About This Site



About Phonographia

Since I was a little boy I've been fascinated with the phonograph.

Funded by my paper-route I was able to buy my first Victrola and Edison Standard at a young age.

My father and I would go to auctions and sometimes spent hours waiting to bid on a phonograph with its morning-glory horn. We weren't very sophisticated buyers and had limited funds so we unfortunately didn't pursue rare machines. But it was always fun and there was alot of serendipity in our collecting.

I'm sure my mother always wondered what we'd be bringing home after one of our outings.

Through the years my interest in phonographs has taken some turns, from phonographs (the pre-1920 machines and records) to toy phonographs and talking toys to less space demanding phonograph ephemera (postcards, advertisements, etc.).

Cultural questions related to the phonograph and how it was marketed to the home have always been of particular interest to me. But in truth its not that simply and anything connected with the phonograph seems to catch my attention.

Phonographia (think memorabilia) was chosen as the name of this site because it's meant to include anything that we might remember or associate with the phonograph.

The Phonograph engraved its history into records and was literally a revolution of sound with records revolving at different rpms and recreating its captured sound.

But again, it's ephemera and sign-posts related to the history of the phonograph that are documented in Phonographia.

Phonographia originated in 2001 as an internet site and an on-line scrapbook of phonograph memorabilia and it continues to be a work-in-progress.

I have used some images and links from the internet along with my own archive material so if anyone sees something that is incorrect, please let me know as my intent is to simply be a Friend of the Phonograph and tell its story from my perspective.





Corner of my collection, c.1966 in my parents basement (Photo courtesy of Doug Keister)




Click on the Phonographia logo to return to Phonographia Home



History and Story Telling:

How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History On Technology


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.


Using the internet and arhives of social media to "generate a more prismatic recollection of history."