When my parents got rid of all their personal belongings and hit the road, we became the proud owners of some really awesome antiques. One of my favorite pieces is the Edison Disc phonograph, which came from my father’s family and (I think) dates to around 1915. Here it is in our front entry room:
One reason I love this thing so much is that when we were kids, my brother and I had a great time playing the weird old records (which are about 1/4″ thick). We thought they were hilarious since the style of singing is so very different from the radio hits we were used to. Lots of warbling. But is that better, or worse, than listening to Hulk Hogan’s daughter limping her way through an overproduced hip-hop song? Personally, I’d rather hear warbling.
Each record has two songs on it, one on the front and one on the back. My personal favorite is a song called “Gasoline Gus” by Bill Murray (not my favorite Bill Murray, obviously). It’s a very catchy tune about a jitney bus driver. (A jitney bus is small vehicle that offered rides for nickels back in the day). Gasoline Gus is kind of a creepy guy if you listen to the lyrics closely.
I managed to find an mp3 online, so you can listen to it here: http://ia301225.us.archive.org/2/items/edba-2684/edba-2684_64kb.mp3
Isn’t that crackley sound great?
But the other reason I really love this piece is the reason I’m sharing it with you. Because we have a photo of the phonograph in it’s original home! How cool is that? And if you’re looking for real Victorian interior inspiration, this is it. The wallpaper, rugs, pictures, light fixture…. so much to take in! I think this would be considered a parlor, but correct me if I’m wrong.
I put a much larger version on our Flickr account, so you can check it out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fixerupper/
Here’s a closeup of the phonograph. They chose to put it in a corner, just like we did. ;)