Sunday, July 17, 2016

Interesting Vintage Photos of HMV's Sound-Isolating Vinyl Listening Booths from the 1950s

People used to go to record stores and listen to records in a "listening booth"... quite an event!

At His Master’s Voice (HMV), customers could buy records and record players, but also listen to the latest songs.

In the 1950s, HMV introduced special sound-isolating booths where customers could sample new sounds without having to wear headphones. They also had enough room to squeeze in a close friend or two.

Customers in listening booths at an HMV record shop, London, 20th June 1958. (Bert Hardy Advertising Archive/Getty Images)


A customer listens to the latest record releases at a listening booth in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. The records are played on a gramophone attached to each booth and a sign specifies the post as being for 33 and 45 RPM records only. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Customers listen to the latest record releases at a listening booth in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Customers listen to the latest record releases at listening booths in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A customer enjoys a record at the press button listening panel in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. The huge youth market was attracted by new-type sound-proof listening booths. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Customers listen to the latest record releases at a listening booth in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A man and woman listen to the latest record releases at a listening booth in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Customers listen to the latest record releases at a listening booth in the HMV shop at 363 Oxford Street, London, 24th November 1955. The records are being played on gramophones attached to each booth. (John Drysdale/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Two teenage girls listen to a record played on an in-store phonograph in London, Oct. 22, 1956. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection / CORBIS)

(via Mashable/Retronaut)

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