The new Musée des ondes Emile Berliner exhibits heritage of the sound industry

The Musé des ondes Emile Berliner is a Montreal museum dedicated to the sound industry. The Museum is located in the Saint-Henri district, in the old RCA Victor factory on Lacasse Street, an industrial complex that was created in 1908 by Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone and the record under the name of the Berliner Gramophone company. During the 1940’s the factory employed 3500 workers producing records, sound recordings, furniture and related products. RCA Victor moved from this factory building in the 1970’s.

The Museum’s inaugural exhibition, from Gramophone to the Satellite opened on 24 January 1996, and presents some examples of early 20th century gramophones made in Montreal. It also included a rare example of a 1935 RCA Victor model D22-1 Superheterodyne, donated by the family of the Montreal pianist Alfred La Liberté (1882 – 1952). The Museum’s exhibition also includes a variety of records, radios, televisions and ephemera, mostly from the Berliner Gramophone Company, Victor Talking Machine, RCA Victor, but also from other companies. In addition, it exhibits photographs of the workers in the factory.

Museum volunteers offer tours of the collection. Some of the phonographs on display are in working condition and on request, volunteers will play period records on appropriate equipment. So you may listen to a Fox Trot on a 1920 gramophone or to a Tango on a gramophone from 1930.

Members of the Museum are informed of activities, new acquisitions and new research through our newsletter “His Master Voice”, published in French and English four times a year. Since its opening, the Museum has received important donations of various objects dated between 1900 and 1960. The Museum is a non-profit organization directed by a nine member board of trustees.

The Museum is situated at 1050 Lacasse in Montreal (5 minutes from the Place Saint-Henri Metro station). The opening hours are 2pm to 5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. You may reach us by phone at (514) 932-9663 or by mail at 1050 Lacasse, suite 220, Montreal, H4C 2Z3.

[Emile Berliner] [The Museum Website –]

* Photograph of a Berliner Gramophone model A (1901) and Nipper the dog, courtesy of the Musée des ondes Emile Berliner.