Phonograph Advertisements


A significant part of the history of the phonograph is the history of its advertisements. The intent of phonograph advertising is no different than other contemporary consumer ads. Capture interest and encourage a purchase.

With images, personalities, catchy slogans and text explaining why their product is the one to choose, or that the purchase of a phonograph is the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone in your family, the reader is being told a story. The phonograph advertiser's hope is that the reaction to their story will be to act on one of their common requests: Go to a phonograph dealer, listen for yourself, buy a phonograph, buy records.

Select from the following thematic advertising storylines 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




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).