Vinyl Voice Mail: Mailed Messages on Phonograph Records

As acclimated we are with digital communication and leaving messages for one another within an instant, sometimes it’s difficult to believe how far we’ve come in that regard, especially from letters on records.

A 1930's to 1950's era phonograph, used to play vinyl records, and love letters or messages from loved ones.
This phonograph serves as an example of what may have been used to play back letters on records.
“Phonograph” by Javier Kohen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Just imagine it: instead of having to read handwritten letters from friends or loved ones, in the 1930’s to the 1950’s you could actually hear their voices speaking once you played the small vinyl disc in your phonograph.

Now, compared to today’s traditional method of leaving voicemails on cell phones, letters on records can be considered ancient. However, back in the day, they were the latest and biggest trend.

And, of course, if you were the speaker sending the message to your recipient, as long as you fit it all in one minute, you could say whatever you wanted! You could:

  • Tell the recipient how you are/were
  • Sing them their favorite song
  • Express your plans for the future while at a distance from them
  • And much, much more!

Some even gave messages to loved ones back home while they served overseas. Watch the video below to listen to a message recorded almost 80 years ago from Coporal Gene Daly.

For further reading/research, check out the links below!

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/14/585776715/voice-in-the-mail-audio-love-letters-were-hot-in-the-1930s-and-40s

https://www.phono-post.org/browse.cgi

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A 1930's to 1950's era phonograph, used to play vinyl records, and love letters or messages from loved ones.

“Phonograph” by Javier Kohen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ever wondered what came before voicemail? Join us as we discuss the history and uses of vinyl audio love letters! Link to the story in our bio! #vinylrecords #vinyl #audioloveletters