Giving musically themed gifts at Christmas has been popular for a long time, as you can see from this 1915 advertisement for Victrolas.
The Victor Talking Machine Company, maker of the Victrola, was founded in 1901 by Eldridge R. Johnson to manufacture machines specifically designed to play the disc records Emile Berliner had patented.
In an effort to increase sales, the company decided to develop Victrolas that looked more like furniture and less like machines in the hopes that people would be more likely to buy. This ad features models that started at $15 for something basic and more deluxe models for $400 –a lot of money in those days. The design change proved to be a shrewd move and the firm added even more models. Sales continued into the 1920’s, so even more people were able to listen to a wide variety of music. A St. Louis Post – Dispatch article from August 9, 1907 says it all: “With a Machine You Can Stay at Home and Hear All the Greatest Singers.”