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.