Another Beyond-the-Box Program of
Voices of Old Technology - A Museum in the Making
Perspectives on Our History Through Technology

That Music We Just Can't Forget

Exhibit Catalog

Fall 2005
Benjamin Rosenthal Library / Queens College - CUNY
Barham Rotunda - Standalone case on right side
and 2nd Floor display cases (outside RO 230 / Auditorium)

The mission of Voices of Old Technology - A Museum in the Making is to enhance the educational experience at Queens College through an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of technology development.    

To accomplish this, Voices of Old Technology collects, preserves, documents, displays and interprets selected technologies and related materials.  The collection emphasizes, but is not limited to, office and educational technology. Related items collected from Queens College,  CUNY and local sources highlight the history of the College, the University and the community as well.  Our exhibit catalogs are designed for the web, and a click on a catalog image provides an enlargement.

Items have been selected and displayed to help the visitor explore themes common to all our exhibits, such as:

[More About Voices of Old Technology] [Exhibits Archive]

This exhibit starts in the standalone case on the right in the Barham Rotunda of the Rosenthal Library, and continues to the display cases outside Rosenthal 230, the auditorium on the 2nd floor of the Library.  To get to the 2nd floor display cases, go to the Library's Cafe area and take the elevator or the stairs down to the 2nd floor.

Upstairs: Far Right - Standalone Display Case

For many of us, our favorite music is the music we grew up with - the music itself, the artists, the special quality of the instruments and devices that played it, and the related defining / important moments of our lives.  The distinctive sound of … (whatever it was) just can't be beat!

In this exhibit, we share images of different generations enjoying their music.  Many of these images are from the QC yearbook The Silhouette - throughout the College's history.  We highlight some of the people, as well as the instruments, devices, and gadgets.  We hope you enjoy our exhibit.  

Child's Hand Crank Record Player
White painted wood / without arm
Duck decals on front

Golden Books Record

Piano Roll
For a player piano - holes are punched in the paper role and the role is placed in the player piano, in order to create the music for the one song on that role.  The part you see is just the unpunched beginning of the role.  A digital version of a player piano was on the main floor of the Student Union for many years --- until sometime in Fall 2004. It was angled in a way that when you heard it you looked to see who was playing it --- and sometimes one of our students was!

Mr. Holland's Opus - DVD
Movie about a high school music teacher who develops a real committment to his students, to his son who has a severe hearing loss, and to their
music education.

Photo of a metal identification plate from a RCA Victor device
Actual size much smaller.

Image of Newborn Babies With Headphones
Image and Story Summary from - September 8, 2005
About a project in Kosice, in the Slovak Republic.

KOSICE, Slovakia (AFP) - One and Two-day-old newborn babies listen to music with headphones at the 1st Private Hospital in Kosice-Saca. The experimental program that started approximately two years ago, is based on using musical therapy in improving the quality of carring for the newborns shortly after birth.(AFP/Joe Klamar)

Selections from the full article on

KOSICE, Slovakia (AFP) - On their little heads, the newborns in the maternity ward are wearing stereo headphones and their tiny hands seem to move to the rhythm of the music.

From the first hours of their lives, the babies are tuned into Mozart at the Kosica-Saca hospital in eastern Slovakia.

This is no experiment in producing a generation of musical geniuses.

The infants are listening to the classical composer to stimulate their mental and physical functions thanks to the benefits of music therapy.

Slavka Viragova, the doctor in charge of the hospital's maternity unit,... launched the music project...  "In general, music therapy helps a baby to gain weight, get rid of stress and handle pain better," she said.

 "It has been found that Mozart's music has a very good effect on the development of the intelligence quotient (IQ)," she said.

At the hospital, the newborns listen five or six times a day to a 10-minute piece of music consisting of either one of Mozart's classical works, a piano composition by French painist Richard Clayderman, a mix of natural forest sounds or some other soothing music.

"The music is very soft and relaxing. Its intensity is between 30 to 50 decibels which can be compared with the sound of normal footsteps or the opening of a door," Viragova said.

Most of the time the music is played in the entire room and also helps relieve the stress of the nurses, caring for 20 to 30 babies in the nursery.

Downstairs: Standalone Case on Left

Magnus Jewel Chord Organ
With booklet Your Favorites - for the Magnus Jewel Chord Organ, Book # 199, 1964.
Great Adventure sticker on front

Fetal Microphone
Part of a set that lets parents play music to their baby-to-be,  as well as listen. 

A Parent's Guide to Video and Audio Casettes for Children - Andrea E. Cascardi, Warner Books, 1987.
New technologies often cause concerns for parents, and guides pop up to help.

Kids' Voices - Young People Talk About Music, Music Educators National Conference (MENC), 1996.

Science Fair AM/FM Radio Kit - Radio Shack - cat no. 28-244
Kits designed to encourage creativity.

Child's Casette Tape Player
Raised image of dinosaur on front, with the word Dinosaur in big letters.

Stereo Headphones
Color and styling appear to be for child.

Super Dolby Surround Sound Casette Deck - NIC
Colorful; with special disc on top

Musical Instruments
ithout a mallet)
Music Maker Video Jam CD  - Magix / Crown Jewel Series

Tucky AM/FM Radio
Retro look

Micro Jammers
Rhythm maker

Child's Portable Cassette Player / Fisher-Price, 1980

Disney Tunes Kid Chips - The Little Mermaid
For use with Kid Chips Music Player

Snoopy gift bag
- image of
Schroeder at the

Downstairs: Left Side /Wall Mounted Display Case

Queens College - The Arts
Brochure with color image on cover of pianist, piano and organ in Lefrak Concert Hall

1996 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
MUSIC - 2 page spread

1955 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Music / dancing in I Building
Where is that jukebox now???  We've seen references to a "Victrola" that was in I Building much earlier in the College's history, and to a rumor that it may have been removed since come students were cutting classes to dance to its wonderful tones; we'd love to have that old Victrola too!

1995 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Karaoke night sponsored by Chinese Students Association, with singing in Chinese and English.

General Electric (GE)
These look big now.
GE Stereo AM/FM/FM Stereo Headset Radio

GE Stereo Casette Player
Song Maker by Rhapsody - Programmable Electronic Keyboard

1991 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Bells Signal New Era at College
Bells dedicated in new Rosenthal Library.  Each bell named and special meaning described.

2003 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Lyrics, music and history of Blue and Silver, the QC Alma Mater.

1945 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
QC band on campus road?

Fall 1945 - QC Bulletin of Extension Courses and Other Community Activities
QC Choral Society - Photo and information

WQMC Radio - ad from The Knight News - September 2005
See for more info about the QC radio station.

Fall 1945 - QC Bulletin of Extension Courses and Other Community Activities
Campus Map - shows that F Building (no longer in existence) was also known as Stephen Foster Hall, and was the home of the Music Department.

1965 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
On campus - students with a variety of instruments, including a washboard and an air horn.

What determines whether or not something can be a musical instrument? As we see in the photo above, this washboard can be more than an out-of-place laundry item.  Did you ever hear anyone play the spoons, or drinking glasses filled with different levels of water?

The Typewriter - Sheet Music
Leroy Anderson composed The Typewriter, as well as The Piano Tuner and The Syncopated Clock.  All highlight in a fun way some of the sounds related to their titles, and have been very popular with school orchestras.

Global Beat - New York Public Library
Multi-cultural book list.  According to the NYPL web site, this is updated every several years.  We have included it here because of the concept of "global BEAT" and the introduction, which talks about listening to the BEAT of different cultures.

People - A Musical Celebration of Diversity
Audio casette

High Power Video/Audio Tape Eraser / Realistic - Radio Shack cat no 44-233
What if we don't want that recording anymore?  We want that (whatever - in whatever format) to be re-writeable - and we want to be sure everything of the old is completely gone.  Here's one answer.

Announcement of on-campus Benefit Concert to help victims of Hurricane Katrina
- September 14, 2005
Hosted by students of Aaron Copland School of Music

The New Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and Casettes
Edward Greenfield, Robert Layton and Ivan March, Penguin, 1989

The Compact Disc Book - A Complete Guide to the Digital Sound of the Future
Bryan Brewer and Ed Key, 1987

The Slow Death of CDs - AM/New York, 8/30/2005
"...Compact discs are less relevant..." and "...The label [Warner Bros. Records Inc] expects the Sun to be the first of many artists to embrace a no-CD strategy..."

Downstairs: Right Side /Wall Mounted Display Case

1991 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Four students seated in classroom, with their instruments and music.

1962 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Teen artist Miss Yoka Matsuda was the featured soloist with the QC Orchestral Society.

Marian Anderson to Give Recital in Flushing January 30th, NY Times - Historical Database on the web, December 11, 1964
Concert to be in Colden Center.

Marian Anderson - He's Got the Whole World in His Hands / Spirituals, Music CD
We played excerpts from this in one of the Black History Month programs at the College in February 2005.

1991 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Queens Mourns Loss of Aaron Copland
...In the Fall of 1981, Queens College took the unprecedented step of naming their School of Music in honor of Copland, the first time a living composer has been paid tribute in such a manner.  Earlier that year, Copland wsa honored with a Doctor of Human Letters at the College's annual commencement...
Voices of the Civil Rights Movement - Black American Freedom Songs / 1960 - 1966
Smithsonian Folkways
CD Boxed Set

We played excerpts from this set in one of the Black History Month programs at the College in February 2005.

1984 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
(top) Student playing guitar - inside, leg on chair

1983 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
(bot) photo of "one of the many bands that appear in the cellar..."

The Cellar was in the basement of the Student Union and was very popular.

1995 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
El Mariachi (almost) at Queens College
"The Alliance of Latin American Students sponsored a Mariachi party and dance in May 1995 to help students through their final exams."

1968 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
(right) Student sitting on ground, back against one of the white brick buildings, playing the guitar.

Rhymin Simon Joins Seinfeld - Queens Tribune, August 18-24, 2005
Queens College alums Paul Simon and Jerry Seinfeld team up for LA concert in September 2005.

Yamaha PortaSound PSS-130 Keyboard

Simon and Garfunkle's Greatest Hits
- Music CD
Paul Simon is a QC alum.

1994 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Story about Samuel and Ethel Lefrak's donation to QC's Aaron Copland School of Music.

Computers and Music - 2nd edition
R. A. Penfold, PC Publishing

QC Professor Hubert Howe
1984 QC Silhouette (yearbook) - photo and blurb about Professor Howe - from the School of Music pages
...(his) area of specialization is in the computer synthesis of electronic music... Director of the Electronic Music Studio in Karol Rathaus Hall...
New York Times - Historical Database on the web - August 19, 1989
Professor Howe named Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music

Program Notes to Compositions - Web notes by Professor Howe -
Excerpts from his notes on Computer Variations - 1967 - 1968, "... my first acknowledged computer piece..."   Discusses the computers and the computer languages and the storage media of the time.  This piece was written for QC's XDS Sigma-7 computer, the computer used at the time for academic work at QC.
Robert Moog - QC Alumnus
Photo of a Photo of Robert Moog with one of his sythesizers / and an actual synthesizer - as they appeared in the Alumni Exhibit Cases on the first floor of Jefferson Hall for a few years prior to his death in August 2005.

New York Times - Historical Database on the web - August 23, 2005
Robert Moog Dies at 71 - Created a Synthesizer That Revolutionized Music
1965 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Photo of French Horn player

1993 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Full page picture of organ and piano in Lefrak Hall of Aaron Copland School of Music, with details about the extraordinary "... 27 foot tall... 18000 pund..." pipe organ.

1996 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Photo of Archbishop Molloy Pipe and Drum Band marching at Commencement.

The Sting - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - audio CD
Featuring the Music of Scott Joplin / Music composed and adapted by Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch is a QC alum.

Carole King - Her Greatest Hits
- audio CD
Carole King is a QC alum.

Tony Bennett
I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett - 8-track tape

Queens Tribune - ad / Sept 2005
Showing Tony Bennett reading the issue They Came From Queens / Feb xx - March -, 2005

Singer Tony Bennett, born
Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria,
was one of the people highlighted in the music section of the issue.  A photo of Tony Bennett in a plane behind D and E Buildings during an Armed Forces Day celebration here appeared in our Queens in Flight... exhibit in Fall 2004.  In QC's Louis Armstrong House, there is a portrait of Armstrong painted and given to him by his friend Tony Bennett.
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong - The Great Satchmo - audio CD
Armstrong's tape collection was reel-to-reel.  See a photo of him with his tape recorder in QC's Louis Armstrong Archives.

Ticket for the December 3, 1998 Event - Save America's Treasures / Colden Auditorium
Initiative to Save America's Treasures and Preserve the Louis Armstrong House and Archives
Stars of the event included First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Wynton Marsalis, an impressive number of jazz greats, and students from the local Louis Armstrong Middle School.

Louis Armstrong House Opens to the Public - Ribbon Cutting October 15, 2003
The Louis Armstrong House is in Corona.  One of the many ways this long awaited and exciting event was announced by Queens College's Louis Armstrong House and Archives.

A photo of Louis Armstrong and his group (circa late 1930s) getting a sendoff at the steps of a small plane
(photo courtesy Armstrong Archives) was in our Queens in Flight exhibit in Fall 2004.
1968 QC Silhouette (yearbook)
Photo of Ravi Shankar at Queens College playing the Sitar.

Downstairs: Standalone Case on Right


Decca Personality Series Record / Anniversary Song - Al Jolson / 23714 B - 78 rpm

Mandolino Italiano - 8 track tape

Radio Shack - Pocket AM/ FM Radio / 12-222

iPod Collage
Images of the original iPod, the Shuffle, the Mini. the Photo (30 GB and 60 GB).

Ad for iTunes and Cingular - "First Phone With iTunes"

National Guard promotion included in packet handed out on campus in September 2005 -
tells how to get 3 free iTunes

Ad from AFT (American Federation of Teachers) paper -
popular iPod image with invitation to complete a survey on the AFT union site for a chance to win a free iPod

ProTech AM-FM Radio Receiver

When we think of Salton, some of us think of Salton Hot Trays for entertaining.  The company also has other interests.
Wet Tunes 3 - Shower Radio
We need to have our music everywhere!

Beachcomber Radio - with tan timer, shoulder strap, and compartment.
FM Radio - fits entirely on ear.

What a coup! It became cool to go small and quiet, instead of big and loud, and it also became easy and popular to take it with you anwhere.  According to Sony's website,
"...The first model, 'TPS-L2', was introduced on July 1st, 1979..."  This looks big now...
Walkman batteries - best if used by January 2002
Different technologies require specialized high-performance batteries.  From batteries specifically for the Walkman, now we have digital camera batteries.
Energizer Bunny
Batteries are critical to keeping so many things going and going and going....

QC Summerfest / Outdoor program of Colden Center - July 31, 2005
Ad for Summerfest - Latin Jazz, with vendors on the Quad, and opportunities to see special shows at college museums and galleries - July 31, 2005.
Wristband (blue) issued to QC staff who came to Summerfest

Lucite Music Box
(see it work - wind it up underneath)
Collectors of musical boxes show a wide variety of sizes of musical boxes.  Some are the size of pianos, some the size of large record players.  See the web pages of The Musical Box Society for more on these devices.

DiscKit - by Discwasher, Inc.
Washing your records this way is to help ensure quality sound.

Le-Bo 4-in-One 8-track Cleaner
Clean all parts of your 8-track player this way to ensure quality sound.

Aiwa Stereo Turntable
Note that controls are all on front.  Note the connector for other modules of the unit.
45 rpm Record with converter in center for use with more common spindle
Heart of My Heart - Coral Recors
Record Rack for 45 rpm and other small records
Protect your records so they don't scratch.
45 rpm Record with United Artists Label
Aren't they a movie theatre company?

45 rpm Record with 20th Century Label
Don't they make movies?

Recording of Jan Pearce at the Hillcrest Jewish Center
Yellow record - not a 45.
The Greatest Hits of Tommy James and the Shondells - audio CD
Image on the cover is of a portable record player.

Aaron Copland School of Music Calendar - Fall 2005
The School of Music always has wonderful events going on - including lunch time concerts, and many of these events are free.

CD to Casette Adapter - Radio Shack - #12-1999
Use this if you have a CD player and want to have it play through your casette player.  But if you have a casette and want to play it through you new CD player, ????

Karaoke machine - SMT18

CD-R package wrapper


Magnetic Recording tape
Cassette Tape Splicer - Robins

Kodak Carousel Sound Synchronizer - Model 3
Create a multimedia show by connecting old devices not made to operate together.  Connect your carousel slide projector to your tape recorder.

Columbia Phonograph Company Cylinder Record
Music Cylinder record and protective case
Name of recording is on the lip of the cylinder.  Dictaphone had a similar device and recording cylinder that was for dictatation.

Stereo Headphones as giveaways from airlines
When cheep headphones became giveaways, the airlines don't have the expense of maintaining, cleaning and repacking.
Compliments of Song [Delta Song]
Earbuds - no headset. Song name is only on plastic wrapper. Single connector, compatible with many home devices.

Over-the-ear model - no headset. Delta name is only on earpieces. Specialized 2-prong connector.

Three-Quarter Size Acoustic Guitar
- size often used by children
Missing a string, but still beautiful.  Would you toss it?

Pan-American Trumpet

This Pan American trumpet was found in a neighborhood trash can about a mile away in 2004.  It is stenciled (and partly stickered) QUEENS COLLEGE on the bell, and has other beautiful stenciling.  We understand that it's a model for schools, and we think it is probably from the early 1940s.  It doesn't have a mouthpiece or the lyre (the small music stand that attaches to it for marching band and similar use), the valves stick a little, and its case is a little ratty.  Case stenciled Queens College / Music Department.  Would you toss the case? The trumpet?

Stereo Casette Recorder - Stereo Casette Player  - Sanyo
Dual Casette Tape Recorder
Large and heavy but considered portable - has a handle on top.  You could copy from one casette tape to another using this.

Music Man - audio CD
Fun show and movie.  Major exageration, but it still makes us think about what's important in the teaching of ANYTHING.

Memo Pad with image of piano on sides
What happens to companies like Steinway Pianos (of Queens) when the radio and other ways of playing music in the home become popular?  How do companies adapt?

Firestone Tires and Firestone Radios - and Firestone Theater and so on...  Do you see the connection?  We've seen old ads for Firestone tires, where they also advertised car radios and other items for cars.  They didn't make the radios themselves, but they were apparantly made for Firestone.

Horn -
round shape, squeeze bulb missing

The Showcase of Musical Instruments - Felippo Bonanni / Illustrations from the 1723 Gabinetto Armonico, with new Introduction and Captions by Frank Ll. Harrison and Joan Rimmer,
Dover, 1964.

Converters to plug multiple devices into one outlet - 2 types

Audio Casettes
Glenn Miller

Best of the Big Band Era - 1940

Aretha Franklin
CD-ROM - for computer based instruction
Instant Play Guitar

Piano and Keyboard Workshop

Voices of Old Technology - A Museum in the Making

Y2K Bug Stuffed Animal

Curator: Syd Lefkoe
Member, Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)
Member, Oral History Association

Curatorial and Aquisitions Assistance by:

Jeff Castellan, Ellen Rondot, and Nancy Williams

Our "Museum in the Making" is not an official museum of the College. 
Still in the "startup" stage, it is a
Member, American Association of Museums (AAM)

Photos in the catalog and exhibit are by Syd Lefkoe and Ellen Rondot

Technology and Web Accessibility for People with Disabilities
CUNY's Statement on Accessibility
Web Site of the CUNY University Faculty Senate Committee on Disabilities Issues 

Bobby WorldWide Approved 508

© copyright 2005 by Syd Lefkoe

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