UPCOMING PHONOGRAPH EVENTS
- January 24-25, 2014. Orlando Phonograph Show.
- April 13, 014. Wayne NJ Phonograph Show.
- April 24-6, 2014 Stanton spring auction.
- Tentative. HAPS meeting Saturday, May 3. Kokomo, Indiana (in conjunction with Indiana Historical Radio Society Show.
- June 13-5, 2014. Union Phonograph Show.
- Zurko Antique Market and Phonograph Show, September 13, 14, 2014, Greyslake, IL.
As many of you already know, I’ve developed an interest in Dr. Drake who 25 years ago owned the Midwest Phonograph Museum in my hometown of Martinsville Indiana. His Museum had over 600 phonographs and was arguably the best collection in the country at the time. One of the questions that I’ve had difficulty answering is how did he do it? I don’t know of any physicians today who would have the financial resources to support a collection the size of Dr. Drake’s. I’ve concluded there are number of factors.
Even allowing for inflation, the price for phonographs and records were much less than today. I have a picture from Dr. Drake’s Museum (see first attachment). It shows two Amberola 50s and an Amberola 30. He bought these for ten dollars, including 422 cylinders. He paid less than 5% of the list price for the cylinders alone.
It also seems clear that it is much harder to find bargains compared to decades ago. Almost everyone has better access to information. From newspaper articles of the time, Dr. Drake and his wife ignored the antique stores and would drive out in the country, stopping by farmhouses inquiring whether they had any phonographs. He wasn’t the only one that did this either. There is a story of a HAPS member who bought a class M for 100 dollars at a farmhouse many years ago. This is now done rarely. There are a lot fewer finds out in the wild today. Everyone can research their phonographs (internet, books, ) and are less likely to give up a bargain. There are easier, less time consuming ways of obtaining leads (internet, word of mouth, etc). Bargains can be had but are much less likely than 30 years ago.
My conclusion is a collector from the past decades was able to amass a first class collection without finances being a critical factor if he was willing to put a lot of effort and education into our hobby. Because of the above factors, it is much more difficult today.
The roll out of the Antique Phonograph Society is coming along. The new website is up and running–http://www.antiquephono.org/ (the old CAPS site now has oriental characters). Rod gave a nice presentation at the last Stantons. I’ve already sent in my $30.00 in annual dues which is a bargain for people who were members of both the California and Michigan societies. HAPS is now a chapter of APS.
The HAPS dues for 2014 are again $5.00. Checks can be sent to:
15271 Aspen Drive
Fort Myers FL 33908
APS DVD REVIEW
One of the days the weather knocked out my internet connection, I took the opportunity to see the DVD of some of the 2013 APS meeting presentations. Fascinating. First, there was a presentation on the National Jukebox, a collaborative effort by the Library of Congress, collectors and major labels to bring into the public domain hundreds of thousands of acoustic era recordings (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HynhvFLMzm4). There was also a brief presentation by Allan Smith regarding his upcoming documentary on the development and impact of the phonograph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HynhvFLMzm4 ). It had Joan Rolfs in it and I believe a 3 second non speaking cameo by Dr. Patrick Feaster. Last there was a presentation by Archeophone (Richard and Meagan) on recordings on 1890s evangelism. They will soon be releasing a two DVD set. Quite a few of my misconceptions were corrected. I now understand why some of the religious Berliners occasionally go for $2,000+ (one of a kind record from a historically significant individual).
Dr. Patrick Feaster DVD
Patrick appears to have been busy; releasing a book/DVD combo entitled Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio. I have not yet received it but it is a history of sound recording though the ages using advanced techniques to convert pictures of sound into meaningful audio. This has won the ARSC 2013 award for best general research in recorded sound. This has also been nominated for a Grammy (his third nomination). Dr. Feaster is affiliated with IU Bloomington.
I’ve digitized an additional 300+ pictures from the Drake estate. Not all the pictures are from the Drake museum as some of the pictured exhibits appear to predate it by ten years. You are welcome to access it in its entirety at dropbox.com. The user name is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The password is 4ydeHnuW0b (0 is a zero). I’ve included three pictures as attachments. The first is of the three amberolas Dr. Drake bought for 10 dollars (along with 422 cylinders). The second show what appears to be a 60s or 70s phonograph meeting. The guy on the right looks like a youngish Dr. Drake. Any additional information would be appreciated. The final picture appears to be Dr. Drake’s traveling vehicles. While the small trailer continues to be fairly common at auctions, I’m jealous of his car. Can you imagine how many phonographs and records he could stuff in there?
Finally, I wish you all have a great 2014 and I hope to talk or see you soon.