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Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=38535
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Author:  DaveY [ Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

My parents have given me an portable gramophone they have had for years. I am about to do a bit of work on it but have been unable to find any history. Does anyone have a date of production or any history on this one?
Thanks for your time, my first post on the forum.

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Author:  VanEpsFan1914 [ Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Welcome aboard, Dave. Great little gramophone!

The shape of the brake lever makes me think it's Swiss made. Someone else will know more, I hope. It certainly is made in Europe.

The soundbox marked "Electric" puts production date after 1925. They used to record with a giant acoustic horn, but switched to a microphone in 1925 so I guess the machine is from around the early 1930s. Ought to sound remarkable if you restore it--which, fortunately, is easy.

Author:  epigramophone [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Interesting machine. The soundbox is a copy of the HMV No.4 and the lid stay is similar to that of the HMV101 portable.

The speed control could be Garrard (you will find out when you inspect the motor) and the old fashioned external rim brake remained in trade supplier's catalogues for years.

A light clean seems to be all that is necessary to restore it's smart appearance.

Author:  travisgreyfox [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Cool little machine. I love the purple turntable felt.

Author:  DaveY [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Thank you to everyone for your feedback!
I will post a photo of the motor when I inspect it. I am wondering if it is Swiss made as VanEpsFan suggested.

Author:  vansteem78 [ Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Nice machine and like someone stated just needs a little cleaning. Maybe under the hood some oil or grease. I would post it under English and European machines you might find out more? Every time I see a machine ending in phon I always think German or European but I know little except that I really like it. Neil

Author:  VanEpsFan1914 [ Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

I would change out the aging mica diaphragm and the rubber gaskets. You will need to read up on that, but it's a very simple process.

This doubles the fidelity and makes the records last a long time.

Beautiful phonograph and we're all curious what, exactly, IS an Osiphon?

Author:  DaveY [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Hello,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am about to replace the mica (I have replaced one before on a Pathé but this one certainly needs it). Once I have some time I will check the motor - it also needs some work since the speed is very inconsistent. I have altered and cleaned the governor on a Pathé but this may be the first time I need to clean and grease and/or replace the spring. Thankfully there are a lot of resources online and as my first post to this forum it is certainly a very friendly and helpful community.

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Hello Davey and welcome. In my opinion you have one of the many generic portables produced over the decades with a mix & match of catalogue parts, mostly of Swiss origin. Although I could of course be wrong, the "Osiphon" brand sounds to me like a casual brand with no pedigree and I suppose you won't find many news about it.

These generic portables ranged from terribly lame ones (and also awful to listen to) to very interesting and somehow desirable machines, although very rarely "collectable" in strict terms. Quite obviously I also own one, which just as yours was part of my family heritage.

Your Osiphon definitely falls in the "top" category mentioned above. As other fellows already remarked, the purple felt is unusual and charming. The soundbox, despite being in turn of a generic off-brand type, is good looking and has some intriguing lettering and design. I especially like how the borders of the turntable were machined into that octagon-section angled shape. The picture isn't clear enough but it also seems to be equipped with some kind of auto-brake, which despite being a quite useless gizmo, it's still a nice add-on and pretty much uncommon in these kind of portables.

I suggest you first clean and lubricate very accurately the motor before thinking about opening the spring barrel.

Enjoy your gramophone! 8-)

Author:  DaveY [ Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Portable Osiphon Gramophone - looking for any history

Hello Marco,

Thanks for the information - I agree with your thoughts on the Osiphon and it's origin. I will give it a good lubrication prior to attempting anything with the spring box as well.

I have just taken it apart and it seems to be working fine - except when the felt pad hits the flange to regulate the speed on the governor it is acting like a brake and stops it - seems to only want a single speed. I am wondering if I should replace the degraded felt with leather and oil it so it creates less friction. I am thinking it is either that or the spring isn't winding enough/creating enough torque?

I will include some more photos for you or anyone else interested. Thanks again for any information/suggestions.
David

PS The only marking on the motor casing: W 19 6 BS

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