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Your Museum has a new Talking Machine

by Phil Raschke
May 15, 2022

Thanks to a generous donation by the Fox Island Historical Society Museum, the Lakewood museum is now the new home of a working, spring-wound Victor Talking Machine commonly known as a Victrola.

The first Victrolas came on the market in 1906 and played a flat quarter inch thick recording. The flat record was invented in the late 1880’s by a creative entrepreneur named Emile Berliner. Emile’s flat records were much easier to reproduce and quickly replaced the difficult to re-produce Edison cylinder phonograph. Almost overnight flat records quickly became thinner and the worldwide standard for the recording industry.

The new cabinet design also allowed for the earlier external speaker horn to be placed below the record player along with a space for storing the records. This shape allowed the Victrola to be a more pleasing addition to a parlor or living room and helped increase early sales.

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