We are enjoying warm memories from a blast from the past in the form of a 1912 phonograph.We received this antique Edison disc phonograph from Lady Di's Grandma Ollie a few years ago. We finally took it in for repairs last fall and just brought it home this winter. It works great. It still has that dusty antique store smell too.
For its debut, the kids weren't sure what to expect. "Will it sound like a CD?", they asked.
"Not quite.", I answered.
They were still excited to watch it in action. They both thought it might be loud judging by its size, so they held their ears in anticipation.
I slowly turned the crank to wind it up. I set the record spinning and placed the needle. A very scratchy, but quite musical, march played. Both kids thought it was pretty cool. Number One Son, of course, was full of questions.
"What is that scratchy sound?"
"How does it work?"
"How old is it?"
"Do we have any Green Day records?" No, but we do have "When the Harvest Moon Shines" and "The President Harding March".
"Who is President Harding?"
"Some dude from ancient times.", I answered with Dad-authority.
When we picked up the phonograph we also bought a box of random records for $5. We haven't made it through the whole box yet. Unfortunately, our Edison only plays records from before WWII. These discs are quite thick and tough. If we were to play a newer LP on our player, the needle (which is closer to a small nail than an actual needle) would probably cut the disc into spiral fries. It's also interesting that each disc tells what kind of song it plays. Along with the song title, it tells you if it is a Fox Trot, Two Step, March or Break Dancing record. So after the first few songs, the kids wanted to go to the next step.
"Can I turn the crank?" "I want to put the needle on the record!"
As the kids cranked, I explained that this was how Grandma Ollie and Grandma Peg listened to music when they were young.
Once they each had had a turn to run the hardware, the novelty started to wane. "That's nice Dad, but I'm going to watch iCarly now."
Lady Di and I stayed in the den for a few more songs. We still have some shining up to do and a little fabric repair for the front grill. But other than that, we have a fine new piece of antique furniture added to our music room.