The Earliest Recording in the Collection
Recorded music became generally available to those who could afford it after 1900. Wind up Victrolas recorded and reproduced sound mechanically for decades before electronics became available. The result was a thin sound with limited dynamic range. There are remnants of several of these machines at the Knott house.
The oldest recording found so far in the Knott collection is Victor Black Label 17143, an instrumental from 1911.
The Neapolitan Trio (1911)
A: The Sweetest Story Ever Told
B: Simple Confession
These sentimental hymn-like tunes seem remote to modern ears but were quite popular at the time. I wonder if Luella ever performed them herself or played along with the recordings. Since recordings tend to be reproduced as long as they sell, we have no indication when this disk joined the collection at the Knott House.
Achive.org has a scratch free transcription of this record. This is how it would have sounded with a new needle the first time it was played.