By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An exhibition on the Rutgers-Camden campus is showcasing the audible heritage of the city, including the former RCA Victor Company.

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Called the “Sounds of Camden,” visitors will be able to check out record players, old-time radios, old-school advertisements, as well as historic RCA Victor recordings.

“To me, this is the silicon valley of the early 20th century,” says theater and concert manager Stefán Örn Arnarson.

(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

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Stefán Örn Arnarson, who also teaches music, sound arts and recording, says the exhibit chronicles the invention of sound technology, like the revolutionary Victor-brand phonograph.

“It was the home stereo of its time,” says Arnarson.

The journey begins with the Victor Talking Machine Company/RCA Victor, a leading manufacturer of phonographs and vinyl records – remember those – all of which were produced in Camden in the early 1900s.

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(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

 

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Arnarson played a record his grandmother acquired in the mid 1920’s of the violinist Fritz Kreisler.

“And the warmth of his violin is something you don’t find in electronic mp3. I loathe mp3 recordings. I mean, you’re missing 90 percent of the music.”

The exhibit in the Steadman Gallery on the Rutgers-Camden campus runs through mid-December.

(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

(credit: Steve Tawa/KYW)

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