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 trial.

            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 a talking-machine.

            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.