Sunday, September 21, 2008
Victor 2 Humpback Phonograph
The Improved Victor 2 Humpback Phonograph was designed in 1904 and was so named for the metal piece that holds the wooden horn up. This piece allows for larger-sized horns, and, consequently, higher volume. Thus, the Victor 2 was made 1 and a half inches longer than the Victor 1 phonograph. This short amount of length, surprisingly, improved the sound quality immensely. The shape of the horn naturally magnifies sound and, as this model was bigger than previous ones, could produce much higher volumes--a useful accessory for fancy parties with large numbers of people. However, this of course raised the price. This taken into consideration, and being made of fine oak, the Victor 2 was more for the upper class. The metal parts are all coated with nickel, adding to the aesthetic value of the piece.
The candlestick telephone employs a similar design for the listening device. Both transmit sound via a conical apparatus, though the telephone relies on vibrations of a magnet, while the Victor 2 relies on the grooves on the record. Also, both appliances were, at the time of their release, mainly purchased by upper class society.
On the other hand, the "Patriot" radio, designed 25 years later, relies on electricity while the Victor 2 has to be cranked to listen to music. The radio is obviously more technologically advanced as it was designed a quarter of a century after the Victor 2. However, this appliance was much more affordable at the time, and allowed nearly all classes of people to listen to music, radio dramas, and daily news reports, whereas the Victor 2 could only play pre-recorded records.