One Day, Kid, Your Car Will Have a Built-In Phonograph

Click on the image above to view a full-sized version of this circa 1927 photograph from the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive.

Technology certainly has changed, hasn’t it? I obtained a new car last week and it doesn’t even have an “old fashioned” CD player. Instead, it has a USB connector to plug in a flash drive, an iPod, or any other device that plays music through a USB connector. Fidelity is great through the 10-speaker Bose stereo that also includes AM, FM, and SiriusXM radio. I bet it sounds better than the above phonograph.

Many new cars now have the same or similar “infotainment” systems. I now carry about 14,000 MP3 music files in my auto. I suspect the folks in the above photograph would be envious of the technology we all now enjoy.



I seem to recall that in the 1950’s/60’s you could buy a record player to mount under the dash of your car. I often wondered how well they worked while driving, especially if the road was a bit rough.


I miss my 6 CD player. I love the listen on Audio books when I travel and now I can’t easily do that while driving.


    I have copied audio books to a flash drive and listen to them in the automobile. Most autos manufactured in the past six or eight years have audio input connectors or USB connectors that will play audio through the auto’s stereo system. I know that others copy audio books to iPods or other MP3 players, cell phones, or tablet computers. Most of these devices can play through an auto’s stereo system either by connecting a cable to the device’s headphone jack or by Bluetooth wireless.


While I too, enjoy all of the more modern entertainment systems built into our autos, I can’t help but wonder if some of the “brain cluttering” that comes with such distractions will someday be proven to be a strong factor in the increasing accident rates we tolerate. Just a thought that recurrs.


Years ago I thought that, if only I could keep the needle arm from bouncing around on the record, I could put a record player in vehicles and make a fortune. I recently bought a new car and it has all the “goodies” including a CD player. So, all the CD’s that I vowed never to buy, can still be used,


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