I’ve been browsing issues of the early trade journal Talking Machine World for the last few days, and was distracted by an advertisement for a unique two-horned ‘phonograph’ made by the Duplex Phonograph Co. of Kalamazoo, MI.
A simple search led me to an unbelievable article by Keith Howard, for the Kalamazoo Public Library’s local history website.
Keith’s article discusses the inventor, Charles E. Hill, the machine’s design and manufacture, and the short but bright tenure of the company to their end on the wrong side of lawsuit by Victor & Co. The article is exhaustively researched and cited, and includes illustrations of restored machines, record labels and advertisements.
To top that, it’s only one of 25 such articles by the author on a variety of topics including jazz and ragtime in Kalamazoo, breweries and distilleries, and musicians and other relevant public figures. The broader site hosts many more investigative essays about all aspects of Kalamazoo history, and the ones I’ve browsed so far are equally captivating.
In summary, KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS GOT ITS SHIT TOGETHER. Check it out.