At a recent World War II show at the Charlotte History Museum, one person had a portable gramophone — a Columbia Grafonola. It operates just on wind-up power. The volume is controlled by the baffles behind the turntable. The most interesting part was the part below — the reproducer. Its tracks the grooves in the record and through the clear chamber of the reproducer out the tone arm. The record that was playing was “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby. Trivia question: What’s on the flip side of “White Christmas”? “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
I first saw this years ago. It’s still funny.
This article from the NY Times about the Johnny Astro, Online Shopper: A Toy That Sends Grown Men Into Orbit, got me thinking about great toys when I was growing up.
Here’s the Johnny Astro (from johnnyastro.com)
But there’s also the Mattel V-rrom (from toyadz.com)
And many others that I’ve forgotten.