Phonozoic Text Archive, Document 148
Talked Out of a Wife.
Phonoscope, May, 1900, p. 7.
Because a mine agent of considerable wealth, developed the talking-machine
habit, his wife, has brought suit for separation. She alleges cruelty and
asserts that while she could endure her husband's threats and actual violence,
his continual manipulation of the talking-machine made life unbearable. She
says the Board of Health will support her contention when the case comes to
Mr. Collins has not as yet answered the complaint, but he says he
will deny having been cruel to his wife in any manner.
He admitted he had a fondness for talking-machines, but said he
played them seldom, if ever, at night when his wife was asleep.
When they were married, Mrs. Collins, who is a handsome blonde, says
she gave up the stage, intending to build up a happy domestic home. She did her
part, she says. Mr. Collins was a "good, kind and true husband" until he bought
From then on life began to be burdensome. He brought home many
machines and played them continually. The novelty, as far as Mrs. Collins was
concerned, wore off after less than two weeks had elapsed.
But not so with Mr. Collins, according to the complaint. He would
return home every night with at least four new cylinders, and play them over and
over again, until, as it often happened, he would fall asleep beside one of the
machines long after midnight.
It is charged he reduced his wife's allowance for household expenses
simply to purchase more machine supplies. She threatened to leave him last
January and return to the stage. He promised to be good, and was good, as
stated in the complaint, for two weeks. Then he brought home a new machine.
During the trouble which happened immediately after his arrival,
Mrs. Collins says she was struck several times by her husband's "clinched fist."
And all this took place before several guests, it is alleged, who
had been invited to a dinner. The defendant is also accused of tearing his
wife's clothing from her body, until she was not only humiliated, but ashamed.
She left him that night. The guests who saw the affair have all
expressed themselves as willing to be witnesses.
Mrs. Collins also wants alimony and the custody of her children.
Mr. Collins says he will fight the suit.