Phonographia (Main page)
(1) "The Talking Phonograph," Scientific American, December 22, 1877
(2) Listen HERE for a listing of sounds of Earth on Voyager's Golden Record
(3) - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
The Voyager's phonograph records used a needle and "grooves" and were not laser discs although images were viewable on the discs. The record used analog technology and the audio was played at 16 2/3 rpm. The overall intent was remarkable - communicate "a story of our world to extraterrestrials."
For more information about this Voyager phonograph record sent to the stars, read Carl Sagan's "Murmurs of Earth" or visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory website "What is the Golden Record?"
Friends of the Phonograph Go GREEN
(1) There are on-going debates about the "warmth" of vinyl records and the sound superiority of one format over another, e.g., 180 Gram Vinyl LPs vs. CDs vs. 320k mp3 file. Pitch.com ("Does Vinyl Really Sound Better? July 29, 2013 by Mark Richardson) makes other important considerations about listening to vinyl:
But the other part of it is that the experience of listening to an LP involves a lot more than remastering and sound sources. There's the act of putting a record on, there is the comforting surface noise, there is the fact that LPs are beautiful objects and CDs have always looked like plastic office supplies. So enjoying what an LP has to offer is in no way contingent on convincing yourself that they necessarily sound better than CDs.
Friends of the Phonograph
(1) - Favorite Movies is a round-about way to celebrate the connection between the phonograph and talking movies which began when W. K. L. Dickson's Kinetophonograph's syncronized film and recorded sound using an Edison cylinder Phonograph. Watch this circa 1895 experiment courtesy of the Library of Congress and The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.
(2) And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray . . . when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea . . .But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop; of their essence, the vast structure of recollection. - Marcel Proust À la recherche du temps perdu as quoted in "To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting" by Philipp Blom. From Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann, Paris, 1954 pp. 46-7. The translation is quoted in Swann's Way, trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff, London, 1960 p.41.
About this Site
(1) How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History On Technology By JENNA WORTHAM JUNE 21, 2016 The New York Times Magazine
Collecting and Phonographia
(2) p. 137. "To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting" by Philipp Blom, The Overland Press 2003
Note: See Chapter "Three Flying Ducks" for a history of kitch and the premise that "collected objects have a value for the individual collector that only other collectors can understand."P. 166, "To Have and to Hold - An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting" by Philipp Blom, The Overland Press 2003
Researchers know that of the two primary forms of accessing memory, recognition and recall, the former is a simpler and more reliable process. It is the association of a physical object with something previously encountered or experienced. This could be because tangible memories utilize all five senses, evoking emotional triggers and transporting us back to a precise time, place or moment.
Excerpt from The New York Times article "Does Anyone Collect Old Emails?" by Peter Funt, April 5, 2019
(4) A.C. Grayling, Financial Times, comments on back cover titled Praise for "To Have and to Hold"
(5) As an object, single or multiplied, it serves the basic function that collecting — call it hoarding, call it installation art — does. It lets us keep the illusion that we can forever embrace, and be embraced by, what is forever fading away. Excerpt from the New York TImes Art Review "The Keeper’ Reveals the Passion for Collecting"
(6) The work done by scholars and institutions continues to rapidly expand onto the internet. As an example, go to the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR) or the Library of Congress National Jukebox Project and you will understand how many historical sound recordings are now available along with associated reference material.
(7) "Interesting" - The word interesting originally meant "of concern"; it was a synonym of important. It comes from the verb interest, which in its original use meant "to induce or persuade to participate or engage." If you were interested in something, you were not willing to be a bystander; you felt the need to participate or engage. Merriam-Webster
Arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention. synonyms: absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling, compulsive, spellbinding, captivating, engaging, enthralling, entrancing, beguiling
(8) "Just as we should cultivate more gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment."
"This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but also a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we may receive some benefit today, but in the long run, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival."
-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness', published by Snow Lion Publications.
On This Day Calendar
(1) From the 1937 movie A Damel in Distress, starring Gracie Allen and George Burns
The "Ola" & "Phon" Brands
(1) The Antique Phonograph Society (www.antiquephono.org) - The Antique Phonograph is a worldwide society of 1000+ members who share a passion for the preservation of antique phonographs, gramophones and records. We encourage, promote, publish and present research on the history of sound recording and reproduction, including the machines that create and preserve these wonderful voices and sounds. To that end, our Society maintains informative articles on its website which are open to the public, as well as an exhaustive online searchable archive of over 20,000 pages of phonograph and record research material available to members. We publish a full-color quarterly journal called The Antique Phonograph. The APS also sponsors an annual antique phonograph/record Expo and banquet, to which all are welcome. JOIN TODAY!
(2) The Rock-Ola Scale Company was founded in 1927 by David Cullen Rockola. The company became the Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation in 1932.
• Founded 1863 (toy making in 1880)
• Nuremberg / Germany
Brothers Ignaz and Adolf Bing began the manufacture of metal objects for the home and kitchen. In 1880 they began to make their first toys: success was enormous and in a few years the factory became the most important for toy production in the world. Before the first world war, if one counts the various factories and agencies throughout Europe, the company employed nearly 5,000. The company exported all over the world, but above all to America. In fact the 1929 crisis dealt it a fatal blow, and it foundered. The factory was acquired in 1932 by Karl Bub. This was the end of the largest toy factory that had ever existed in the world. (Courtesy DGCollection)
BING WERKE BW
The Bing Corporation in New York, which was the American branch of the German company called Bing Werke (Gebrüder Bing AG) in Nuremberg. In 1925 the Bing Corporation introduced its own gramophone called Bingophone. Other Gramophones were Kiddyphon, Beymir, Bingola I - (Courtesy of 78RPM-Club)
The "Our Song" Phenomenon - A Phonograph Recollection
(1) A Phonograph Recollection, named with a tip of the hat to Mari Sandoz's The Christmas of the Phonograph Records - A Recollection
(2) Original Valentino's pizza restaurant, Lincoln, NE 1957 (courtesy of Valentino's). Val's pizza didn't have delivery service so before any of us could drive there was a significant dependency of an adult picking it up on the other side of town.
Ordering was also a challenge. It was common on a Friday or Saturday that we would start dialing around 4:00 pm to put in an order and we might get busy signals for an hour or more. There was a phone in the Keister basement (rotary phone) so this meant dialing, getting a busy signal and then redialing until we could get through. There was no auto redial on telephones. And at Val's there was no putting us "on hold" option. We actually would take turns doing the dialing until we got through.
Even when we got our order placed it might not be ready for several hours.
In retelling this pizza ordering process story I'm sure it sounds like an exaggeration, but it is a true pizza slice from the past. I do believe, however, as Siegfried Giedion wrote, that "The backward look transforms its object...History cannot be touched without changing it.
PhonoBooks - Abide by Jake Adam York
(1) Curiously, at the time Leon Scott invented his phonautograph, he had devised a way only to make a visual record of a voice, but not to reproduce the sound. Scott's recording bristle -- from a pig or a bird -- scratched the surface of the blackened paper to make a visual tracing of the voice. "He never anticipated that these tracings could be used to reproduce the voice," Koenigsberg said. "They were only used for visual study."
Courtesy of Allen Koenigsberg and the New York Times, March 25, 1999 by Katie Hafner
(2) Jake was inspired by the Civil Rights Memorial to take on a project he called Inscriptions for Air. He wrote of this project:
Courtesy of Los Angeles Review of Books, The Air We Make Together: The Life and Poetry of Jake Adam York April 7, 2013 By Jon Tribble