The Califone 1400 Series record players have always held a special place in my heart because they were my first experience with phonographs. This particular model that I’ve been working on for Project Califone happens to come from the school system where I grew up (albeit from a different location); my grandmother paid only a song when she bought it for me twenty-some-odd years ago while browsing yard sales. These models were once ubiquitous in classrooms in the US, but have slowly faded from view as CD became the standard format for educational material in the mid-late 90s. In this video, I relay my Califone story and why the brand has always stood out in my mind–as well as why teachers started counting heads before leaving the classroom during a fire drill!
Footage from “In Case of Fire” (1959)