Some Alice Collectibles

Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by Alice in Wonderland.  After reading it several times, I purchased a 16 album, which was popular at that time.  In fact, record players used to include 16 as a possible speed.  If you didn’t own such a record player, you could buy an adapter, which would cut the 33 1/3 speed in half and also provide a soft space for you to put your 16 on.  Talking Books or Audio Books were produced by the Audio Book Company in St. Joseph, Michigan.  Their popularity spread and many stores carried them.  The idea was to select movie personalities or famous readers such as Marvin Miller to read complete works of literature.  Movie actors had read parts of literary classics on 78 albums in the 1940s with varying degrees of success, but the Audio Book Company wanted complete versions if feasible.  Alice in Wonderland was a Talking Book, which featured the multi-voiced talent, Marvin Miller, who did all the voices except Alice, which was done by Jane Webb.  I remember listening to it many times and following the Alice text as I listened.  In time, I collected different editions of Alice, including foreign editions and I picked up plates, figurines, cups, recordings.  I told my friends about my interest in Alice and they responded by bringing back some splendid items for my collection.  Here are a few items from my Alice collection.  I plan to do separate posts on illustrators of Alice and her changing identity, because Alice in Wonderland is much more than a children’s book; it is an intimate look at a child’s psyche and the twisted adult figures that are reflections of that mind.

The Alice nesting doll

The Alice nesting doll

A Walrus and the Carpenter mug

A Walrus and the Carpenter mug

A Mad Hatter and the Dormouse mug

A Mad Hatter and the Dormouse mug

A White Rabbit cup
A White Rabbit cup

Alice and friends behind glass
Alice and friends behind glass

Alice and the Caterpillar plate

Alice and the Caterpillar plate

The Trial plate

The Trial plate

Bambi Linn as Alice in Eva Le Gallienne's production of Alice in Wonderland on 6 78s.

Bambi Linn as Alice in Eva Le Gallienne’s production of Alice in Wonderland on 6 78s.

Ginger Rogers in Alice in Wonderland on 3 78s.
Ginger Rogers in Alice in Wonderland on 3 78s.

Jane Asher as Alice

Jane Asher as Alice

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland

Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

David Del Tredici's Final Alice with Barbara Hendricks

David Del Tredici’s Final Alice with Barbara Hendricks

David Del Tredici's In Memory of a Summer Day

David Del Tredici’s In Memory of a Summer Day

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

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