If you are ever irritated by those teenagers sharing an ipod’s headphones and ignoring everything around them LOOK AWAY NOW!

They were far more “sharey” in the 90’s. That’s the 1890’s, of course. We stumbled across this photo the other day  but we don’t know much about it. It’s apparently a group of listeners trying out the new fangled phonograph on headphones, treating it like a sort of communal ipod. We think this was probably a wayContinue reading “If you are ever irritated by those teenagers sharing an ipod’s headphones and ignoring everything around them LOOK AWAY NOW!”

Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #3

This little beauty from the EMI Archive Trust collection is an Oratiograph Phonograph which was made by John Schoenner in Germany in 1902 Its described by the Trust as:   “…a is a fascinating small machine about which not much is known. They were made in Germany by the John Schoenner Factory in the early years of the 20th Century.Continue reading “Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #3”

Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #2

This is a seriously cute piece; it’s another Phonograph called ” Le Mervilleux” (Meaning =  “Wonderful”) and was made by Henri Lioret around 1894. Our friends at EMI Archive Trust, who own it, describe it thus: “Henri Lioret was a respected clockmaker before turning his attention to phonographs. This unusual phonograph was made from around 1894,Continue reading “Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #2”

Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #1

This is the first of a series of early playback devices that are owned by the EMI Archive Trust. Its actually not a gramophone; its a phonograph. An Excelsior Pearl phonograph which was made in Cologne, Germany, in 1904 This is how the Trust describes the piece “Excelsior phonographs were produced by the Excelsiorwerk of CologneContinue reading “Glamorous gramophones and other early playback devices #1”

Gathering sounds out of the air. Charles Cros dawdles. Edison dawdles less.

Paris was clearly the centre of the world in the early days of sound recording. It was there that Leon Scott de Martinville invented his  Phonautograph to capture sound onto paper in 1857 and 20 years later Charles Cros took the process forward by working out how to record sound onto a cylinder by tracing oscillations using a screw. In AprilContinue reading “Gathering sounds out of the air. Charles Cros dawdles. Edison dawdles less.”