Edison Phonograph – As Seen In Early Advertising

The Edison Phonograph was first invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 and could produce recorded sound. These are the ads for “Edison Phonograph” that appeared in print ads of yesterday.

play-audioClick the player below to hear period music of the era –

I Am Edison as heard at most Edison phonograph dealers in early 1900’s

The first mention found of the Edison Phonograph appeared in the Cincinnati Daily Star in 1877. It reads as follows –

A Wonderful Invention – The Scientific American of this week contains the first announcement of what may be the most wonderful invention of the day. Edison’s phonograph. The Sun says nothing could be more incredible than the likelihood of once more hearing the voice of the dead, yet the invention of the new instrument is said to render this possible hereafter. It is true that the voices are stilled, but whoever has spoken or whoever may speak into the month-piece of the phonograph and whose words are recorded by it has the assurance, that his speech may be produced audibly in his own tones long after he himself has turned to dust.

The first graphical advertisement is then seen in the Brenham Weekly Banner in Brenham, Tx. in 1890 –

1890 edison phonograph

First sales advertisement found for Edison Phonograph 1890 – click for larger size

From 1890 – 1900, the Edison Phonograph was largely missing from sales advertising due to a lawsuit that was taking place between the Edison Phonograph Company and the American Graphophone Company. That is a topic for another post however the ads resumed with the following simple ad that appeared in many newspapers in 1900.

1900 edison

his Edison Phonograph advertisement appeared in multiple newspapers in 1900

In Christmas of 1905, this smart advertisement appeared in Washington D.C. and New York –

1905 edison phonograph

Christmas advertisement for the “Improved Edison Phonograph” 1905

1906 marked a noticeable uptick of advertisements for the Edison Phonograph including the free in home trial, amberol extended records that played twice as long as existing records and ads from dealers that introduced monthly payment plans.

1907 edison phonograph

Edison Says “I want to see a phonograph in every American home” in 1907

Evening Star, Washington D.C., 1908 – Edison Amberol Records –
are the new records that play twice as long as the regular Edison Records. This is not done by making the Record larger or longer, but by engraving more than twice as many lines to the inch as on the regular Record.

Thus Amberol Records can be used in the standard sizes of Edison Phonographs by the addition of a simple attachment or gear. These new Records not only play longer than any other Record now made, but they play better, their tone quality being richer, clearer and more delicate than has been possible in the past.

play-audioClick the player below to hear period music of the era –

1911 Edison Amberol recording “By the dear old River Rhine”

In the attempt to put an Edison Phonograph into every American home, the following advertisement was geared towards the children. This one appeared in the Arizona Silver Belt in 1908, its text follows below –

1908 edison phono

Edison Phonograph ad 1908

Did you ever see the face of a child when it is absolutely happy? It is a wonderful thing to make a child happy. If an Edison Phonograph had no other mission than to entertain the children, it should be found In every home where there is even one child. But the Edison Phonograph is not merely a children’s plaything, though it is the best playfellow a child can have. A child plays with its other playthings but the Edison Phonograph plays with the child. That same Phonograph appeals to all the children, large and small; to grown-ups, as well as the children; to guests as well as to the family. That is why every mother as well as every mistress of a home and every hostess should have an EDISON PHONOGRAPH. The Edison Phonograph now has the new Amberol Records, which play twice as long as the old ones, which play longer and better than any other records made. Every mother who reads this should decide today that Christmas will bring at least one joyful entertainer into her house an Edison Phonograph. Act that good resolution at once. Come to our store today and hear the Edison, select your style, pick out a supply of Records, and make this Christmas a Phonograph Christmas.

The “New Edison Phonograph” encased in a cabinet was the next craze – 800,000 people have passed judgement – (see full advertisement below text) Mr. Edison’s new art, music’s re creation, has stood the test of actual comparison with the living tone. 800,000 people have heard and have been convinced by this daring test. 500 newspaper critics have publicly declared, through the columns of their papers, that they were unable to detect the difference between the original and the re-creations. Consider that The New Edison plays all makes of records, offers you advantages, conveniences, and utility which, aside from the excellence of its music, can be found in no other instrument of this type.

Mr. Edison, in constructing his new musical instrument, kept always in mind his one standard perfection. The tones which come from the New Edison are perfectly true to the original. Visit your nearest Edison dealer and hear the latest re-creations. The Edison Shop Phonograph Corporation of Manhattan, Prop’ s 473 Fifth Avenue Opposite Public Library New York City.

The New York Sun – 1917

1917 New Edison Phonograph

New Edison Phonograph full page ad 1917 – click for larger image


Buy a poster of a New Edison Phonograph at Zazzle –

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