I was a little boy I've been fascinated by the phonograph.
paper-route made it possible to buy my first Victrola when
I was twelve. Auctions were an early source for acquiring talking
machines and my father and I would sometimes spend hours waiting to
bid on a phonograph with a morning-glory horn. We weren't very sophisticated
buyers and my funds were limited so I unfortunately didn't pursue
rare machines. But it was always fun and there was alot of serendipity
in our collecting.
the years my interest in talking machines has taken some turns, from
phonographs (the pre-1920 machines and records) to toy phonographs
to talking toys that used internal 'records' to talk and finally to
less space demanding phonograph ephemera (postcards, advertisements,
questions related to the phonograph and how it was marketed to the
home have always been of particular interest to me. But in truth anything
connected with the phonograph seems to catch my attention: talking
machines, stories about the phonograph, artwork that includes phonographs,
phonograph advertisments and all sorts of phono ephemera are all footprints
that I willingly follow including down all the associated rabbit holes.
chose Phonographia (think phonograph memorabilia) as
this site's domain because it's meant to include any memory or connection
with the phonograph.
Phonograph engraved and replicated its legacy in records but it also
literally was a revolution of sound with records revolving
at different rpms and with captured sound reproduced by a variety
of talking machines.
became my internet site in 2001 and it continues to be a work-in-progress.
use images and information from many sources and sometimes it may
look like a scrap-book of eccentric connections and memorabilia. But
I hope the information is always accurate and that in its own way
it is part of the "prismatic recollection of history". (1)
corner of my collection c.1966 in my parents basement (Photo courtesy
of Doug Keister)
History and Story Telling:
How an Archive of the Internet
Could Change History On Technology
By JENNA WORTHAM JUNE 21, 2016
Last year, two scientists presented a theory
in quantum mechanics that they called “entangled histories.” They
argue that the existence of a particle in space is fractured along
many alternate timelines, all of which must be considered to understand
the full chronology of its life cycle. It is baffling and exhilarating
in the way only quantum physics can be, but one idea stood out as
particularly resonant. Jordan Cotler, an author of the paper and a
graduate student at Stanford University, has said, “Our best description
of the past is not a fixed chronology but multiple chronologies that
are intertwined with each other.” We’ve long known that this is how
human history works — an unimaginable number of small stories, compressed
into one big one. But maybe now we finally have the ability to record
and capture them all, and history can become something else entirely:
not a handful of voices, but a cacophony.
(1) Using the internet and arhives of social
media to "generate a more prismatic recollection of history."