My current research on the "domestication" of the early phonograph
has lead to some further questions. I'm a bit stuck at present
Perhaps the list can help.
In my research on the transition from the phonograph as a public
amusement to domestic entertainment device, I've found plenty of
articles by critics, interior design experts, and etiquette experts
on how to effectively assimilate it into the home, as well as many
advertisements from companies eager to dissuade fears about the
effects of this new device, through camouflaging phonographs in
cabinets done up in various traditional styles.
So, if these critics and these companies were trying assuage fears
and criticisms, where is the evidence? Who, if anyone, was arguing
against the phonograph in the home? And on what grounds?
Since women were largely viewed as stewards of domestic life, and
since evidence suggests they often had strong input on buying new
technologies for the home, I'd think there would be ample evidence of
misgivings. There's a growing literature on this (largely focusing
on women and allegedly work-saving appliances). But I'm not finding
Does anyone know of specific articles that speak against the
phonograph as an influence in the home from early twentieth century
sources? Ideally, it would be great to hear from the homemakers
themselves, but barring that, perhaps there are critics who argued
against the domestic phonograph?
Initial online library searches (via Readers Guide Retrospective)
have been unsuccessful. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Dept. of Radio-Television-Film
& Doctoral Portfolio in Cultural Studies
College of Communication
The University of Texas at Austin