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, personalities and images. But what was unique to phonograph ads, explicit or not, were the next steps they sought: Go to a phonograph dealer, listen for yourself, buy a phonograph, buy records.

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




Appealing to the customer's 'human' side



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).