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Ephemera: Interior of a Used Furniture Store
Collection of Bill and Betty Pratt

A junk store really, a clutter of furniture and hangings, the numerous flags indicating the U.S., perhaps the late teens or early 1920s. Not likely much of interest here.

The salesman and his customer pose casually for their photograph at the rear of the store. The collector’s eye spots the display of records hanging behind the two gentlemen, their colourful labels meant to entice the customer.

Perhaps you noticed the prominent stacks of 78s on the dresser in the front corner of the picture. The top label is a 12” Columbia Tri-Color first introduced in 1906, perhaps a Mary Garden or a Rosa Ponselle. Next to the records is a lidless Columbia Grafonola introduced in 1914. At the lowest end of the Columbia line it seems right at home in the store but it was likely not the machine that played the Ponselle.

Spend a little more time with the photograph. Follow the line of furniture on the left to the back of the store. Additional piles of 78s tease the record collector. Beside the older man, wearing the overcoat and hat, is a second machine, also lidless, perhaps a Victor Victrola IV or VI or a second Grafonola.

Seen enough? Not fair really. The photograph is printed only slightly smaller than the original but the other items of interest to the phonograph collector are difficult to spot, even using a strong hand lens. See the clock standing on the round table beside the younger man? To the right of the clock is a pile of phonograph cylinder boxes lying on their sides. They look to be Columbia and Edison wax cylinders.

Wow. Few items of value but still a lot to intrigue the phonograph collector. Time to leave the store without a purchase though. But wait. The final item is practically impossible to see. On the wall to the right between the flags and behind a metal pan (?) a cardboard hangar advertises packets of phonograph needles. Always handy and only a nickel. The store was a good find after all.