I suppose everyone remembers a special Christmas gift or two, and this was one of mine. While not precisely a toy, this Steelman record player served me well for several years. According to a 1950 issue of Billboard, the Steelman Phonograph and Radio Company, based in Mt. Vernon, New York, had begun producing three versions of its portable, luggage-type record changer in that year, including this three-speed version in a leatherette case. My parents splurged a bit; the player was priced at $29.95.
I remember the case, although at the time I paid no attention to the Steelman name inside the cover. In 1950, I was four years old, reading well enough to be following lyrics, and falling in love with my ‘music machine.’
Today, music machines have changed a good bit, but one of my favorites requires neither AC current nor batteries. While there aren’t any lyrics to follow, it hardly matters. The sight of the sound of this ‘toy’ is enough.
(It may take a moment for the video to load)