Special Issue: The History of Vinyl

American History Now presents a curated experiment in a collaborative history of vinyl records.

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IU Media Historian’s Find in Stacks at Wells Library Could Represent Oldest Record in World

Vor seinem Löwengarten Das Kampfspiel zu erwarten Saß König Franz Und um ihn die Großen der Krone Und rings auf hohem Balkone Die Damen in schönem Kranz The voice of the father of the gramophone, Emile Berliner, is only slightly muffled as he recites Friedrich Schiller’s ballad “Der Handschuh.” ButRead More…

At the Margins of Music: The Early LPs of Prestige Records

Viewed from the present, the LP era began in June 1948 when Columbia Records introduced their long-playing microgroove technology. The reality for listeners in the late 1940s and early 1950s, however, was much more uncertain. As vinyl LPs came to replace the shellac discs of the previous recording era, recordRead More…

The Uncomfortable Gender Politics of “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection”

Cohabitation: it’s an endless series of compromises, all supposedly worthwhile in the name of true love and cheaper rent. We don’t just share our homes and beds with our spouses and significant others — we also share a lifetime’s worth of possessions, and the obsessions that drive us to amassRead More…

Vinyl for Hipsters vs. Vinyl for High Holy Days: Or, “Old School Columbia Records”

Vinyl records capture the imagination. In my hometown of Olympia, Washington, independent craft artists fashion bowls to and household items out of vinyl, appealing to the local indie market. In Brooklyn, the hipster set has revived an interest in vinyl records. I, too, have always seen the charm in theRead More…

Turn your Digital into Vinyl

A German company, vinylrecorder.com,  has come up with a home record lathe that takes any digital file and cuts it onto a vinyl disk. You can see an entertaining video about the process at the link below. The man in the video is entirely wrong about digital files and stairsteppingRead More…

Vinyl is the real deal. I've always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don't really own the album. And it's not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive. ----- Jack White