When you Google ‘Voice-O-Graph’, I’m the third result. Well, not ME, but a thing I wrote a while ago. I’m an unofficial internet expert, apparently.

Most of these (as well as the similar Recordio discs) I’ve found or bought off of eBay, but I’m mainly interested in preserving them. They’re flimsy, they tend to flake apart, and eventually, they become too hard to extract sound from. And because each one is completely unique, it’s a little tragic to lose all of those sounds from the 40s and 50s. Because of this, I get a lot of e-mail asking me to transfer these old recordings of family members and friends onto CDs and MP3s so they can be heard again. I do it for free – other places charge thousands of dollars.

I recently had the pleasure of transferring about 40 old Recordios for a woman in New Mexico, as recorded by her mother and father (and friends) while he was stationed in Yokohama in 1948 and 1949. I’ve never seen such a well-preserved, coherent collection, so I leapt at the chance. Over 2.5 hours of recordings, there’s a beautiful portrait of a family making the best of a hard situation. I was given permission to post some of these here, so enjoy. More to come.

A January Get-Together

Christmas 1948