Friday, January 11, 2013

What Does Storing Music Have to do with Refrigeration?

My father used to collect music cabinets that were used during the 1930s. They were (and still are for people lucky enough to have them) the ideal way of storing oversized pieces of music (and even normally sized pieces of music). If you had a piano in the 1930s, you probably also had a music cabinet. My father's reason for collecting them was utterly practical: to store music. He also knew that when they stopped making music cabinets like this one, such things would never be made again.


I came across an interesting blog post this morning about the rise of the electric refrigerator during the 1930s, and noticed that the refrigerator in this ad could be purchased from the San Antonio Music Company. Look at the design! The model for the first electric refrigerators seems to have been the music cabinet, and music stores (or at least this one in San Antonio) were getting in on the action.

1 comment:

Quodlibet said...

Fascinating!

My family had one of those lovely music cabinets, and it was filled with old sheet music that had belonged to my two grandmothers, both of whom were accomplished pianists. There was an interesting mix: from one grandmother, a concert pianist and teacher, there was really difficult classical music. REALLY difficult. From the other grandmother, who loved to host informal musical evenings with my amateur violinist grandfather, there was a treasure trove of vocal sheet music, mostly songs from musical theatre. How I loved to look at those elegant cover illustration, with photos of the lastest Broadway and radio heart-throbs. As a teen, I spent hours at the piano sight-reading and singing those lovely old songs.

Thanks for reviving this memory, Elange (and sorry for this LONG comment!). That photo really brought it all back to me.