The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:46 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:31 pm
Posts: 597
Location: Claremont, NH
Here is one of the Stirling Engines that I built at Thayer School. I could make a much nicer example using the same specification. Power is low, but this example ran at approximately 1100 rpm, so a gear reduction should make this motor very capable of running a gramophone. I have all of the other parts to build my little Frankenphone, finding the time is the real challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:01 am 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3478
Location: Western Canada
Paillard offered three different Phonograph models powered by a Stirling engine....#205,#206 and #207. A #208 was also offered as a rotating window display.

First, are the #205 & #206. Followed by a photo of the only known #207. This photo was taken in the 1970's and was given to me by the late collectors daughter. The chimney is a later addition, but very cool.
Next, the only known #208 (used as a rotating window display and not a Phonograph) which is still in Switzerland.

The Spanish machine video shown in the previous post was made by Franco-Hispano-Suiza Company (circa 1912) for the Spanish market and is also (to date) the only survivor. The engine and other parts were ordered from Paillard.

With the help of many collectors, I have been able to document most of the surviving models around the world.
Some, are just the engine remaining. However, after compiling the serial numbers I was able to get a rough figure on production. Also, improvements to the engine during their short run.
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1912 Franco Hispano Suiza Catalog (7).jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:51 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 711
Location: Italy
Er... How is it that I'm having a dèja-vu about this topic? I seem to recall having read a nearly identical one elsewhere or in another time... :?

When I first saw the Stirling Engine at the University of Turin I was struck and delighted at the same time. Reversible engines are so elegant... Since then I couldn't refrain from considering internal combustion engines like a neolithical heritage, stuff for a retarded civilization. :oops:

Unfortunately this interesting engine was used to annoy undergraduates with boring thermodynamics experiments that would put to sleep a tasmanian devil - like braking the engine by friction, calculate the dissipated heat, and so on. The "funny" thing was that - being Italian universities heavily underfunded by long tradition - the thermometer with which the temperature changes had to be evaluated was such a piece of (r@p that the reading error propagated over figures in such a way that the final results were absolutely meaningless. Afraid of having done some mistake, students used to "retouch" their readings in order to get reasonable figures. But at that point in time I was already stressed and tired enough of the university (getting graduate in Italy is usually more stressful than interesting and/or useful) that I decided to write plain and simple in my essay, with all the calculations etc., that the thermometer was garbage and as a result the figures were more or less random numbers. Not without surprise, the professor appreciated this and I got a positive mention for it... :shock:

Congrats Django, the engine you built looks stunning, I wish I had the skills and the machinery to build engines like that! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:22 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
It's an amazing bit of ingenuity; but I wonder what advantage it was supposed to have over a spring motor... :?

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:03 am 
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Victor IV
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Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
It ran for several hours without winding (or electricity). That was a big deal at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Victor VI
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
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Location: Belmont, North Carolina
I guess the biggest drawback, at least from a logical perspective, was just trying to imagine firing one up in a Victorian house full of gas fixtures that might have had the tiniest of leaks... :? :shock: :o :cry: and no teflon tape...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:45 pm 
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Victor VI
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
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Location: Belmont, North Carolina
On the other hand, I guess they could have been outfitted with popcorn poppers for the ultimate entertainment machine...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3478
Location: Western Canada
Lucius1958 wrote:
It's an amazing bit of ingenuity; but I wonder what advantage it was supposed to have over a spring motor... :?

Bill


Claims of the day made them seem like a music lovers dream machine. However, all were and are wishful thinking. The fact is, after playing four 12" records, the fuel tank gets so hot that the alcohol starts to evaporate out of the breather hole faster than it can burn and runs dry.This and the overall level of internal case heat becomes precarious at best to continue longer.
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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 3:02 am
Posts: 3
I read there are about 15 Paillard #205's in the world, well I just inherited one from my granddad! So perhaps that makes number 16. I was trying to find out what it was and ended up in this forum :) .
We lighted 'her' up yesterday and after some lubrication of the inner parts sure enough music started to pour out of her. Great machine! I really didn't know they were that rare. The mechanics of the machine are in good condition, only the 'exhaust chimney' on the side is not properly fitted anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Stirling Engine powered gramophone
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:23 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 823
What a neat thing, Vince! It's nice when these things can stay in the family. I'm sure we'd all like to see some photos. Welcome to the forum!

Martin


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