Folks present at the well-attended Holmdel Historical Society meeting at the Holmdel Senior Center on Tuesday got a real historical treat.
Joe Weiner, a collector of -– and expert on –- antique phonograph machines, set up and demonstrated seven working models of cylinder- and disk-based phonographs from his extensive collection. He played music on every one of them!
The first commercially available phonographs were available in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were produced by the Edison Company, and used cylinders to record and play back the music.
Later, the Victor Company (eventually acquired by RCA) introduced the flat-disk, double-sided, 78 RPM phonograph records that became standard.
Edison finally attempted a few disk-based machines, but then dropped out.
All the early models that Joe demonstrated were powered by hand-wound springs. The first models used large external horns; later, the horns were incorporated inside the cabinets.
It was an informative and fun-filled meeting.