I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A 2014 Call To Restore Memorial Day Back To May 30 As Opposed To The Last Monday Of May

Memorial Day was initially called Decoration Day and, for years, was observed on May 30.  It eventually became "observed" on the final Monday of May.  I type "observe" in quotes because the Day and the Day's intention have been trivialized by the change.  I wish to see Memorial Day/Decoration Day returned to a single sole concrete day as opposed to the absolutely disgusting last Monday of May "kick-off" to the summer.  There are various petitions online that people can sign.  I signed one in 2008.  Many Soldiers were killed in combat and to transform a day honoring their deaths to a convenient kick-off to the summer is no doubt disgraceful.

Here is a postcard from the era when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day and was solely a Union North observance or commemoration. It was postmarked in 1910.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Will Purchases For Displaying Mechanical Machines And Records

Last night I recorded and posted a video showing the items that I purchased at the Mechanical Music Extravaganza in Wayne, NJ.  In this video, I will show you some recent purchases from a local Good Will store.  These pieces of furniture work very well with the phonographs and records that I picked up.

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I have not tried to use the furniture pieces with the gramophones yet.  I might try it soon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Purchases From The Mechanical Music Extravaganza In Wayne, NJ In April 2014

On April 13, 2014, I attended the AMAZING Mechanical Music Extravaganza in Wayne, New Jersey.   This was the first time I attended this convention.  It was very much worth the two hour drive to get there.  This is the place to be if you want to procure an early machine for cylinders or 78s or stroll down the aisles as if it was a museum.  The admission fee was $6.  I certainly recommend the convention and I will be attending the next event this October 12.

The first seven pictures are from the convention and the remaining six show my purchases.  There is a video showing the purchases at the bottom of the page.

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Here are two extraordinary mechanical figures.  The girl in the winter clothing (circa 1910) removes her hand from the mittens and blows kisses and the woman (circa 1915) plays the harp while her chest moves from the breathing.  If I am not mistaken, the figures were $6,000 or $6,5000 and $19,000 respectively:
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Here is my haul.  In the following photographs, you will see a Brunswick Panatrope Exponential Type 106 from the late 1920s (1928 perhaps), an Edison Standard Phonograph Model B with a C Reproducer sold from July 1905 to the Summer 1906, a His Master's Voice Model 102E Portable Gramophone from 1952 (it was introduced in July 1931 and discontinued in 1960 ... I came to the conclusion that it is from 1952 because the serial code is B/16), 78s records, celluloid and wax cylinder records, envelopes of needles and an empty Columbia concert wax cylinder box.

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The prices at the Mechanical Music Extravaganza were less than what one would have to pay on ebay or elsewhere on the web.  That is the irony of this convention - one can indeed get quality for less.  It is the real deal no doubt.  Another advantage to going to a convention is the ability to see and hear a demonstration of the machines prior to buying.  Plus, the vendors are more knowledgeable than online sellers who are not experienced in old machines.  Certainly some knowledgeable sellers on the web do exist and the ones who specialize in early machines should be sought out.  Many of the people on ebay and elsewhere on the internet sell junk pieces that they think are functional.

Here is the video:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The South 9th Street Italian Market Festival In Philadelphia, PA Was Held On May 17, 2014

For the fourth year in a row, I attended the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I showed up on day one, Saturday, May 17, 2014.  The event enjoyed another large crowd.

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I found out about this station at the Festival and I am listening to it as I type this: photo ItalianMay17201405_zps5823ee0f.jpg

I picked up a bag of bruschette and a bottle of olive oil - both Italian made!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Peerless Quartet With "Tenting On The Old Camp Ground" Lakeside Indestructible Cylinder Record

The American Civil War 150th Anniversary Observance continues with a song from the era called "Tenting On The Old Camp Ground".  As a matter of fact, this song was published 150 years ago this year so this is a very, very special Sesquicentennial moment.  "Tenting On The Old Camp Ground" was written in 1863, and published one year later in 1864.  A man named Walter Kittredge authored the song.  Walter was drafted into the Union Army and was shortly after discharged because he had rheumatic fever.
The vocal group performing on the record is the Peerless Quartet and the issue number is 1079.

In addition to a Lakeside Indestructible Cylinder Record and an Amberola Phonograph, I have two specimens of sheet music and two postcards.

Although some online sources reference the year 1909 as the date of this record, I read that the company did not begin to issue cylinders until 1910.

I filmed the introduction of the video on May 17 which is Armed Forced Day so I can tie that into this video as well.

Photographs ...

A very nice display:
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Both of these sheet music specimens have copyright protection registration dates of 1864 on the covers ...

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This circa 1910 postcard included the lyrics so you can read along as you listen to the song:
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Now ladies and gentlemen, "Tenting On The Old Camp Ground" ...

Thank you all for watching and continuing to observe the American Civil War Sesquicentennial.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The 2014 New Jersey State History Fair At Washington Crossing State Park In Titusville

On May 10, I once again went to the NJ History Fair at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville.  Most of my time was spent talking to people from the Grover Cleveland (hopefully we can team up for a presentation later this year) and the 1853 House.

The following are photographs and a video from the event ...

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In the video below, you will see someone playing a violin from around 1760 and an English guittar (yes, "guittar" ... two "t"'s) from 1710 to 1800.  He also has a dancing Benjamin Franklin marionette.  It was great to see these original instruments at the Fair!

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