Artists Inside the Horn


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 which controlled the volume, and often onto a stage.

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

The following are advertising examples of artists inside the horn or emerging from horns and cabinets.


Scribner's Magazine, 1906 (PM-0929)


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


Munsey's Magazine, 1907 (PM-0985)


Colliers, November 7, 1908


Farrar and Schumann-Heink, Harper's Magazine, 1908


Cosmopolitan, 1909 (PM-0992)



"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)


Columbia Grafonola, 1916 (PM-0879)



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


Artists emerging from Victor Records Catalog, February 1922


Miniature performers were another variation of artists coming out of horns and machines. This 1921 Victrola ad featured miniature artists who seemingly lived in the machine or at minimum would appear when a record was to be played.

Victrola Christmas ad, December 1921, The Delineator (PM-2029)


Small performers, apparently hidden inside the phonograph, was how the Edison Phonograph ads "The Acme of Realism" and "Looking for the Band" portrayed the source of music, even if no miniature performers were actually shown.

The 1901 ad of the little boy ready to chop open the phonograph to find the source of the band was simply another way of promoting a recurring advertising theme that recorded sounds were the same as actual artists performing for you and indistinguishable from living voices and live performances of music.


Edison Form 410, 1901 (PM-0262)


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


Let us entertain you! Columbia Grafonola, 1919


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


Radio ads later displayed this same phenomenon of the band emerging from the radio's horn (in this case the source of music is from a phonograph record).

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


Webcor Music Man stereo phonograph and stereo tape recorder, 1962