The Dick Smith Library has in its collections textual county records for Erath, Eastland, Coleman, and Comanche counties. These are large leather bound volumes. While the majority of the volumes are records of county activities there are a few "strange" volumes. One such is an account book for a store in either Dublin or Harbin, Texas. The account part of the volume dates from 1908, then in the middle there are court records from 1915, then it goes back to an account book dated from 1908. Perhaps the county clerk need a book one day and also worked at the store and grabbed one from the store. Tucked in this volume was the ad you see here offering a $25.00 natural tone talking & singing machine absolutely free, with $50.00 cash purchase. Or for $5.00 with a $25.00 cash purchase.
In 1908 this was the latest in recorded sound technology. The customer is invited to come by the store to hear specially prepared records of bands, instrumental music, songs, and stories. "The best talent in the country is brought right to your fireside to while away the long evenings with comical recitations and songs."It is pointed out that the machine also has educational uses as well. The ad continues further that the graphophone represents the latest achievements of the largest and best equipped talking machine industry in the world. The machine has a "handsome flower horn, noiseless motor, an adjustable speed screw, and oil tempered bearings that will last a lifetime. The machine required no electricity to run it, it was a hand cranked machine. One can only imagine what the people of 1908 would think of mp 3 players and all of the other ways we have to carry our music with us.