Eldridge Johnson

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....   https://history.delaware.gov/museums/jvm/jvm_main.shtml

RCA Victor Radio

RCA Victor Model 16T2 Radio.jpg

QUESTION:  RCA Victor was the company behind Nipper - the famous dog who is depicted staring into the horn of a Victrola.  What is the name of Nipper's puppy companion?
A) Chipper
B). Lance
C). Flipper
D). Clipper
ANSWER BELOW

As the American Treasure Tour blog continues to celebrate the new addition of classic radios to our Music Room collection, we are going to focus today on the RCA Victor Company. Truly one of the great names in the distribution of recorded music of the twentieth century, the Victor Talking Machine Company was established by Eldridge Johnson in Camden, New Jersey in 1901. Johnson was a shrewd businessman and sold his company to the Radio Corporation of America - better known as RCA - in 1929, requiring the sale to be made in cash. When the stock market crash of October 29th happened, he found himself in a very secure position. But RCA Victor was not in any great danger of bankruptcy because of the Great Depression. Not really. Music is and always has been a great comfort for people, and they continued to enjoy it as much as possible. RCA sold phonographs, albums, and radios. 

The RCA Victor radio will discuss today is the model 16T2, dating to early 1940. It was considered top of the line, advertising some pretty amazing technology at the time, notably an Electro Magnetic Dynamic LS loudspeaker. The receiver offered access to all nearby AM transmissions, but it did need six vacuum tubes to achieve this. The wooden case is of exceptional style, and quite a looker. 

ANSWER:  A). Chipper. He became part of the RCA family in 1991, to add that special, adorable flavor. Chipper is supposed to be Nipper's son.