Remember When: Phonographs

Thomas Edison is shown between two phonograph cabinets. Records used to be cylinder shaped and Edison is credited with making the first flat records.

SELMA – Our phonograph was a tall box-like piece of furniture, with feet and a trapezoidal lid. It had a storage space for records, and a crank for winding up speed for the turntable - no electricity needed.

You would lift the lid, put on your favorite record (about 1/8 inch thick), move the arm (the playing needle was in it) to the outer edge of the record and carefully set the needle in the first groove. Then you would turn the crank until it wouldn’t turn anymore, turn the turntable to the ‘on’ position and then listen to your music.

That was quite an invention. Transmitting sounds came through a long process. There were even cylinder-shaped recorders. Thomas Edison was the first to make flat, round records.

My brothers and I liked to wind the crank while the music was playing. The music sounded weird while changing to higher notes.

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