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-- On Wed, 3/17/10, Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


> When my first nephew was born in
> 1969, I bought him a little portable phonograph that
> Lafayette (remember them?) sold that had a bunch of colored
> lights behind a plastic screen in the lid that blinked and
> flashed with the sound.  

I remember seeing a record player like this with a color
organ in the lid in the stereo department of the local
Bon Marche department store (since gobbled up, like so
many other grand old regional chains by Macy's).  You
could get a similar low-tech light show with a cardboard
box, a string of twinkling Christmas lights, and the 
diffuser off a commercial fluorescent light fixture.
We had a couple of those in the "Space Room" - the party
shed behind my parents' house.

I think one of the first color organs was on the Cunard
liner the Queen Mary.  It was a whole rack full of
equipment and it controlled colored spotlights in the
ship's ballroom.