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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Christmas: 1956

Christmas: 1956

This was taken in Los Angeles, 1956. The present just opened is a Webcor record player. To the left is my great uncle Paul and the right is my grandpa, seen later washing the car with my dad.

I wonder if there's a tree under all that tinsel. Scanned from a Kodak safety negative. View full size.

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Awesome

Tony you and tterrace may need to start your own site or have Dave hire you both as permanent contributors (pay you with real money) I do love ALL the member contributions, but the ones you both have, something special about them.

Webster Chicago

Webster-Chicago Corp. was the parent company of Webcor, a leading manufacturer of Wire & Tape Recorders. They pioneered the wire recorder in the 1950s. Those units fed a spool of wire, that was on a reel resembling tightly wound fishing line, through a recording head of the player/recorder. The wire was not unlike piano wire, the recorded sound was fairly primitive and we sold the recorders in the $300-500 range, not a small sum in the 1950s. Once the reel-to-reel tape recorders came in the wire products were doomed. Of course the cassette tape did in the reel-to-reel, the CD did it to the cassette. Now they're all dead or dying. The top recording device makers of the wire era were Webcor, VM (Voice of Music), Wilcox-Gay and the ubiquitous General Electric.

Webcor phono

It was a slightly earlier Webcor portable phonograph that transitioned our family from the 78rpm era to the LP (in today's terms, think of going from VHS to DVD). That was a bit before 1950 when we won it in a church raffle. Later, it became the centerpiece of my brother's hi-fi system: it's at the bottom of the stack behind the tubed amplifier in this shot. The Devo-style lamp is an eye-catcher, but so is the ottoman in the lower left, looking like an orphan from a Rat-Pack era Las Vegas lounge.

Pure 50s

Wow, Tony. The family photos you've posted really evoke their time and place very clearly. I hope your grandfather and great uncle won't take offense when I observe that in this shot they look a lot like the Beav and his brother Wally (Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow), in the show that had its first season the following year.

Previewing the future

A little early for Devo on the phono, but the hat is already there...

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