Music to my ears

June 5, 2018



Manufacturer: Standard Talking Machine Company

Date: 1909


The Victorian Era saw the advent of recorded music that could be played in homes. Phonographs became popular in the 1890s with Thomas Edison’s advances in wax cylinders.


The popularity of phonographs continued into the 20th century.  Since several companies were making phonographs, they began to create designs that would stand out from the rest. The Winsor Furniture Company began selling desks and tables with a phonograph inside. The Fern-O-Grand Company made their phonographs in the shape of a grand piano. The Lampagraph Company even combined the phonograph with a working lamp! By the late 1920s, the popularity of phonographs began to wane due to the advent of radio.


Dr. Physick had a phonograph and more than 80 records in his collection. According to oral histories, Dr. Physick’s favorite singers included Enrico Cauruso, Antonio Scotti and Nellie Melba. Dr. Physick also had at least nine records by John Philip Sousa. While not a family piece, this phonograph is typical of their time period.


Look for the phonograph in the music room on your tour of the Physick Estate.

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