Disclaimer:

Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A New Toy at Our House!

Once upon a time, long, long ago, we were on vacation and my mom purchased a wind-up phonograph as a gift for her dad at a junk antique shop.  In the last few weeks, Mom and her sisters have spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the years of collections from my Grandma's house and she found herself once again in possession of the old phonograph and a big stack of moldering, scratched 78 records.  

After a bit of pondering, Mom decided she didn't want the phonograph to keep at her house, so she unloaded it and the stack of moldering, etc, records on me! 



The decorative details on the case and the the tonearm are so pretty.  There were a bunch of steel needles in a little case embedded next to the turn table but the sound was awful!  But hidden away in the built in record holder was a little paper packet of cactus thorn needles and they work wonderfully!  They have great sound reproduction!  

Here's a Magazine article from 1917 about using cactus thorns or toothpicks to enhance the sound of your records--just in case you want to try it!  

Before I got my phonograph, I suspected that the advertisements might be exaggerated. But I found that they had not even mentioned its most interesting features. They tell how you can play on it but not a word about how you can play with it. They do not hint that by moving the speed regulator back and forth you can make a monolog into a dialog and a solo into a duet … They do not tell you how you can quite transform a record with little drops of water and little grains of sand and little spots of candle grease scattered over it. They mention various needles, steel, fiber, tungsten, and jewels, but not a word about how you can cut up your old combs, be they rubber, celluloid, ivory, or tortoise shell, to make needles. A hard wood toothpick, suitably sharpened, will turn a ten cent record into a seventy-five cent one. A friend from Utah tells me that the progressive people of the West have discarded the boughten needles and are using cactus thorns, with the end rubbed off on sand paper. I wish I could try it, but cactuses don’t grow in New York City except in the Botanical Garden, and there is a policeman on guard there.
—Edwin Slosson, The Independent, October 27 1917.


3 comments:

Carrie said...

Interesting!

Marilyn said...

I am glad ou are enjoying it.

Relyn said...

Lucky, lucky you. I love the sound of real records.

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16:
24