TheGlasgowStory 

Skip Navigation / Jump to Content

Featured Images

Children Outside Dirty Dick's
Children Outside Dirty Dick's

Finnieston Crane
Finnieston Crane

Christmas 1909

Glasgow City Archives, Deposited Collections

*Open in New Window
Christmas 1909

The latest sound reproduction systems have been big sellers at Christmas for at least a hundred years. These phonographs illustrated in Copland & Lye's catalogue of Christmas gifts in 1909 may not be recognisable in the 21st century, but would have caused great excitement in their day.

Thomas Edison recorded his voice on a cylinder phonograph in 1877. Emile Berliner produced the first flat disc recording ten years later. Recording was achieved using a large horn to collect the sound, which translated via a diaphragm to a needle which moved from side to side in a spiral groove. An inside-out mould was then taken from the original master recorded disc. Shellac records were then pressed out between two plates. These records were recorded at a fixed 78 rpm and were played on wind-up gramophones that amplified the sound using only mechanical vibrations from the needle through the large horn. The sound reproduction was poor by modern standards but of a sufficient quality to bring enjoyment to a mass audience. However, the needles caused wear on the records and shellac was very easily broken.

Reference: Glasgow City Archives, TD128/95

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Keywords:
Caledonian House, Christmas presents, Christmas shopping, Copland & Lye, department stores, discs, gramophone records, gramophone trumpets, gramophones, horns, music, phonographs, shellac, sound recordings, trade catalogues



Quick Search


Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

username:
password:
Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options