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.
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.
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.
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.
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