Watchtower Vertical Phonograph

by Big Tex 9 Replies latest social current

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    I remember hearing stories about how the Witnesses would use phonographs in service (was this in the 1930's or 1940s?) rather than actually talking to the person, but I had never seen a picture of one until now. I didn't know the mechanics of how it worked until I read this description:

    It was held vertically and when the lid was put down the needle would go down and start playing the record. The center disk screws on to hold the record tightly in place for carrying. The side drawer must be closed and once the crank is resecured as the handle everything was locked up.

    Seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to avoid actually talking to the householder and this thing must have weighed a ton. By the way, if you have one now might be a good time to dust it off and put it up for auction.

  • GentlyFeral

    From ebay ad:

    Our record player had Watchtower Phonograph needles (almost a full pack of 100)

    Sounds like the brothers were shying away from field service way back in Da Judge's day.


  • Dia

    They have gotten so very much better at creating robots since those days.

  • Matty

    I still have one with a few Rutherford records. They really are marvels of compactness.

    Imagine putting a record on a doorstep for the householder to hear an old fart talk about the resurrection! Strange times!

  • homejah

    There are also transciption records of Rutherford's talks. Those are more larger than the regular Rutherford record and used in those sound cars. Has anyone has one of those transcription records?

  • coffee_black

    I used to have one that belonged to my grandparents....and some of the records.


  • Farkel

    The phonograph campaign was part of an evolution started from a WT Court Case where the WTS claimed JWs were ministers. Several rank and file dubs were called to the stand and asked simple Bible questions, like locating the book of Matthew in the Bible; I mean these were REALLY simple questions. The dubs couldn't answer any of them and it was a major embarrassment for Rutherford & Co.

    JWs at that time had NO door-to-door mesage, only "Testimony Cards" which contained the message and which the publishers handed to the householders to read. Keep in mind that Rutherford wasn't interested in informed Bible ministers, he was interested in book sellers.

    The phonograph was the replacement for the Testimony Card and still required only enough education to turn it on, ask for money, and deliver books.

    The Society made about a 300% profit on every phonograph they sold and Rutherford loved the program. When a brother introduced a new model of the phonograph that was better and considerably cheaper than the one being used, Rutherford rejected the idea.

    It was because of the abysmal ignorance of dubs during the time of Rutherford that Nathan Knorr introduced the Theocratic Ministry Screwal and other educational programs. Now, about 70 years later with all that education, dubs are so well-educated, they all know almost 25 Bible verses by heart.

    Of course, that campaign was Bible-Based(tm) and was pre-approved by Jesus before implementation.


  • processor

    Farkel, that is interesting. Any sources for that?

  • Farkel

    :Farkel, that is interesting. Any sources for that?

    Professor Ed Gruss in one of his books, methinks. It's been a while since I read the source citings.


  • homejah

    Are the yellow labeled records are for field service and the blue labeled ones for the radio stations and transcription trucks?

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