Ongoing History Daily: The original record collectors, part 1

Today, the vast majority of record collectors are male. Just go to any record show and you’ll see what I mean. But when records first started appearing more than a hundred years ago, almost all collectors were women.

This is because early record players—phonographs and gramophones—were constructed to look like pieces of fine furniture. And since furniture was considered the exclusive domain of the women of the house, women were also responsible for finding music to play on these new things. In addition to that, women were the ones who chose the music to play for their husbands when they returned from work.

Why? Because back in the 1910s, part of a woman’s role was to be a domestic educator, meaning they were in charge of elevating the intellectual discourse around the house. They researched the music, sought out the records, and then played them for the household.

More next time.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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