Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Austrian postcard

Here is an uncommon image of Louise Brooks on an uncommon postcard. The card comes from Austria, and likely dates from the late 1920's. (The designation Iris Verlag means the card came from Austria; the other common designation seen on vintage postcards, Ross Verlag, means it comes from Germany.) The card pictured here is currently for sale on eBay. The seller is asking quite a lot for it. Nevertheless, it is nice.


  1. LB has that rare ability to make my heart ache just looking at her. Amazing.

  2. WHO SAID you could change the musi-- Oh. Hi. It's you!

    I'll go out on a limb and guess that the furniture Brooksie is smudging is a console for radio and talking machine. One could consult Talking Machine World (trade journal), manufacturers' catalogues, and reference books to determine the make. (Thanx: phonophile Tim Gracyk of

    "In 1925," says (not in drag), "Victor began producing radio and phonograph combinations, which utilized RCA-built radios (at that time, RCA was a separate company)." A Victor would be appropriate....

    "Victor introduced the Victrola – the internal horn phonograph – in late 1906. It was an overnight sensation and Victor was hard-pressed for years to fulfill the demand ...", says Gracyk, probably unaware that Louise Brooks was born in late 1906 and she was an overnight sensation for many.

    The three major phonograph maufacturers were Victor, Edison -- and Columbia, which Bill Paley bought in 1938. Among the minors (established during or after the war) were Artophone (Missouri-based distributor of Paramount discs), Cheney (the name of the couple in "Marion's Wall"), Adora and Operollo (both of Detroit), Brooks (of Saginaw), Tyrola, Aeolian-Vocalion -- some two hundred (200) of 'em. I guess I'm partial to the Charmaphone.

    There are plenty of YouTube videos with talking machines cranking out songs, e.g., a 1926 Victor credenza playing "If I Had a Talking Picture of You" (Johnny Hamp and the Serenaders).


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