Monday, October 13, 2008

Victor 2 Humpback Phonograph

The Victor 2 Humpback Phonograph can certainly be described as an artifact intended for the upper echelon of society. A common phonograph was already considered to be a luxury and was rarely found in lower class families. But the Victor 2, as it was larger, louder, and made of fine materials, was even more rare. And if that wasn’t enough, the Victor 2 could be customized specifically for the buyer. In this way, the Victor 2 was not just an appliance to listen to music through, but it also served as a symbol of wealth, class, and taste. To have a Victor 2 meant sophistication, that one listened to fine music and had a refined taste.
In addition to a status symbol, I also feel the Victor 2 could be used as a means of escape. As it probably could not get as loud as some stereos today, the Victor 2 would be most effective in a smaller environment. In the featured picture, the phonograph is placed in a study or drawing room ca. 1907. The study was a wind-down room, used to kick back and relax after a hard day’s work. Full of designer furniture, expensive trinkets, exquisite art, and volumes of texts, the study is also a symbol of status. The study is almost a dream world, filled with delicacies and trinkets, completely unlike anything in the real world. This would be ideal, however, to get away from the noisy streets and the troubles of the outside world—the perfect place to turn on a Victor 2 and immerse oneself in a symphony of tranquility.

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