By Jacob Smith
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Extra resources for Eco-Sonic Media
Moreover, an eco-critical perspective reveals the particular material benefits of shellac. The fragility of shellac encouraged extra care to be taken in sound reproduction, leading to a consumer ecology that included the cultivation of fiber needles and the acknowledgement of the material costs of playback. Shellac discs had the potential to remind listeners of the role played by nonhuman producers, and by extension the larger ecology of energy cycles, in the phonographic system. For these and other reasons, the Green Disc era should be revisited as the point of departure in the construction of a more convivial phonography.
Bagshaw had learned how to manufacture comb pins in the English industrial town of Leeds, and his Massachusetts factory produced needles for the textile industry. In 1897 Bagshaw received an 28 / Chapter One order for one hundred thousand needles that came not from a textile firm but from a Philadelphia company called Zonophone, one of Berliner’s early rivals in the disc business. ”78 We can read this advertising image, against the grain of its original intention, as a representation of the environmental damage wrought by countless disposable steel needles.
Radio, and the phonograph as sources of sonic entertainment in the home. In the last chapter, I investigated the materiality of shellac discs to acknowledge the bugs in the phonographic system. This chapter examines a nineteenth- and early twentieth-century biotechnological apparatus that interlinked birds and sound technologies and that was eco-sonic to the extent that it fostered an appreciation of nonhuman nature and facilitated crossspecies communication. By beginning the chapter with the Sylvania and Victor ads, I want to signal that one of my goals is to engage with scholarly work on the media representation of animals.