Hear it Anywhere!

Anywhere, anytime and as often as you want!


By Doug Boilesen 2018

To hear recorded sound anywhere, anytime and as often as you wanted one was enjoying the essence of the wonder of the phonograph and its revolution of recorded sound. Ephemeral sound had been captured and its phonograph advertisements presented seemingly limitless boundaries for where it could be heard. Later ads would also expand its scope by promoting its recorded voices as immortal.

The earliest models Columbia and Edison home phonographs were designed with lids and cases like earlier sewing machines and the similiarity between the sewing machine and the phonograph was often noted in early descriptions of the Phonograph. See Phonographia's Phonographs and Sewing Machines for more about that connection.


1895 Columbia Graphophone Model N


Edison Home Phonograph Model A Circa 1901 (Courtesy of TechnoGallerie)


Hear it Anywhere!

The following ads are focused on the promotion of the phonograph's portability and its "anywhere" functionality.

Locations advertised as potential listening spots for consumer phonographs included the home, on the porch, in the garden; on the farm, at the summer home; in the country, in the hills, in the mountains, by the sea; on vacation, by the campfire, by the lake, by the fishing stream; on a boat, canoe, houseboat, or yacht. Countless locations seemed to match the phonograph's innumerable repertoires.

After the introduction of the Victrola and the phonograph industry's other furniture models, the table top and portable phonographs would continue to be seen in advertisements showing the the 'anywhere' possibiities.


Hear it "right on your porch among the cooling breezes..." - Munsey's Magazine, 1904


Music in Camp, Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, 1902


Have one at your summer home for pleasant evenings, Country Life in America, 1905


"No matter where you go, you can transport a veritable theatre with you." The Metropolitan Magazine, 1906


"Ideal for the Garden -- Houseboat -- or Yacht".

The Graphic Summer Number, 1907


May 30, 1908 River Parade with Gramophone in middle boat


The Edison Phonograph Monthly, September 1907


The Phonogram, December 1900


The Edison Phonograph Monthly, September 1907

"Home, Clubhouse, Yacht, Camp..." The Talking Machine World, July 1908


"At home or in our summer retreat" Summer Time is Victor Time, The Talking Machine World, July 1910


The Phonograph as an Adjunct to Railroad Travel

It is said that one of the western railroad lines, running from Chicago to the coast, has added a Phonographic equipment to its library and observation coach. Records of the best orchestral and operatic music now regale the passengers who care to listen, and while speeding across the prairie at a mile-a-minute clip, one can hear the greatest operatic stars in the world singing their favorite numbers. Two performances are to be given daily, at stated hours, the matinees consisting of lighter music, the evening program of operatic selections. Travel in these days of enterprise is becoming a delight instead of a nightmare. - The New Phonogram, February 1910


Take a Victrola with you... 1913


"Find a shaded spot and listen with comfort..." The Talking Machine World, July 1915


Columbia Grafonola - "Portable, compact, easy to stow anywhere in the car." The Automobile, June 1916


Portable Grafonolas for Vacationists. The Talking Machine World, July 1918


The Talking Machine World, August 1923


Columbia Graphophone at the campfire, Country Life in America, 1915 (PM-2009A)


"Music for camp and cottage" - Domestic Talking Machine, The Talking Machine World July 1917


The Columbia Grafonola "Music Wherever You Go" - The Ladies' Home Journal, 1920

"Take Music Wherever You Go" The Ladies' Home Journal, 1919


RPPC May 9, 1919


The Columbia Grafonola "Vacation Model" - The Delineator, 1920


Roof of an apartment building with Victor Talking Machine and records, ca. 1919

"Living on Skyscraper," ca. 1919 Library of Congress - Photo by Bain News Service, N.Y.C.


The Portola - Perfect for Outings, The Talking Machine World, August 1920


"Good Music, Anywhere, Anytime!" The Saturday Evening Post, 1923


Brilliantone Needles for The Ideal Vacation, The Talking Machine World, June 1923


The Sonora Portable - "a piece of luggage that round the world travelers will covet."

The Talking Machine World, April 15, 1927


"You must have a Portable for your holidays this year" - Punch, 1929

Listening to music in Russia, circa 1935


"Take music with you on Your Vacation," RCA Victor, 1939


1962 Phillips Auto-Mignon MK60 45 RPM Record Player designed for cars (radiomuseum.org)

Best Buy 2020 POS Display for Sony Portable Speakers - Bring them anywhere!


For more advertisements of portable phonographs see PhonoAds - Portable Phonographs