New title The Talking Machine News joins The Archive | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 341,248 new pages to The Archive. We have updated five of our existing titles, including special cinema publication The BioscopeWelsh title the Western Mail, Irish titles the Drogheda Independent and the Belfast Telegraph, as well as adding the year 1890 to the Liverpool Echo.

New to The Archive this week is fascinating title the Talking Machine News. The Talking Machine News was established in 1903 as a ‘monthly journal devoted to the interests of users and makers of phonographs, automatic machines, and scientific inventions.’ Its aim was to be ‘expressly and explicitly representative of the thousands of delighted users of one the most remarkable inventions of the Nineteenth Century which for profit, pleasure, or instruction has now become so popular.’

Talking Machine News | 1 May 1903

Each issue contains the latest news regarding phonographs (later better known as gramophones), advertisements for the newest machines, as well as an advice column from the journal’s resident expert. The Talking Machine News maintains a bright and witty tone whilst it educates its readers, its writers being intent on not creating a ‘dry as dust brochure, compiled by a coteries of fogeys for the delectation of handful of fossils, but a bright, informational and up-to-date friend.’

Of particular interest is the journal’s exploration of how singers were now required to adapt themselves to recording their voices in the early twentieth century. Miss Florence Venning, a ballad vocalist, talks in 1903 of how ‘The machine is an education in itself – you must enunciate your words.’

Talking Machine News | 1 August 1903

Also interviewed by the Talking Machine News is Dame Nellie Melba, the Australian operatic soprano who was one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era and the early twentieth century. In its typically jubilant style, the Talking Machine News describes ‘A lady tripping down the marble staircase, laughter in her eyes: maids following with her fur rugs and cloaks.’

Talking Machine News | 1 October 1905

She describes her experience of creating records: “Do I like singing into talking machines? Do you mean the gramophone? Yes – well, no, I hate it until I get there, then I forget everything – everything! I think only of the people who will listen to it, and I feel I am singing to them.”

Her chief pleasure is the letters she has received from people who have listened to records from across the globe, from China, South America and her native Australia, something only made possible by the advent of this new technology. Nellie Melba had a gramophone named after her, which was supplied to none other than the Pope himself, as well as Queen Alexandra and various other members of European royalty.

Talking Machine News | 1 July 1905

The Talking Machine News also lists the new and popular recordings of the day. You can sample some of the era’s most popular music by watching this YouTube video.

New Titles
Years Covered
Talking Machine News 1903-1908
Updated Titles

This week we have updated one of our recently added titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

Years Added
Drogheda Independent 1951-1955, 1960-1980, 1984-1985, 1996-1998
Belfast Telegraph 1946, 1948, 1952-1962
Western Mail 1924-1926, 1948-1951, 1953-1958
Liverpool Echo 1890
The Bioscope 1930

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You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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