Connections to 21st Century Phonographia



Welcome to PhonoLinks 2015

PhonoLinks™ are connections to 21st century phonographia.

As a subgallery of (which includes anything related to the phonograph), PhonoLinks are focused on contemporary phonograph related associations found in newspapers, advertisements, the intranet, an "On this Day" event, or perhaps something simply seen while walking down the street.



Want to support the environment?

Go green, join Friends of the Phonograph and Wind a Phonograph!



PhonoLinks 2015

Adele, Time Magazine, December 28, 2015

From Wikipedia, a recording, record, records or the record may mean:

An item or collection of data:
  Gramophone record (also called "phonograph record"), mechanical analog audio storage medium
  Sound recording and reproduction
  Record (computer science), a data structure
  Document for administrative use
  World record, an unsurpassed accomplishment or statistic
  Win–loss record (pitching), the number of wins and losses a baseball pitcher has accumulated
  Archaeological record, the body of archaeological evidence


Although a "Record" usually does not mean a vinyl record in the music world of 2015, Adele's three albums are available on vinyl.




PhonoLinks 2015

Like a Broken Record, Time Magazine, advertisement, December 28, 2015

Through words (e.g., "Like a Broken Record"), images and recorded sounds, the Phonograph Lives!




PhonoLinks 2015

On this Day - December 6

Friends of the Phonograph wish the Phonograph a Happy 138th Birthday

Day Sponsors provide support for a day’s programming on KUNC. Our Day Sponsor for today is Doug and Sharon Boilesen and Friends of the Phonograph celebrating the 138th Birthday of Thomas Edison's invention of the Phonograph. Happy Birthday to the Phonograph!


On This Day:

December 6, 1877 - Edison speaks "Mary had a Little Lamb" in a successful demonstration of the Phonograph. "Kruesi finished the phonograph today," (Charles Batchelor's Day Book) (ECP, Frow & Sefl). .

December 6, 1896 - Birthday of Ira Gershwin, American lyricist of Broadway musicals and films.

December 6, 1923 - A presidential address was broadcast on radio for the first time as President Calvin Coolidge spoke to a joint session of Congress.

December 6, 1963 - Beatles begin a tradition of releasing a Christmas record for fans.

December 6, 1964 - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" 1st airs on TV.

December 6, 1966 - Recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band began at Abbey Road Studios by The Beatles. Known for its creative album cover it has been called one of the most influential rock albums of all-time.






PhonoLinks 2015

On this Day - November 23

Friends of the Phonograph wish Garold a Very Happy 80th Birthday!

Doug and Sharon and Friends of the Phonograph (FOTP) wish Garold Boilesen a Happy 80th Birthday on November 23, 2015.

Garold is the first FOTP to celebrate an 80th birthday since "80" rpms joined the Big Four ("16 2/3", "33 1/3", "45" and "78" rpms) as an "official" Friends of the Phonograph Significant Birthday (see November 17, 2015 FOTP Press Release below).

To celebrate Garold's 80th Red Letter Phonographia Significant Birthday here are a few birthday cards from the FOTP archives.

Happy Birthday Uncle Garold!

You do? WOW, you deserve a Happy Happy Happy Birthday!



Celebrating a RPM Significant Birthday in Iowa




On This Day:

November 23, 1878 - With Edison's support, Uriah Painter and Edward Johnson took control of the Edison Speaking Phonograph Co.

November 23, 1889 - Louis Glass installed an Edison Phonograph with a repeating mechanism and listening-tubes at the Palais Royal Saloon in San Francisco. Attributed as the first "juke box".

November 23, 1903 - Enrico Caruso made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in "Rigoletto."

November 23, 1936 - Take 1 of "Phonograph Blues" by Robert Johnson recorded in San Antonio, Texas.

November 23, 1970 - George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" on his triple album All Things Must Pass was released in the U.S.




Friends of the Phonograph add "80" to "Red Letter" RPM Birthdays

Press Release from Friends of the Phonograph™, November 17, 2015

Friends of the Phonograph™ (FOTP) has announced that "80" is now officially on the Friends of the Phonograph list of designated Significant Birthdays, also known as a "Red Letter Phonographia Birthdays" and "Red Letter RPM Birthdays".

This brings the total to five (5) "Red Letter RPM Birthdays" for Friends of the Phonograph members. Not your traditional "21" or "30" or over the hill "40" birthday celebrations, these FOTP birthdays do a "tip of the hat" to revolutions per minute (rpm) record speeds to celebrate birthdays "16 2/3", "33 1/3", "45", "78" and "80".

The Edison's Disc Phonograph (which changed names every few years from 1912 to 1929*) used a proprietary disc record format that played at 80 rpm. For its time it was state-of-the-art audio fidelity and was advertised as "Edison Re-Creations" that were indisguishable from life itself.

Edison's Tone-Tests were held throughout the country and thousands attended these recitals to witness live-versus-recorded demonstrations. Edison advertisements consistently summarized the results with headlines like "Comparison with the Original Artist Reveals No Difference".

1918 Edison Advertisement for the renamed Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph that played records at 80 rpm


As a reminder to all, when someone has a birthday, wish them a Happy Birthday, and if that birthday is not one of the Big Five RPM birthdays then use that as an FOTP opportunity to let them know what their next RPM birthday will be (and what a Phonograph is if they don't know).

Celebrating Red Letter RPM Birthdays is small way to be a Friend of the Phonograph, but hopefully it does keep alive the collective memory of the Phonograph as the invention that literally started the revolution of recording and reproducing sound.

The Big Four (Record Speed Selector - turn the knob to select turntable speed)


*For a history with illustrations about the Edison Disc Phonographs read The Edison Disc Phonographs and the Diamond Discs by George L. Frow, ISBN: 0 9505462 5 9




Amazon advertisement in Time Magazine, November 2015 Vol 186 No. 20





Vinyl's Rocky Revival - Bringing a new (old) Vinyl record plant on line in 2015

By POH SI TENG and ERICA BERENSTEIN | NY Times Sep. 14, 2015

The owners of Independent Record Pressing expect to churn out up to 1.5 million records a year. Their challenge won’t be finding business, it will be keeping the antiquated machinery running.

"Imagine a machine that's basically runs on about twenty different egg timers and everything has to be timed exactly right to be able to get it going."

Watch the NY TImes video report here and see again how the "sounds like a broken record" theme song of Friends of the Phonograph and PhonoLinks plays on: The Phonograph Lives!

"Most definitely the hardest part of making a record is actually making the record."



Almost all machines being used today for the pressing of vinyl on dies to make records are 30 years or older.


The boiler creates the steam steam just to heat the dies


Vinyl pellets


"The vinyl is put in this hopper and runs through the extruder where is melts it and kneads it into a solid plastic from a hard pellet and its extruded into a cup in the machine that forms a biscuit."


The biscuit on the die ready to be molded.


"When the record is molded you introduce water to the dies to cool them off before you open the press."


"Once the mold sets you have a record...and then you have to start all over again."








Eric Hutchinson - Watching You Watch Him

"I love you Like a Broken Record Plays"

Hear and see one of the great phonograph legacy phrases "like a broken record." featured in the official lyric video by Eric Hutchinson, Watching You Watch Him









Warning Calls Decoded: Squirrels Take Up Bird Alarms To Foil The Enemy - The PHONOGRAPH LIVES!

September 3, 2015 4:59 AM ET

In the following excerpt from NPR's Morning Edition, read how the a pioneer in ornithology, Arthur Allen, grew up listening to the Phonograph to learn the sound of birds and then recorded in nature by actually cutting acetate records of bird songs on-site.

In a series called Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound, Morning Edition has been profiling scientists who explore the natural world by listening to it.

But sometimes listening isn't enough — scientists have to record animals and even talk back to them to figure out what they're saying.

Ornithologist Arthur Allen of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology was a pioneer, hauling bulky recording gear into the wilderness in the 1940s and actually cutting acetate records of bird song on-site.

Go to this site to hear Arthur Allen recording swans in 1946 with a record making machine.

Let's fast forward 45 years and talk to Ted Parker, who inherited Allen's gift for recording birds, but added a twist.

"Up here in the canopy, these are the hardest birds to detect," he told an NPR Radio Expeditions team in 1991 in the Bolivian rain forest. Parker was an ornithologist with Conservation International who spent months at a time in the tropics, lugging around a portable tape recorder. His skill in using his ears to investigate the world was legendary.

"My parents bought me records of bird recordings that were made by people at Cornell," Parker told the NPR team in 1991. "I spent hours moving the needle back and forth, and back and forth, and my mother would say, 'You are going to destroy the record player.' "

Some called Parker the Mozart of ornithology. He'd memorized the sounds of more than 4,000 bird species. He used this knowledge and his tape recorder to quickly take an extensive and detailed census of birds in the tropics.

"These birds spend all their time in that foliage that's 130 to 140 feet above the ground," Parker explains on the tape. "And if you don't know their voices, there's no way you could come to a place like this and come up with a good list of canopy species."

Click here to read the entire story on NPR






Good Vibrations Key To Insect Communication - The PHONOGRAPH LIVES!

August 27, 2015 5:05 AM ET

In the following excerpt from NPR's Morning Edition, read how the Phonograph needle played a key role in capturing insect sounds and what researchers learned by listening to the male treehopper.

Animals, including humans, feel sound as well as hear it, and some of the most meaningful audio communication happens at frequencies that people can't hear. Elephants, for example, use these low-frequency rumbles to, among other things, find family or a mate across long distances. Whales do it, too.

But you don't have to weigh a ton to rumble. In fact, you don't have to be bigger than a pea. Consider, for example, the treehopper, a curious little sap-sucking insect that lives on the stems of leaves. Or the tree cricket, which communicates by rubbing together toothlike structures on its wings, the way you might draw your thumb across the teeth of a comb.

University of Missouri biologist Rex Cocroft has spent much of his career listening closely to treehoppers. In 1999, a team from NPR's Radio Expeditions program rendezvoused with Cocroft at a locust tree in a backyard in Virginia. Soft-spoken and bespectacled, he was pressing a phonograph needle up against the stem of a leaf.

"I'm just trying to get a good contact here," he said at the time. "Mind you, this is not in the manufacturer's instructions for these phonograph cartridges." But then, there's no guidebook for listening to treehoppers. Cocroft created his own.

He knew that needles in those cartridges are exquisitely sensitive to vibration. So he connected a wire from the cartridge through an amplifier to his headphones. This is what he heard.

Male treehoppers make their abdomens thrum like tuning forks to transmit very particular vibrating signals that travel down their legsand along leaf stems to other bugs — male and female. Courtesy of Robert Oelman

"All the signals that you are hearing are produced by males," Cocroft explained. They do it by vibrating their abdomens to make a wide assortment of bizarre sounds.

It works like this: The insect uses muscles in its thorax and abdomen to shake the abdomen, which vibrates "rather like a tuning fork," Cocroft said. "These vibrations are transmitted to the stem through the insect's legs, and then travel out in both directions along the stem, where they can be picked up by any other treehopper within a meter, or so, on the same plant."

There is almost no airborne sound produced with these vibrational signals, Cocroft explained. "If a treehopper were to stand on your finger and produce a signal, you would feel the vibration but hear no sound."

It's the phonograph needle and cartridge that pick up the vibration of the plant stem — and transform it into what we hear as sound in the recordings. But the treehoppers are picking up the signals via very sensitive vibration sensors in their legs.

Click here to read the entire story on NPR and hear the sound of vibrations generated by the male treehoppers along a stem.







Apple Music June 30, 2015

Apple's Advertisement - History of Sound - 127 Years of Recorded Music

"127 years of sound led to the next great leap in listening: Apple Music."

Our favorite advertisement promoting Apple Music is a video of iconic images using different periods of time, assorted music playing technologies and a diversity of people all enjoying music. And of course the history of recorded music has to begin with the Phonograph. Apple's short and stylish history does begin with an Edison cylinder Phonograph, however, Apple's timeline unfortunately starts in 1888. Friends of the Phonograph all know that the revolution of recorded music began on December 6, 1877, the red-letter day celebrated throughout Phonoland as the Birthday of the Phonograph.

Enjoy the following extracted images featuring Phonographs and watch the video.

Click HERE to watch the video

Edison introduced his "Perfected Phonograph" in 1888 (see "Harper's Weekly, June 1888 for "Edison's Perfected Phonograph") and on June 29, 1888 Handel's Israel in Egypt is recorded onto wax cylinder at The Crystal Palace in London, the earliest known recording of classical music (Wikipedia).

So 1888, as the starting point for Apple's view of recorded sound evolution, has some good phonographia touchstones for their video kicking off their June 30, 2015 inauguration of Apple Music.
















Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

By RON COWEN MAY 4, 2015

A government laboratory found a way to listen to recordings on fragile wax cylinders inside dolls made by Thomas Edison in 1890.

Credit Collection of Robin and Joan Rolfs


Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehea

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Listen to this record by Clicking: “There Was a Little Girl” 0:20 Play

The first recording heard from Edison’s Talking Doll. (Audio quality is low.)

CLICK HERE to read the remainder of the story.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.





Steve Wozniak in Cadillac's Dare Greatly Commercial

February 22, 2015

Steve Wozniak is seen on a sofa listening with his headphones to a record on a turntable. As the camera pulls back to see the room with its turntable and room full of albums the commercial starts with Steve talking about why he wanted to make a computer. Then comes the Cadillac ad, concluding with the line "Only those who dare drive the world forward." (Credit - screenshots from YouTube)

Steve Wozniak, lying on a sofa, headphones on, listening to vinyl on the record player. Note rows of albums on the shelves.


What is the record Steve is listening to?




PhonoLinks 2015

10 Sounds You May Never Hear Again

MSN LifeStyle, April 7, 2015 - "And if you do, they'll take you back instantly to another time and place".


For Friends of the Phonograph this "Never" seems a bit premature.




PhonoLinks 2015

Boden Catalogue, February 2015

Catalogue cover features phonograph and records in their issue thate features "Sixties revival time. We hope that makes you as happy as it makes us. We've given nostaglic shapes, classic details and pop art prints a thoroughly modern makeover to bring you mood-enhancing clothes for workdays and downtime."






PhonoLinks 2015


Happy 168th Birthday to Thomas Alva Edison

February 11, 2015

Friends of the Phonograph are pleased to announce February 11, 2015 as the official day to "eat a piece of pie and drink a glass of milk" in honor of Thomas Alva Edison's 168th birthday.

This year, instead of gathering around a birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Tom, Friends of the Phonograph are introducing a new annual Edison birthday tradition: Pie with a single birthday candle served with a glass of milk. Apple pie will be this year's official pie for celebrating February 11 in honor of Edison's favorite pie.

Movie still from the 1940 MGM film "Edison the Man" with Spencer Tracy and Rita Johnson (in Edison's laboratory).


"Edison the Man" advertisement in Saturday Evening Post featuring apple pie, a glass of milk and the Edison tinfoil Phonograph (known as the "Brady" Phonograph).

Although Edison's love of pie is well known to Friends of the Phonograph and was captured in the 1940 movie Edison the Man, many people don't know that Edison had a very defined philosophy about eating.

Laurie Carlson writes about Edison's eating habits in Thomas Edison for Kids - His Life and Ideas and notes the following: "He took pride in eating small amounts at meals and believed that Americans could cut down their food intake by two-thirds". Quoting Edison: "They do the work of a three-horse-power engine and consume the fuel which should operate 50-horse-power engines."

"What was Edison's favorite food for most of his life? Apple dumplings, or apple pie with a glass of milk."

So when you celebrate Edison's birthday this year with pie you can pay tribute to his belief in eating small amounts by asking for what we called, when I was growing up, a "sliver" of pie.

And then, as was my personal habit, you can follow up 10 minutes later with the phrase "I'll take another sliver, please."

Happy Birthday Tom!





PhonoLinks 2015

6 Consistent Mutual Funds You Can Count On

Kiplinger Magazine, Web slideshow, January 2015 - Images by Shannon May

Although this investment advice article has nothing to do with Phonographs, the lead picture used for the magazine's story features six 45 rpm records. Friends of the Phonograph think this is a great way to learn to count, and its clear that using this image captured the attention of at least one demographic group.

But it gets even better. When you open the article the record theme continues and you get what I would call the Top Six Hit Parade of Kiplinger. Each Mutual Fund has been transformed into its own 45 rpm.

Here's the countdown, beginning with the most consistent fund of the list and what I will call Kiplinger's #1 Hit, Homestead Small-Company Fund (my apologies to Casey Kasem and a generation of disc jockeys who would have reversed the magazine's slideshow order and started with number 6, not number 1).


Homestead Small-Company Stock


Baron Partners Fund


Hennessy Cornerstone Mid Cap 30


Dodge & Cox International Stock


Fidelity Contrafund


Primecap Odyssey Growth





PhonoLinks 2015


Shaping His Genius to Transform Everyday Life

‘American Experience’ Explores the Mastery of Thomas Edison

Read this New York Times television review by Neil Genzlinger who observes that historians sometimes struggle to convey what Friends of the Phonograph celebrate every year: The invention of the Phonograph was "earthshaking".

Thomas Edison, speaking into a cylinder phonograph in 1888, is the subject of "Edison" on “American Experience,” Tuesday night on PBS. Credit Thomas Edison National Historic Site

By NEIL GENZLINGER JAN. 26, 2015 - Television Review

Plenty of lives are admirable or eventful, but only a very few are so influential that it’s difficult to wrap your head around just how much they meant to the world. Thomas A. Edison lived such a life, and it receives a thorough two-hour examination in Tuesday’s “American Experience” on PBS.

A well-chosen collection of historians and other experts take us through Edison’s life, from his birth in Ohio in 1847 to his death in New Jersey in 1931. They sometimes struggle to convey just how earthshaking it was to go from lamplight to electric light, from a world where the human voice was ephemeral to one where it could be captured and preserved, but who wouldn’t?

They are particularly good at conveying that what made Edison special wasn’t so much his inventions as knowing what to do with them. As several note, he didn’t merely invent things, he invented the profession of inventor. And, especially with the light bulb, he tackled not just the technological problem, but also the infrastructure needed to illuminate homes.

You had to be able to not just marshal the science, but then put the people and the money, the capital and the organizations together,” the historian Nancy F. Koehn, a professor at the Harvard Business School, says. “And the politics. I can’t think of another figure who could operate on all those different levels.”

Edison’s story, though, was also one of celebrity and its hazards. He became world famous, and practically no one reaches those heights without problems. A falling out with a friend, unflattering efforts to discredit other inventors and entrepreneurs and more are duly noted.

But he ended his life widely revered. Would we still be reading by kerosene lamp had Edison not lived? No; someone else would have made that breakthrough and the others credited to him. The impressive part is that the same guy had a hand in so many transformative changes.






PhonoLinks 2015


In Charge and Sounding the Part

By Matt Richtel, January 17, 2015

The image by Michael Waraksa of a Phonograph horn for the head of a man was used in an article by Matt Richtel about the relationship between people who gain authority and their vocal cords. For Friends of the Phonograph the eye-catcher of this New York Times page is the Edison Cygnet Horn No. 10 that was graphically used for the man's head and the output of acoustic waves.

The Cygnet Horn No. 10 had 10 panels and was offered by Edison in September 1909 for the Edison Home Phonograph and later for the Edison Standard and Edison Fireside Phonograph models. It's a shape that is as iconic as the classic morninglory horns and although the standard laquer black and gold pin-striping (gilt decoration) cygnet horn was not offered by the Edison factory with flowers or other colors it did have an option of a painted oak finsih to make it look like a wooden horn.

In contrast to the simple acoustics of Edison's Cygnet Horn the two experiments described in the article included the use of sophisticated software to "pick up what the ear might not". Perhaps listening and analyzing sound in the 21st century is techniologically distant from the laboratory of a near-deaf Edison recording voices and making records. But phonographically speaking, the use of the Edison cygnet horn by Mr. Waraksa is another good example that The Phonograph Lives!

Michael Waraksa


Here is an excerpt from the article that goes with the image:

Science has not proved the trope that power changes everything. But it does suggest, at least, that it changes the vocal cords.

As people gain authority, their voice quality changes, becoming steadier in pitch, more varied in volume and less strained. Power sounds distinctive, creating hierarchies measurable through waves of sound.

That is the finding of research published last year in the journal Psychological Science, adding weight to the idea that a speaker’s power comes not just from words but also acoustics. Crucially, it’s not about being loud; just turning up the volume can actually be a sign of relative weakness.

“The easiest way to exert authority is by speaking more loudly. But that can just come across as yelling, which can turn people off,” said Adam Galinsky, a professor at the Columbia Business School, who wrote the paper along with researchers from San Diego State University. “It’s not the volume, but the ability to control it.”

To read the rest of the article click HERE:





PhonoLinks 2014


PhonoLinks 2014

Preserving 120 years of U.S. cultural history

By John Bena, CNN updated 9:18 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014

Culpeper, Virginia (CNN) -- When the Library of Congress comes to mind, most of us don't think of movies, TV shows or old-school vinyl.

But the federal library has been collecting analog recordings of sound and moving images since the late 1800s: Early film reels from inventor Thomas Edison's lab of the 1890s. Audio recordings of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The original 35mm film stock of "Star Wars."

These national treasures are among the millions of cultural artifacts being stored in secure vaults in the Library of Congress' National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, some 90 minutes southwest of Washington.

The center occupies the Packard Campus, a former bunker for storing federal currency, and measures an amazing 415,000 square feet. Its artifacts are housed in dozens of temperature-controlled vaults and on 90 miles of storage shelves.

With more than 5 million items, it's an impressive collection. There's just one problem: Despite the best efforts of preservationists, some of them are physically decaying and in danger of being lost forever. "

Any physical artifact is just that, a physical artifact," said Mike Mashon, head of the Library of Congress' moving image section. "These things can shrink, they can fade, they can crumble to dust in less than a lifetime."

Going digital

The solution, said Mashon, is to convert these artifacts to digital files. It's an exhaustive job. Between 1.5 million film, television and video items, and another 3.5 million sound recordings, the 114 staff members here have their work cut out for them.

Collecting and cataloging over 120 years of recorded American history may seem to be a daunting task. But the preservation of these deteriorating items is currently one of the most pressing missions for the library.

Years ago, when analog began to degrade, staffers would make a new copy. But that process has its limitations.

"Think about back when you were making your mix tapes," said Gene Deanna, head of the library's recorded sound section.

"Every time you made a copy of that tape, it didn't sound as good." Digital technology, he said, is now the best way to preserve the past.

"The great thing about digital is that it can be migrated (to copies) without loss."

Click HERE to read the entire article and see the video.







13 things kids born after 2011 will never know

The Lincoln posted an on-line slideshow on June 19, 2014 showing 13 things that kids born after 2011 will "never" know. One of these was the "Record".

The inclusion of the "Record" in this list is understandable as it does continue to disappear from most homes. Being a Friend of the Phonograph it's a question I regularly ask children so I know kids don't know what a phonograph record is.

But I was brought up to never say "never". And as a Friend of the Phonograph I will adapt the words of Mark Twain about his own death and state here that the report of the records' death is greatly exaggerated. Yes, it isn't found in most households now and to the generation of iTunes and SmartPhone users it is a relic of the past. But the history of recorded sound is a continuum and as long as we have recorded sound we should "Remember the Phonograph" and the "record" it played.

I'm not sure of the significance of 2011 or "13", but for the record other media related devices related to "recording" that were included in the JournalStar obituary of 13 were the "Discman", "WalkMan", "Boombox", "Video Cassettes", "35mm Cameras" and "Floppy Discs".







Record Store Day - April 19, 2014

This article is an excerpt from the story in the NY Times by Ben Sisario on Record Store Day in 2014

Watch Out, iTunes. Vinyl Still Lives.

Record Store Day Underscores a Small Renaissance


The story usually told about record stores is a sad one that just keeps getting sadder.

Countless retail shops have shut down, mirroring the decline of physical media and the crisis in the larger record business. CD sales are a quarter of what they were a decade ago. And last week, Billboard reported that Walmart, a crucial sales outlet for the industry, may be reducing its music inventory by as much as 40 percent.

But all that news — grim as it is — obscures one of the more surprising success stories in music: the perseverance, and even growth, of independent stores around the country, helped partly by Record Store Day, a campaign that comes to 2,000 stores around the world on Saturday.

Now in its seventh year, Record Store Day will feature some 450 items, mostly vinyl records, that are made to be sold only on Saturday (although they are sure to be available on eBay long after). Among them are rarities from Nirvana, Regina Spektor, Haim, Bruce Springsteen and one from Jack White that gets an A+ for effort: a disc recorded, manufactured and sold, all on a single day.

“For most of our independent accounts, it’s the biggest sales day of the year,” said Richard Laing, the director of sales at Sub Pop Records in Seattle.

Though a promotional event, Record Day underscores the mini-renaissance of vinyl. As recently as 2008, only 2.9 million LPs were sold in the United States, representing about 0.7 percent of annual album sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Last year those sales climbed to 9.4 million, representing 3 percent of all albums, and the independent, off-the-grid nature of many of those sales may mean that vinyl’s numbers are underreported.

Click on the Charlie Brown record player below to read the full story in the NY Times by Ben Sisario.




"This $100 player, made by Crosley and limited to 2,400 units, was licensed by Peanuts Worldwide for what a spokeswoman for that company called a nominal fee" was sold as a promotional item in participating Record Day stores.





January 2014, Puerto Vallarta

LP Record Bag

This mannequin sporting a canvas bag made from LPs was spotted at the front of a small shop on main street just before the Malecon boardwalk starts in Puerto Vallarta. Yours for only 300 pesos.




Keeping Time

This paperback of poetry by author Tim Dooley is a good example of how to get something published on PhonoLink. 20% off sale ad spotted by FOTP in March 2014.

Tim Dooleys new collection Keeping Time brings together the remembered and the imagined.... Paperback, 80 pages, publication date 2009/06/05 ISBN: 9781844717316





livescience January 19, 2012 by Life's Little Mysteries Staff

What Tree Rings Sound Like Played on a Record Player

Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to "play" cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The result is his artpiece "Years," an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer and turned into music, much like a record player's needle reads the grooves on an LP.

The tree rings are actually being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves. According to Makezine, the custom record player takes in data using a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to its control arm, and relays the data to a computer. A program called Ableton Live then uses it to generate an eerie piano track.

Though the record player "interprets" rather than actually "playing" the tree trunk, as Gizmodo notes, the song still varies with each new piece of wood placed on the turntable.



Thanks to Friend of the Phonograph Bev Jester for sharing this link.

To listen to the tree trunk go to: livescience tree rings record player





Top of page --> Click Here

Home Page


PhonoLinks Copyright © 2001-2016 by Doug Boilesen and Friends of the Phonograph ©. All Rights Reserved.

No elements of this site may be copied without express written consent, except for use in promotion of this site.

All trademarks are copyright by their respective owners | | | Friends of the | Friends of