Artists Inside the Horn

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One of the early advertising images to depict the relationship between artists and recorded sound was to have the artists inside horns or emerging from the horn as if the sounds being heard were actually performers coming out of the horn.

In later cabinet model machines the artists would come out of the doors of the phonograph and often onto a stage.

Artists could also stand and perform on records or float above the machine as the spirit of music.

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Scribner's Magazine, 1906 (PM-0929)

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Edison Poster Form 318, c. 1901 (PM-1344)

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Munsey's Magazine, 1907 (PM-0985)

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Colliers, November 7, 1908

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Cosmopolitan, 1909 (PM-0992)

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"All of this charming music gently floats from the Victor and Victor-Victrola, just as clear and natural as it comes from the lips of the sings and the instruments of the musicians." The Saturday Evening Post, 1911 (PM-2036)

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Columbia Grafonola, 1916 (PM-0879)

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"The world's greatest bands parade before you on the Victrola." McClure's, 1916 (PM-2031)

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Artists emerging from Victor Records Catalog, February 1922
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Miniature performers were another variation of this visualization of the source of music. The representation that small performers might be inside the phonograph was the essence of Edison's Phonograph advertisements promoting his machine as "The Acme of Realism" and "Looking for the Band." The 1901 ad of the little boy ready to chop open the phonograph to find the source of the band was simply another way for the phonograph industry to promote their recurring theme that recorded sounds were indistinguishable from living voices and live performances of music.

Edison Form 410, 1901 (PM-0262)

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1921 Victrola ad with miniature artists who perhaps live in the machine and are always ready to perform (PM-2029)

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"For joyous, sparkling, up-to-the minute music -- Columbia Records on the Columbia Grafonola," 1918 (PM-1949)

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Let us entertain you! Columbia Grafonola, 1919

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The superb records of Columbia artists place at your instant command the unrivaleld charm of good music." The Ladies' Home Journal, 1919

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Artists or scenes floating above the machine was another 'stage of the world" advertising technique, often with a prima donna performing their role in an opera.

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Magnola Phonograph ad, The Talking Machine World, February 1917

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Magnola Phonograph ad, The Talking Machine World, May 1917

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Adelina Patti singing Home Sweet Home, Munsey's Magazine, 1906 (PM-0977)

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1905

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"The voice by the fireside" - "You listen and forget it's the Victor" 1906 (PM-1365)

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1906, Talk=o=phone, Pearson's magazine (PM-0964)

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Victrola, 1912

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Columbia Grafonola 1919 - Visualizing with Songs Across the Sea (PM-0845)

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Vocalion Phonograph, Cosmopolitan magazine, 1916

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The Columbia Grafonola "The Treasure-Casket of Music" March 1916

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Aeolian Vocalion Phonograph, The Talking Machine World, April 15, 1918

 

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Aeolian Vocalion Phonograph, London magazine ad, March 1918

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"The veritable embodiment of the liberated spirit of music," MacLean's Magazine, 1921

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Victrola Waiting to play for you - circa 1920

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Never such REALISTIC Volume of Sound from a Phonograph before! The Talking Machine World, July 1922

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Meet the Magnavox Radiotikes, The Saturday Evening Post, 1924

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"Introduce your whole family to the world's greatest music." The Saturday Evening Post, 1954

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"Spoken Word: Postwar American Phonograph Cultures," by Jacob Smith, University of California Press, ©2011

 

This book cover was added for its image of the performers of the spoken word emerging from the record player from the 1940's to the 1970's in the advertising tradition of music artists and performers at the beginning of the twentieth century.

 

 

 

 

Phonographia