Monday at the Museum

Johnson Museum out.jpg

In the continuing saga of exploration hosted by the American Treasure Tour's blog team, we bring you to fascinating destinations within the United States that we encourage you to explore - after you've gotten your fill of our Museum, of course.  We've been told that there are more museums in this great nation than there are McDonald's and Starbucks - combined.  We're still a little skeptical of that, but if it's true, then we should definitely celebrate them and visit as many of them as possible. Because we just need to get out of the house once in a while, especially now that Summer is right around the corner!

Johnson Museum - in.jpg

So, we invite our readers to take a road trip to Dover, Delaware. Dover is one of the smallest state capital cities in the nation - which is only proper since Delaware is one of the smallest states in the nation - but it has a lot of character and charm to it, as well as one of the newest National Parks (First State - worth checking out!) and a museum dedicated to the Victor victrola. We're talking the first phonographs, or record players. Why, you might ask, does Delaware have a Victor Museum, when everyone knows that the Victory Company had their factory in Camden, New Jersey?  Because the man who founded Victor, Eldridge Johnson, grew up in Delaware, of course. The Johnson Museum is a few short blocks from the state house in Dover, and has a truly remarkable collection of these beautiful machines.  Admittedly, it is not the biggest museum you will have ever visited - it may be 20% the size of the Treasure Tour - but they have a lot of amazing machines in there and it is worth the time.  Despite that phonographs were one of the main reasons the automatic music industry closed down in the 1920's....

Monday at the Museum

Johnson Museum.jpg

Every week, the bloggers here at the American Treasure Tour call out another wonderful destination somewhere in the United States that is worth your time. Because that's just the kind of people we are. So today, we are going to travel south from Oaks, PA.  All the way to the First State:  Delaware.  To Dover.  The drive is a good hour from the Treasure Tour on a low-traffic day, but it's definitely worth it if you like music.  Because that's where the state-run Johnson Victrola Museum is. 

Eldridge Reeves Johnson was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1867, and stayed in the tri-state region all his life, working in industry in Philadelphia and opening his own business in Camden, New Jersey that he called the Victor Talking Machine Company. Devices that recorded sounds and voices were becoming huge right around the turn of the twentieth century. And Victor became one of the biggest producers of phonographs and records in the United States. The museum celebrates Johnson's contributions to the industry with many unique and beautiful machines.  His phonographs helped to destroy the nickelodeon industry, but we still love the museum established in his honor and recommend checking it out the next time you're in Dover!