The Old Record Player

My dad was the youngest in a family of four kids. They lived a simple life in rural Minnesota. That was back in the 1920’s.


The family owned an Edison phonograph that played cylinder shaped records.

The record player and many records have been passed down to me.  Once in a while we play a few records; Everything is Hunky Dory by Collins & Harlan, That Old Gang of Mine by B. Jones & E. Hare, Be My Little Bumble Bee by Eliz. Spencer & Van Brunt, as well as fox trots and hymns.

Each record plays one song. The sound quality isn’t too bad and can be heard by all in the room.

To play a record, windup the crank on the side of the phonograph. This makes the cylinder spin. Then the needle is placed on the starting end of the record. The needle glides down the record as the song plays. When the song is over the needle has moved to the other end of the record. The above picture shows the needle on top of the record.

Every record has it’s original case.

Most of the top covers are long gone and the few remaining have been repaired with needle and thread. They took good care of their record player which was a form of entertainment during those long, cold winter evenings and lazy Sunday afternoons in the summer before there was TV.

Listening to personal music has come a long way since Scott Joplin on the player piano and The Homestead Trio on an Edison cylinder player. Flat long playing records ruled for many years spinning The Carter Family on the Victrola and later the Rolling Stones on a Hi-FI stereo.  Following came Jethro Tull on the 8 track and Buckwheat Zydeco on cassette tapes. Then came CDs with Sting and now it’s Kirk Franklin on a tiny hand held device. What next?