Phonograph Advertisements


A significant part of the phonograph's history are its advertisements.

Phonograph ads, like any consumer ad, tell stories with a variety of themes and images to sell their products. But what was unique to phonograph ads was the number of ways that showed how recorded sound could change listeners relationships with music.

Home entertainment was being redefined. The social and popular culture revolution of recorded music had begun with music on demand, anywhere, as many times as you wanted and whatever you wanted. All that was required was the purchase of a phonograph and records. In the process the phonograph industry became a major advertiser promoting their machines, recorded music and the artists.

Select from the following advertising themes and period specific galleries or use the PhonoAds Table of Contents.


Pre -1900 Ads

"Looking for the Band"

Artists Inside the Horn

1900 -1905 Ads

Edison's 1905 Double Service (1)

1905 - 1910 Ads


"Which is which?"


The Stage of the World

1910 - 1915 Ads

1915 - 1920 Ads

1920 - 1930 Ads

1930 - 1940 Ads

1940 - 1945 Ads

1945 - 1950 Ads

Shopping for a Phonograph

At Home or at the Opera

Edison Tone Tests


Hear it Anywhere!




Visions of Artists in the Home



An Age of Wonders!


January 1919 Phonograph Ads




"Clear as a Bell"

The Sonora Phonograph


Portable Phonographs





The Brownies and the Phonograph


The Victor Book of the Opera


Nipper, Dogs and the Phonograph



Silhouette Ads - Edison




Children's Phonographs and Popular Culture Characters


Keeping Fit with the Phonograph

Exercise to Music


Victor Supremacy


Pathé is Supreme


Massani's "The Phonograph" Edison's "Old Couple"


Appealing to the customer's 'human' side



The Columbia Twentieth Century Graphophone



Victor Historic Audio Advertising by the Victor Company 1896-1907


See Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication (Chapter 12) for a history of advertising and some context for phonograph advertisements at the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century. (University of Minnesota's Library of Publishing).