less than a month before the armistice. His body was never found.



(3) Mechanical - Examples of "Mechanical" language in One of Ours

The mechanical dish-washer she had never been able to use, and patent flat-irons and oil-stoves drove her wild. (p. 33)

The mechanical toys Ralph could not operate successfully, as well as those he had got tired of, were stored away here. (p. 35)

He answered mechanically. "Yes, certainly. Can't I get you something?" (p. 262)

Claude crossed the fields mechanically, without looking where he went. His power of vision was turned inward upon scenes and events wholly imaginary as yet. (p. 317)

Each of his neighbours had in his parlour some piece of woodcarving or weaving, or some ingenious mechanical toy that Oberlies had picked up in Germany. (p. 319)

Their escorts looked like dream ships, soft and iridescent as shell in the pearl-coloured tints of the morning. Only the dark smudges of smoke told that they were mechanical realities with stokers and engines. (p. 378)

One of the band boys brought Claude a camp chair, and said kindly, "He doesn't suffer. It's mechanical now. He'd go easier if he hadn't so much vitality. The Doctor says he may have a few moments of consciousness just at the last, if you want to stay." (p. 398)

Claude seemed to himself to be leading a double life these days. When he was working over Fanning, or was down in the hold helping to take care of the sick soldiers, he had no time to think,—did mechanically the next thing that came to hand. (p. 402)

The situation was unfair. Whether she took much or little out of their hands, couldn't possibly matter to the Americans,—couldn't even dash their good humour. But there was a strain on the cheesewoman, and the standards of a lifetime were in jeopardy. Her mind mechanically fixed upon two-and-a-half; she would charge them two-and-a-half times the market price of the cheese. With this moral plank to cling to, she made change with conscientious accuracy and did not keep a penny too much from anybody. (pp. 428-429)

She made no reply, but played on, her shoulders bent forward. Lucien drew his knees up under his chin and shivered. When the time came, the violin made its entrance. David had put it back under his chin mechanically, and the instrument broke into that suppressed, bitter melody. (p. 550)


(4) Jim McKee: Nebraska and Lincoln Germans during WWI, The Lincoln Journal, June 27, 2010 - The following is extracted from the McKee article.

Until the eve of World War I, with neutrality universally embraced by Nebraska's Germans, the University of Nebraska still had an active German club and put on plays in German. When Professor Fred M. Fling editorialized that "Germany is on the wrong side," he elicited a flood of pro-German sentiment.

But almost suddenly, with America's entry into the war, patriotism, even super patriotism, and anti-German sentiment became the norm. In October 1917, President Wilson signed a bill restricting German newspapers. The New York Times said the German papers "never stopped ... supporting Berlin's cause," and even the "Saturday Evening Post" opined that it was "time for America to rid itself of the Germans."

In Nebraska, German ministers were suddenly forced to deliver sermons in English even though some congregations had no one who could understand them. Lincoln's mayor ordered the visiting Minneapolis Symphony to play nothing by German composers, while Governor Neville organized a State Council of Defense, which saw every German as a potential threat and encouraged vigilantism. As Nebraska moved solidly behind the war effort, yellow paint was splashed on the houses of some Germans and those who were considered war effort slackers. Eight NU professors were charged with a "lack of aggressive loyalty," and two were asked to resign.

The Mockett Law, which required the teaching of German when requested by parents, was repealed, and suddenly it was illegal to teach German, German textbooks were burned in public bonfires and it became illegal to speak German with shopkeepers.

As anti-German sentiment peaked, German newspapers merged and withered while advertisers fled and German names were hastily Americanized. Lincoln's German-American Bank became Continental National Bank, Schmidts became Smiths, Gov. Charles Dietrich's German National Bank of Hastings became the Nebraska National Bank, while the town of Berlin became Otoe and Germantown in Seward County was renamed Garland for Ray Garland, who was killed in France in 1918.

As the armistice was signed, cooler heads began to prevail. With Germans "the most populous ethnic group in Nebraska" and Lincoln, anti-German feelings slowly died away. It was pointed out that in the hasty renaming of Berlin, it was probably not even named in honor of the German city but for E.D. Berlin, a local farmer.




(5) The American phonograph industry had actually done very well between 1914 and 1919 and had experienced a "tremendous boom in sales."

"Although many record plants were converted or partially converted, the war years saw a tremendous boom in sales. According to census figures, between 1914 and 1919 the value of America’s phonograph production rocketed from just over $27 million to just under $159 million; as one historian of the phonograph observed, “Americans had gone on a phonograph binge.” p. 22 "Music, Sound, and Technology in America, A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio" Edited by Timothy D. Taylor, Mark Katz, and Tony Grajeda Duke, University Press Durham and London (2012), p. 22. Figures and quotation from Roland Gelatt, "The Fabulous Phonograph," 2nd ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1977).




The Victor-Victrola was introduced in August 1906 with its cabinet made by the Pooley Furniture Co., Philadelphia. An article and illustration (below) appeared in the October 1906 issue of The Talking Machine World called it a "remarkable instrument" that is being "highly praised." "Nothing in years has made such a tremendous impression throughout the country as the new Victor-Victrola....Just open the doors and the melody pours forth."

In August 1907 Victor introduced a slightly modified design for the Victrola and started manufacturing it in their Camden plant. They introduced this machine as the Victrola the Sixteenth. It would become their iconic "Victrola" and continue to be made until 1921. "Victrola" became a generic term for early phonographs, particularly for its upright style as a piece of furniture, and would come to mean "old-time record players" of that look to later generations. Edison's "Phonograph" was also a trade-marked name and in the United States 'phonograph' became a generic term for record players.


The Talking Machine World, October 15, 1906 showing the first model of the Victor-Victrola introduced in August 1906 offered at $200.00




You dance me Fausse-trot, Sammie?

False French, literally "false step" or "False Trot." The reference is probably to the fox-trot, which became popular in the United States around 1910...Sammie, from "Uncle Sam," was a common term used by the Europeans for American soldiers. One of Ours, Explanatory Notes No. 437






(6A) "His Master's Voice" 1916 - Flemish newspaper purchased by Germany during World War I, p. 217 with Note on 246



(6B) "war to end war"

"The war to end war" a.k.a. "The war to end all wars"; originally from the 1914 book The War That Will End War by H. G. Wells is a term for the First World War of 1914–1918. (Wikipedia).

Also see BBC News Online Special Report on Remembering World War I (November 10, 1998) "The war to end all wars" for a sense of scale regarding its unparalleled destruction and casualities, how it started, trench warfare, the armistice and after.






(7) World War I Casualities - REPERES

"The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I, was around 40 million. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 10 million civilians. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies) lost about 5.7 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million." p. 1 - Author & © : Nadège Mougel, CVCE, 2011, 2011 English translation: Julie Gratz, Centre européen Robert Schuman



(7A) "more than a third of German males born between 1892 and 1895 died in the course of the war."

"And for this, more than 16 million men went to their slaughter, many of them in cruel and creative ways. In trenches that stretched an unbroken 475 miles from the North Sea to the Swiss border, the Germans constructed walls using corpses, so that French troops who captured a trench hung canteens from protruding ankles. Along the Somme River, in northern France, more than 1 million men were killed or wounded in 1916 for an Allied advance of seven miles. Poisonous gas filled a quarter of all the artillery shells fired on the western front in 1918. More than a third of German males born between 1892 and 1895 died in the course of the war. The killing spread to civilians in England and France attacked by German zeppelins. War was no longer noble, even as some of the men who fought it were noble beyond compare."

The Tragic Futility of World War I . Burt Solomon, The Atlantic, July 27, 2014


(7B) "The talking machine is undoubtedly the greatest comfort to the men in the camps, as it is to the men in the trenches at the front."

The Talking Machine World, January 15, 1918




Military Bugle

(8) "By 1914 and the beginning of the Great War, the limited use of cavalry and the introduction of telegraphs, field telephones and wireless resulted in the bugle being relegated to camp and ceremonial use by both sides, although buglers were assigned to Allied units as well as those of the Central powers, their role being to relay standardised instructions over short distances." Source: Militaria & History - "The Military Bugle"



(9) G.P.'s bugle "is a J.W. Pepper model and it was likely it was his college drill bugle." It is believed that J.W. Pepper had, at one time, a contract with the Army. Information is still unclear about G.P.'s duties in Texas, however, "the family was under the impression he took the bugle to Texas on the Mexican Expedition." Source: Tracy Tucker, Education Director & Archivist for the National Willa Cather Center.



(10) This brass military bugle is from the Minnesota Historical Society and is an example of the M1894 bugle in B flat, or "Trench" bugle. It was used by bugler Theodore J. Schauer during World War I.




(11) Photograph of American machine gun troops in "Great Cantigny Advance. "The People's War Book - History, Cyclopaedia and Chronology of the Great World War," by James Martin Miller and H. S. Canfield, Containing Official War Reports and Authentic Articles, Published by The R. C. Barnum Company, Cleveland, Ohio, et al., 1919 - Section America's Part in the War," p. 275.


(12) G. P. Cather, the prototype for Claude Wheeler died in action at Cantigny - "He became a member of the AEF in 1917, was commissioned a second lieutenant in August of that year, sailed to France as a member of the First Division in September, trained in France throughout the early months of 1918, and died in action at Cantigny, in the first notable U.S. engagement of the war, on 28 May. He was the first Nebraska officer killed in the war." - One of Ours Scholarly Edition, Historical Essay, G.P. Cather as the Prototype for Claude, p. 630

Cantigny: The last great German offensive of April and May 1918 overwhelmed French forces along the Chemin de Dames. On 27 May General Pershing united his forces to reinforce the French in the first American offensive action of the war, near the French town of Cantigny. The attack and capture of the village from seasoned German troops on 28 May was a relatively minor operation, but it did much to bolster Allied morale. G. P. Cather died at Cantigny. - Explanatory Note 473: One of Ours Scholarly Edition


Photograph of Battle of Cantigny, p. 386 (ibid)



Prototype for Claude Wheeler

G. P. Cather (Grosvenor Perry Cather) was the prototype for Claude Wheeler, Willa Cather's cousin.

"Willa Cather had not known her cousin Grosvenor Perry Cather well, though the two had grown up within a dozen miles of each other in Webster County, in south-central Nebraska." "Historical Essay and Explanatory Notes" by Richard C. Harris, One of Ours, p. 628

Illustration 14

G.P. Cather (directly behind the sign) with his National Guard unit, 1916, about the time of their service on the Mexican border with General Pershing. George Cather Ray Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (One of Ours, The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition - Illustrations)




Works and Resources Cited - One of Ours by Willa Cather (A Phonographia Library of PhonoLiterature)


Archeophone Records, "Actionable Offenses, Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890," © 2007

Cather, Willa. One of Ours. historical essay and explanatory notes by Richard C. Harris; textual essay and editing by Frederick M. Link with Kari A. Ronning. p. cm. - (The Willa Cather scholarly edition). University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2006.

Charlotte Shaw and Kenneth Smith Collection. G. P. Cather's bugle, OBJ-335-001 Willa Cather Foundation Collections and Archives at the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, NE.

Coda to Coda, Community IWM - WW1 Armistice Interpretation (Sound Installation) by Coda to Coda

CURIOSITYPHONO - YouTube Author of Uncle Sam Kicking Kaiser Bill with Sousa's "Under the Double Eagle March" (See CURIOSITYPHONO for full version)

Daley, Jason. "Recorded Sound - The Moment the Guns Fell Silent, Ending World War I." Smithsonian Magazine, November 9, 2018

Dethlefson, Ron, Edison Blue Amberol Recordings Vol II, APM Press, New York, 1981 p.157

Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), UC Santa Barbara Library

Dodge, Marshall, The New Yorker, "Storytellers," October 22, 1979, p. 32 "A Maine storyteller at the WYNC Storytelling Festival."

Duke University Libraries - David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Edison Phonograph Monthly, published by the National Phonograph Co., March 1903 - December 1916

Frow, George L. and Selfl, Albert F., The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877-1929, published by Flo-Print, Great Britain, 1985 edition

Giovanonni, David. The David Giovannoni Collection, Record collection and website

Giovanonni and Sheram Collection, Sheet music collection on website

Harris, Neil & Teri Edelstein, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I, The University of Chicago Library, 2014 Russell Hunting discography

The Internet Archive - The non-profit library of millions of books, music, and more. Source for The Talking Machine World (phonograph industry trade magazine)

James Francis Driscoll Collection of American sheet music, "When I hear the phonograph play," M. Witmark & Sons, New York, 1918

Koenigsberg, Allen, "Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912 With an Illustrated History of the Phonograph," APM Press, Brooklyn, New York, 1987

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music, The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University

McKee, Jim. "Nebraska and Lincoln Germans during WWI." The Lincoln Journal, June 27, 2010

McKibben, Bill. Falter. Henry Holt and Co., Kindle Edition. Paris, pp. 9-10

"The Menace of Mechanical Music" by John Philip Sousa, Appleton's Magazine, September 1906

Music, Sound, and Technology in America, A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio" Edited by Timothy D. Taylor, Mark Katz, and Tony Grajeda Duke, University Press Durham and London (2012), p. 22

Music Division, The New York Public Library. "Oh! How I hate to get up in the morning" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1918.

RagtimeDorian Henry, YouTube Author of Midi for The Neutrality by Mike Bernard (1915, March piano)

REPERES – module 1-1-1 - explanatory notes – World War I casualties – EN.pdf, p1 - Author & © : Nadège Mougel, CVCE, 2011, 2011 English translation: Julie Gratz, Centre européen Robert Schuman

Ross, Alex, "Willa Cather’s Quietly Shattering War Novel" By Alex Ross July 7, 2020, The New Yorker

Solomon, Burt. "The Tragic Futility of World War I." The Atlantic, July 27, 2014

Stewart, Cal. Uncle Josh Weathersby's Punkin Centre Stories, Thompson & Thomas. Chicago, 1905. "Uncle Josh and the Lighting Rod Agent."

The Talking Machine World, The phonograph industry's monthly trade journal 1905 - December 1929

The United States World War I Centennial Commission, "US Neutrality."

The University of South Carolina and the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection

Van der Merwe, Ann Ommen, The Ziegfield Follies: A History in Song, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, 2009 p. 96

Victrolaman (Bruce Victrolaman Young) - YouTube Author of demonstration of "Submarine Attack," The Talking Book Corporation, Emerson Records, 1919



Other Works of Interest

Baumbach, Robert W., "Look for the Dog - An Illustrated Guide to Victor Talking Machines," published by Mulholland Press, Inc., 2005

"1917," World War I movie directed and produced by Sam Mendes, Universal Pictures, 2019

A Hundred Years After the Armistice If you think the First World War began senselessly, consider how it ended. By Adam Hochschild October 29, 2018 - The New Yorker, November 5, 2018

The Phonograph Goes to War, 1915 Scientific American by Dan Schlenof, November 6, 2015 (Anecdotes from the Archive).

The Phonograph Goes to War, 1915 - A recruiting station in Britain uses a phonograph to help drum up business in 1915. Credit: Image: Scientific American, November 6, 1915


"They Shall Not Grow Old," World War I documentary film directed and produced by Peter Jackson, WingNut Films, 2018.

Watch Trailer for "They Shall Not Grow Old" (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)



NOTES: All other citations, credits and references for sheet music, records, advertisements and other ephemera are within the article. All uncredited ephemera or catalogued items (i.e., PM-XXXX or FPXXXX) are from the collection of Doug Boilesen and Friends of the Phonograph or are part of the Public Domain.

A special thanks to David Giovannoni who made some modifications to so that links to record titles go directly to that record without requiring an account or log-on. Access to other recordings from the David Giovannoni Collection at require a user account (free) and I encourage you to sign-up as this is a great resource for listening to early recordings.

Recommended resources for listening to early phonograph records can be found at Phonographia's "Archives, Discographies, Libraries, Recordings, Societies" and include the following:

The Belfer Library - Syracuse University Libraries

The Great 78 Project on the Internet Archive

The Library of Congress National Jukebox

Library of Historical Audio Recordings at

The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound

UC Santa Barbara Library - Cylinder Audio Archive






One of Ours Discography:, Internet Audio Archive, The Library of Congress National Jukebox and UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive.


"The Americans Come!" by Reinald Werrenrath, Victor Record 45157-A, Recorded October 28, 1918 (Courtesy of

"Arrival of the American Troops in France" by Prince's Band and Columbia Male Quartette Record A2354 (Courtesy of and the Internet Archive)

"Battle of the Marne" Descriptive by J. Luxton played by the New York Military Band on Edison Diamond Disc Record 50422, 1917 and available on Internet Archive.

"The Battle of the Marne" performed by Russell Hunting, Elocutionist, on Pathe 12" Record No. 35067, double-sided disc

"Battle of the Marne March" by J. Luxton on 4-minute Edison Amberola Record No. 3018 performed by Sodero's Band (as New York Military Band) Cesare Sodero, director, recorded April 20, 1916

"Break the News to Mother" sung by George Ballard and Chorus, Edison's 4-Minute Blue Amberol Record No. 34366, released February, 1918 (Courtesy UCSB Digital Collection)

"Break the News to Mother" by Shannon Four, Victor Record No. 18358-A, 1917 (Courtesy Internet Archive)

"Break the News to Mother" by Henry Burr and Columbia Stellar Quartette, Columbia Grafonola's July 1917 release of Record No. A2436, (Courtesy Internet Archive)

"Casey Home From The Front" by Russell Hunting, Double Sided Disc 12" - Pathe Record 30308 (Courtesy

"A Church Service On the Battlefield," Pathé Record 35067 is Side B of "The Battle of the Marne," 1917 (Courtesy of

"Departure of the American Troops for France" by Prince's Band and Columbia Male Quartette Record A2354 (Courtesy of and the Internet Archive)

"Departure of the First U.S. Troops for France" by Russell Hunting, Pathé 20125 (Courtesy of

"Everybody's Happy Now" sung by Ben Linn, Emerson Phonograph Co., No. 7452, 1918 (Courtesy of

"From the Battlefields of France," Hear the words from General John J. Pershing, The Columbia Graphophone Co., 1918 (Courtesy of

"General Pershing March" played by Victor Band, Record 18607-A, Recorded on August 5, 1919 (Courtesy of

"Good Bye Broadway, Hello France" Sung by Arthur Fields. Edison Domestic Series 3321, 4-minute celluoid cylinder, recorded July 17, 1917 (also dubbed on Edison Diamond Disc Record)

"Good-Bye France," by Nora Bayes, Columbia Record A2678, 10" disc, Recorded on November 15, 1918 (Courtesy

"Home Sweet Home" sung by Alma Gluck, Victor Red Seal 74251, 1911 (Courtesy of

"Home, Sweet Home The World Over," 4-minute Edison Blue Amberol Record No. 1600, November 1912 Edison Phonograph Monthly (Courtesy

"If I'm Not at the Roll Call (Kiss Mother Good-bye for Me)" by George Boyden, performed by Campbell and Burr, Columbia A2641, 1918 (Courtesy Internet Archive)

"If I'm Not at the Roll Call Kiss Mother Good-bye for Me" by Harvey Hindermeyer (as Harvey Wilson). Edison Domestic Series No. 3630, 4-minute celluloid cylinder recorded August 6, 1918 (Courtesy of

"I'm Crazy Over Every Girl In France," Sung by Avon Comedy Four, Columbia Record No. A2399, Recorded December 13, 1917 (Courtesy

"I'm Neutral" sung by Bert Williams Columia Grafonola Record A1817, 1915

"Jimmy Triggers Return from Mexico" Vaudeville sketch by Billy Golden and Joe Hughes' about the Mexican Expedition, Edison 4-minutes celluloid cylinder No. 2429 recorded May 28, 1914 (Courtesy of

"Let's All Be Americans Now" performed by Adolph J. Hahl (Arthur Hall), Edison Domestic series 3201, 4-minute Edison Blue Amberol Record, recorded February 28, 1917

"L-i-b-e-r-t-y" by Henry Burr, Rex 10" Record No. 5377-A, produced 1914-1917 (Courtesy of

"Long, Long Ago," Irish Ballad by Mr. Frank S. Maszziotti, Piccolo, 7" Disc Zon-o-phone Record 9097

"Long, Long Ago" by Frieda Hempel, Recorded 12/31/1917, New York, Edison 82550 10-in. (UCSB Library, DAHR)

"La Marseillaise" (de Lisle) {In English}, performed by Thomas Chalmers, Edison Concert series 28289, 4-minute Edison Blue Amberol Record, recorded May 21, 1917

"The Midnight Attack," Played by Prince's Band, Columbia Record A1339, Recorded April 16, 1913 (Courtesy Library of Congress)

"A Minstrel Show No. 4 - A Matrimonial Chat" by Harry Humphrey, Edison 2-minute Gold Moulded Record No. 9278, released in May 1906 (Courtesy of

"Oh! How I Hate to get up in the morning" by Arthur Fields, Edison 4-minute celluloid cylinder Record No. 3639, recorded July 16, 1918 (Courtesy

"Over There" by Enrico Caruso, Victor Record 87294, recorded on July 11, 1918 (Courtesy of

"Pershing for President" by Arthur Fields, Lyric Record 5135-A, circa 1919 (Courtesy of

"The Rose of No Man's Land" by Moonlight Trio, Edison Domestic Series 3677, 4-minute celluoid cylinder, recorded October 11, 1918 (Courtesy of

"Roses of Picardy" Sung by John McCormack, Victrola Red Seal Record 748-A, Recorded April 16, 1919 (LISTEN Courtesy DAHR and Library of Congress)

Soldier's Day, A (The Way Army Bugle Calls Sound To the Boys) by Geoffrey O'Hara, Victor 10" double-sided disc, Date April 18, 1918, Record No. 18451 (Courtesy

Submarine Attack by Theodore Morse performed by Premier Quartet and Company, Edison Diamond Disc Re-Creation Record No. 50490

"Take me Back to Dear Old Blighty" by Arthur Fields, Emerson Record No. 934, 9" double-side disc, March 1918 (Courtesy - See for date

U.S. Army bugle calls (No. 1) by S. W. Smith (U.S.N.) & Bugle Squad, Edison 4-minute celluloid cylinder No. 3331, recorded August 1, 1917 (Courtesy

U.S. Army bugle calls (No. 2) by S. W. Smith (U.S.N.) & Bugle Squad, Edison 4-minute celluloid cylinder No. 3332, recorded August 1, 1917 (Courtesy

Waltz in A Major perfomed by Albert Spalding - violin solo of David Hochstein's Arrangement of Brahms' Waltz in A Major for Victor, Record No. 1667-B, Released in 1934 (Courtesy of Internet Archive).

"We're All Going Calling on the Kaiser" sung by Arthur Fields and Peerless Quartette, Columbia Record A2569, Recorded May 13, 1918

"We stopped them at the Marne," performed by Premier Quartet , Edison Domestic series 3525, 4-minute Edison Blue Amberol Record, recorded April 23, 1918

"When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band To France" by Marion Harris, Victor Record No. 18486-A, 1918 (Courtesy of

"When the Lusitania Went Down" sung by Herbert Stuart, Columbia Record No. A1772, double-sided disc, recorded May 20, 1915

When Yankee Doodle Learns to "Parlez Vous Francais" sung by Arthur Fields, 4-minute Edison Amberola Record No. 3447, recorded on December 4, 1917 (Courtesy


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"Christmas of the Phonograph Records"

(1) "physical and emotional abuse" from GRAULICH, MELODY. “Every Husband’s Right: Sex Roles in Mari Sandoz’s ‘Old Jules.’” Western American Literature 18, no. 1 (1983): 3–20.

In the end the Plains woman might be as weatherbeaten and wrinkled as an old boot top but still standing firm beside her husband and children, grown strong together while overcoming the calamities that dog the vulnerable--the wiry old settle at her side deserving the ultimate accolade of the Plains as a good husband: "He never laid a hand on his wife." (Mari Sandoz, Love Song to the Plains (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1961), p. 125)

"When Mari Sandoz wrote this passage near the end of her life, she returned to one of the subjects of her first book, Old Jules (1935): the widespread physical and emotional abuse of pioneer women. Ostensibly a biography of her father, Jules Sandoz, a prophet,...a sort of Moses working the soil of his Promised Land," and a husband who does not deserve the Plains' "ultimate accolade..." (Mari Sandoz, Old Jules (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1962, originally published, 1935), p. 406).




PhonoLiterature - Youth and the Bright Medusa: Scandal and A Gold Slipper

(1) When he puts a "Farrar record" into his phonograph, he has something of the feeling of part-ownership that our fathers had when they spoke of Mary Anderson as "our Mary." "Three American Singers," by Willa Cather, McClure's Magazine, December 1913.



(2) But she must at least be pleased that the phonograph companies find it necessary to issue a new Farrar record every month, and this necessity comes about only because Miss Farrar has made herself heard even above the roar of the ball-park. (ibid)




PhonoLiterature - Youth and the Bright Medusa: Coming, Aphrodite!

(1) This song is played at Coney Island "when Molly Welch and then Eden Bower return..." Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Cather, Scholarly Edition, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2009, p.375.11 (Illustration 11).

"The band struck up "Blue Bell" by way of welcome, and one of the sweaty pages ran forward and presented the balloonist with a large bouquet of artificial flowers. She smiled and thanked him, and ran back across the sand to the tent." ibid p. 43



(2) second balloon: In "Willa Cather's 'Coming, Aphrodite!,' the 'Divine' Sarah Bernhardt and the Quest for Artistic Success" (unpublished), Evelyn Funda argues that Eden Bower's balloon ride is modeled after a similar stunt involving actress Sarah Bernhardt, whom Cather revered, during the 1878 Paris Exhibition. After observing patrons taking rides in a tethered balloon, Bernhardt arranged her own untethered trip over the city. Her ascent was viewed by a large crowd that included her manager from the French Theater, who was enraged by her risk-taking. Bernhardt wrote a children's book about the flight, In the Clouds, Impressions of a Chair (Dans les Nuages, Impressions d'une Chaise, 1878), which Cather reviewed in the Nebraska State Journal (14 July 1895). She referred to Bernhardt's ride as her "crowning flight of egotism." Explanatory Notes 44 (ibid)



(3) Mary Garden appears in Death Scene from "Cleopatra," The New York Times, March 26, 1919 and announcement of Garden's new Cleopatra opera being written for her by Massenet in 1909.


The New York Times, April 14, 1909


(4) Photographs of Sara Bernhardt as Cleopatra, Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. "Cleopatra (Sardou)" The New York Public Library Digital Collections.





PhonoLiterature - The Song of the Lark

(1) "In 1913, Willa Cather met opera-diva Olive Fremstad and the two formed a friendship that would span at least a decade." Tebo, Jessica, LETTERS FROM OLIVE FREMSTAD TO WILLA CATHER: A VIEW BEYOND THE SONG OF THE LARK, University of Nebraska, 2018.


(2) Cushing, Mary Watkins The Rainbow Bridge. New York: Putnam, 1954. pp. 259-262. (Mary Watkins Cushing was Olive Fremstad's secretary).


(3) The Discography of American Recordings (DAHR) - Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Fremstad, Olive," accessed June 12, 2022,


(4) "singing "La Golondrina." Strachwitz Frontera Collection 'La Golondrina': A Song that Soars Across Centuries and Crosses Cultures identifies the earliest vocal recording of 'La Golondrina' as "being made in 1898 by Arturo Adamini on Edison cylinder 4234. Adamini, an Italian tenor, later recorded the song as a 7-inch, 78-rpm disc for the Berliner label." (Explanatory Note 123. "La Golandrina": The popular song "The Swallow" was written by Narciso Serradell (1843-1910) in 1862. Doña Isabella sings this song in Death Comes for the Archbishop (185).





Willa Cather Stories and William Jennings Bryan


(1) Railroads and the Making of America, William Jennings Bryan’s 1896 Campaign, A Digital History Project, University of Nebraska-Lincoln ©2003-2017




PhonoLiterature - Looking Backward 2000 - 1887


Jessica Kuskey (2016) Listening to the Victorian Telephone: Class, Periodicals, and the Social Construction of Technology, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 38:1, 3-22, DOI: 10.1080/08905495.2015.1105506





Salonola Theatrephone - Home Recreations (Aust.) LTD., Everyones, November 13, 1929

1929 Salonola Theatrephone (Courtesy Trove and the National Library of Australia)




WONDERS - The Trocaderoscope

(1) Page 33 from 1878 The Trocaderoscope, phonograph illustration by Alfred Le Petit (courtesy BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE)

Foreward to 1878 The Trocaderoscope

"The Trocaderoscope will therefore be, not only a complete review of the Universal Exhibition, but also a study of the physiognomy of Paris duriing this Exhibition.

One consideration above all decided us to write this book: the ardent desire to contribute, to the extent of our strength to the blossoming of the gigantic jaundice which has affected what remains of the Bonapartists in France, since the question of the Universal Exhibition has been mentioned.

These brave people, who put us, seven years ago, in the state that we know, have never been able to get used to the idea France could have the nerve to organize an Exhibition without waiting the return of the descendant of this emperor so miserly of his skin of this empress so prodigal of her leathers."


The Trocaderoscope

(2) The French Phonograph Triumvirat

Leon Scott de Martinville

Charles Cros

Miss Birgton - With her sewing machine and silver thread Miss Birgton captured sound but didn't know it. The circumstances of the recording she made, her court case, Edison coincidently being in the courtroom and recognizing the significance of what he heard and his immediate purchase of the dress for thirty-two thousand dollars which resulted in him in inventing the phonograph create a new piece of phonograph fiction. But what isn't fiction is that Le Trocadéroscope's Le Phonographe is now another example of the connections between the phonograph and the sewing machine.




How We Learn about the Phonograph

(1) Answer for "Jumbo Scrambled Word Game with 45 RPM Records Connection, Lincoln Journal, November 2, 2022


(2) Answer for "Jumbo Scrambled Word Game with Stereo Headphones and Record Album Connections Lincoln Journal, March 21, 2023





"Graphs" and "scopes" -

When the moving picture industry began and Edison named his machine for viewing films the kinetoscope and his device for projecting films the projectograph he noted how dozens of new graphs and scopes had suddenly appeared in the field and announced this must stop. "There is only one 'scope,' and that is the kinetoscope," said Edison...""Only one 'graph,' and that is the projectograph. All others are practical imitations."

The Phonoscope, March 1898




Tate, Edison's Private Secretary, as he described himself in the Foreward of his book, "Edison's Open Door - The Life Story of Thomas A. Edison, A Great Individualist" by Alfred O. Tate (New York, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1938), p. 7.


"Edison's Open Door - The Life Story of Thomas A. Edison, A Great Individualist." Ibid. Frontis



Details of the Kinetoscope's opening night as described by Alfred O. Tate in his book "Edison's Open Door."

Tate, Ibid. 285-286.



Willa Cather's Prototypes Who Were Recording Artists

(3A) confined to "hackneyed operatic arias and quasi-popular encore pieces."

"Even in the leavening of celebrity records, artists of the calibre of Hempel, Teyte, Case, Zenatello, Rachmaninoff, Spalding, and Flesch were confined to a repertory of hackneyed operatic arias and quasi-popular encore pieces. The only orchestral works of any significance were a few overtures, almost invariably cut, proffered by the apocryphal "American" symphony and concert orchestras (Edison "house" organizations, conductor unnamed). "

"Mr. Edison's Phonograph: A Post-Mortem," R. D. Darrell, The Sewanee Review, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1933), 98.


(3B) And perhaps most revealing, the Edison business approach regarding these recordings was said to have been "the flat statement that the reproduction of operatic and symphonic music did not represent a sound commercial proposition -- in American." "Mr. Edison's Phonograph: A Post-Mortem." Ibid. 100.


Dictionary of Phonographia

Magic lantern nomenclature problem in relation to "stereopticon" discussed in the following footnote in David Robinson's "From Peepshow to Palace The Birth of American Film," Columbia University Press, New York, 1996:

For the first two centuries of its life the name "magic lantern," with its various literal translations, was universal. In America, however, the term "stereopticon" became increasingly current after the 1850s. This essential misnomer seems to have originated with the first photographic lantern slides marketed by the Langenheim brothers, which were often made from one half of a stereoscopic double negative.

In the nineties the word had a brief vogue in Britain; the Optical and Magic Lantern Journal noted: "The word stereopticon, which is in genral use in America, is becoming more and more used in this country. When talking to a stereopticon operator later, he gave it as his experience that people would more readily attend a lecture which was to be illustrated with stereoptiocon views than one illustrated with lantern views. The name, he says, has something mysterious about it as yet, and many people think it has to do with some new invention. Anyhow, he explained, by adopting this name, we get a larger audience than we would with the usual name." After 1880 the term "optical lantern" was introduced in Britain by J. F. Dallmeyer in an endeavor to eradicate the pleasantly irrational suggestion of the old term. (David Robinson. Ibid. pp. 3-4).





Children's Phonographs and Popular Culture Characters

(1) "the talking wonder," "The Miracle of the 19th Century" and the "dream of the inventor realized" from promotional piece for Edison's Phonograph to be exhibited at Friedrich's Music Hall, Grand Rapids July 3 - 6, 1878. Courtesy Allen Koenigsberg (poster with these quotes can be viewed in René Rondeau's Tinfoil Phonographs, p. 45, ©2001 (ISBN 0-9622219-4-5).


Children's Phonographs and Popular Culture Characters

(2) the average hourly wage in the United States in manufacturing was 49 cents in 1925.

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