History Bites: Now it Can Be Told—the Founding of Little Wonder Records with Merle Sprinzen Tessier
February 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
For this month’s History Bites program, Merle Sprinzen Tessier will present a lunchtime talk on the history of Little Wonder Records.
In 1914, three companies tightly controlled all of the patents governing the recorded music industry: Edison, Columbia and Victor. Record prices were kept high and well beyond the means of ordinary people. Then along comes the Little Wonder Records and this monopoly was broken. Millions of these records were sold. But where did these records come from? How was it possible for this company to exist? Merle Tessier will share her research on the history of Little Wonder records – how the label came to be, the intrigue of its finances, and its importance in the history of recorded sound – and will play us samples from its diverse music offerings.
Merle Tessier has spent more than twenty years as the “Little Wonder detective,” uncovering the never-before-known history of Little Wonder records. She has amassed the world’s most-complete collection of these records and their offshoots, the Bubble Books. All this can be viewed on her website, www.littlewonderrecords.com. In addition to this work, Tessier is a private investor and managing director of Golden Seeds, an early-stage investment firm focused on women-led companies. She earned her PhD from Harvard University in sociology and social psychology while a National Science Foundation Fellow and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/ Anthropology, highest honors, from Oberlin College. She lives and works in New York City and Long Island.
This event is free. Feel free to bring a bag lunch. We will also provide snacks.