Friends of the Phonograph


Celebrate the Phonograph!



Six Phonographia Red-Letter Days for Friends of the Phonograph


Birthday - Thomas Edison

Édouard-Léon Scott patented Phonautograph

Earliest recording of the human voice

Birthday - Édouard-Léon Scott

Birthday - Charles Cros

Birthday of Edison's Phonograph

Select a date to learn more





Other Phonographia galleries that celebrate the Phonograph



Memories of the Phonograph

Recollections, short stories and memories of the Phonograph by Friends of the Phonograph







Miscellaneous phonograph connections found in pop culture




The Axel and Betty Boilesen Legacy Exhibit

A small collection of phonographs and stories in honor of Axel and Betty Boilesen




Friends of Nipper

A gallery honoring Nipper, a unique star in the history of talking machines




Edison the Man, starring Spencer Tracy,and Rita Johnson, 1940

Favorite Movies (2)

Favorite movies selected by Friends of the Phonograph




Favorite LP Albums (3)

Top 5 LP's selected by Friends of the Phonograph





Favorite Songs (5)

Top 5 songs selected by Friends of the Phonograph






The Golden Record

In 1977, one-hundred years after the invention of the Phonograph, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched. On the outside of each was attached a gold plated copper phonograph record - a "message in the bottle" and "greetings from Earth" - protected by an aluminum cover. (4)





Red Letter RPM Birthdays for Friends of the Phonograph

Phonograph records have revolved at many speeds, most of which have come and gone.


There are currently six "Red Letter RPM Birthdays".

These RMP birthdays are a "tip of the hat" to revolutions per minute (rpm) record speeds(1), as part of a Friend of the Phonograph's birthday celebration, aka a Phonographian's birthday: "16 2/3" , "33 1/3" . "45" , "78" , "80" . "90" (1)

In other words, if you are a Phonographian and your birthday age is one of these RPM speeds you should "tip your hat" to that RPM and "Remember the phonograph" as part of your birthday celebration.




If it isn't a Phonographia Day, it can still be celebrated!

Friends of the Phonograph look for any excuse to celebrate connections with the Phonograph.

Lacking a Phonographia Day an Unbirthday party is always an option.


1951 Walt Disney record that can be used to celebrate un-Phonographia birthdays.







Besides the wonder of what it does, Friends of the Phonograph also celebrate the phonograph as an environmentally friendly machine. Clearly a machine that one can wind up and play 100 years after it was made represents the best of consumer products: a carbon free machine requiring no electricity and never (hopefully) ending up in a landfill.


The motto of Phonographians?



Friends of the Phonograph also support other green measures.

The Westminster Colorado chapter of Friends of the Phonograph have adopted the walking path and pond of one of the city's open spaces known as Mushroom Pond. Originally inspired by their dog loving Friends of Nipper (since the adopted trail is a popular place to walk dogs), Phonographians keep this trail clean for people and man's best friend.


The Edison Phonograph - It's GREEN

Mushroom Pond - Westminster, Colorado









Friends of the Phonograph

Remember the Phonograph!





1) - The celebration of the phonograph's rpms - although early disc and cylinder recordings were produced in a variety of speeds ranging from 60 to 160 rpm, FOTP Red Letter RPM Birthdays are currently the following:

16 2/3 rpm (first used in early 1930's and subsequently used for 1) spoken word recordings, 2) car music systems like Chrysler's Hi-Way Hi-Fi 2 of the 1950's 3) background music systems for restaurants and businesses 4) limited music formats - see Canada Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) May 2010 article by Mike Dicecco for history of 16 2/3 format);

33 1/3 rpm (first used by Vitaphone in 1930 for electrical transcription recordings and introduced in 1948 by Columbia Records as the Long-Playing Record (LP));

45 rpm (introduced by RCA in 1949);

78 rpm (the standard for early disc records from 1890s into the 1950's);

80 rpm (for Edison Diamond Disc records),

90 rpm (for Pathé disc records with vertically cut grooves requiring a special sapphire ball-shaped stylus).


(2) - Favorite Movies Favorite movies is a round-about way to celebrate the connection between the phonograph and talking movies which began with W. K. L. Dickson's Kinetophonograph's syncronized film and recorded sound using an Edison cylinder Phonograph. Watch this ca. 1895 experiment by clicking the photo.



(3) A record album

A record album is a collection of music or sounds. Early records had only one song per record but they were often put in "albums" that had multiple pages. These early record albums resembled photograph albums but contained captured sounds instead of captured sights.
Go to the Favorite LP Albums to see Top-five album selections made by Friends of the Phonograph (just like top-five lists created by John Cusack in the movie High-Fidelity).

Top-five list maker John Cusack in Hi-Fidelity, courtesy Touchstone Pictures




(4) - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology -
The Voyager's phonograph records used a needle and "grooves" and were not laser discs although images were viewable on the discs. The record was analog technology and the audio was played at 16 2/3 rpm. The overall intent was remarkable - communicate "a story of our world to extraterrestrials."
For more information about this Voyager phonograph record sent to the stars, read Carl Sagan's "Murmurs of Earth" or visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory website "What is the Golden Record?"





(5) - Henry Hall's recording of the Teddy Bear's Picnic was of especially good quality with a large tonal range. It was used for more than 30 years by BBC audio engineers (up until the early 1960s) to test and calibrate the frequency response of audio equipment. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)


© 2001-2019 by Doug Boilesen and Phonographia