Long Lost Highlights from the Missouri 78 RPM Archive: Listen Here

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Jennifer Silverberg
Bruce Stinchcomb is one of three collectors maintaining the Missouri 78 PRM Archive in Ferguson.
In this week's Riverfront Times feature, "Hold the Phono," we pay a visit to the Missouri 78 RPM Archive, which encompasses more than a quarter of a million records spread over three houses in one neighborhood in Ferguson.

The three collectors whose records make up the archive, Bruce Stinchcomb, Alan Carell and Richard Tussey, describe the archive as a core sample of everything in America from about 1895 to 1960: not just the music people listened -- and danced -- to, but also their cultural references, their slang, their thoughts on current events and even how they spoke and sang.

Carell and Tussey were kind enough to let us record these gems from the archive for a trip through the twentieth century.

In the beginning, records weren't intended to play music, especially in their original form of resuable wax cylinders. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the phonograph, thought they'd be a good business tool, sort of like a dictaphone. Instead, people thought it would be sorta neat to record themselves goofing around. Then the professionals took over. Thus was born the comedy record. Here's Auction Sale of Household Goods by Leonard G. Spencer, a laff riot from 1902.

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