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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Joy Unconfined: 1915

Joy Unconfined: 1915

Summer 1915. Dancing to the tunes coming out of an Edison Home Phonograph at Broad Channel, N.Y. George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

No cylinder!

This is a cylinder phonograph but there is no cylinder in the spindle so it can't be playing.

[The cylinder is on the mandrel at right (enlarged below). The part to the left that you're calling the spindle is the feed screw. - Dave]


Why is this photo so creepy? Is it the exposure?


A phonograph amplifying horn of that size was generally only attached to the machine when it was in use. When not being played, the horn was removed and the machine closed in a wooden cover somewhat similar to those for old sewing machines.

"Cranes" -- devices which held large horns-- were sold seperately, but many folks got by with makeshift arrangements such as this with strings or chains attached to some handy object to support the horn.

Watch out for Two-face

I don't trust that girl. She's a two-face


Looks like that horn was probably knocked around quite a bit. It appears to be hung from something with some string.

Yes the big horns were

Yes the big horns were bumped and banged into all the time. Especially on a saturday night with Grandma's homemade wine :):)


My eyes were drawn to the huge 'speaker' on the phonograph. It looks far too easy for someone to come by and accidentally whack it. Although this is a staged photo, were phonographs placed so casually around a home? Were the speakers frequently snapped off and needing replacement?

wow, that's neat!

wow, that's neat!


Looks like he little girl moved during the shot, giving her a creepy two-faced look.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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