Some of you might have seen a gramophone postcard / phonocard, especially the popular British ‘Tuck’s’ gramophone cards, somewhere before. So-called ‘talking cards’ were around shortly after the turn of the century. Of more interest however, is the patent of a Max Thomas from Berlin dating from October 1904 (filed also in the UK in August 1905) about “improvements in phongram cards by combining an ordinary postcard with a (transparent celluloid) phonographic record in such a manner that the improved phonogram card can be sent by post without diminishing the maximum pictorial area of the card”. Other improvements were patented by French inventors.
Above mentioned ‘Tuck’s gramophone card came into circulation in 1929. Probably the best design (song with matching image without covering anything) was patented by Hans Wiesner & Co. (Weco) from Berlin also in 1929. A story on the Wiesner company together with an interesting, well-illustrated article by Dutch collector Jos Hocks was published in “The Postcard Album” issue 26.
Although these gramophone cards come along in postcard size, many appear to had been mailed in envelope. Probably to avaoid any (surface) damage of the disk. Any information on postally used cards prior to c. 1950 is much welcome.
Illustrated gramophone cards / Tuck card cover come from the collection of Jos Hocks, The Netherlands.