Gramophone record-collecting teens found Ottawa Phonograph Society
'My family is unenthusiastic about it, to say the least'
While still relatively uncommon, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine two Stittsville teens collecting vinyl records — it's a trendy medium that's been eating up more and more of the music market in recent years.
But teens collecting 78s and phonographs dating back to the 1910s and 1920s, and even earlier?
Not so much.
I think [people] think we're a little bit weird, [that's] probably the best way to describe it.- Devyn Barrie
But that's exactly what Stittsville teens Devyn Barrie and Connor Boudreau are up to these days, and they've even started a phonograph society for Ottawans who share their unique interest.
So what's it like, having such a niche interest at 17?
"Most of our peers, they don't really know anything about this so they're sort of shocked that we'd be interested in all this. Our families, too, they're also sort of bemused as to why we're into all of this. My father, he can't understand [it]," Boudreau says.
Barrie is a little more succinct.
"I think they think we're a little bit weird, [that's] probably the best way to describe it. ... My family is unenthusiastic about it, to say the least."
'Coming back to life'
But the two teens clearly aren't deterred. They each have their own collections of equipment and records, from old cylinders to even older flat record albums, some of which they keep in a safe because of their historical significance.
It allows you to recreate music exactly the way it was 100 years ago, the way our ancestors listened to it, and there's a lot of spirit in it.- Devyn Barrie
"It allows you to recreate music exactly the way it was 100 years ago, the way our ancestors listened to it, and there's a lot of spirit in it," Barrie says.
The crackles and pops and hisses are all part of the experience, he adds.
"It's just music coming back to life after 100 years. After a while you kind of start to filter it out. We've gotten pretty good at that."
Here's some of their equipment in their collections:
- A Victor Victrola model six, from 1919, picked up at a flea market in Stittsville.
- A Victor Victrola model 11, from 1917.
- Two Edison Amberola 30s, from 1915.
- A Victor Orthophonic Victrola.
- A Columbia Grafonola.