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 Post subject: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:02 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:22 am
Posts: 366
Anyone know more about this strange machine ? It is made of sheet steel and weighs in at an incredible 30lbs (over two stone). It is very sturdily made in a utilitarian way and seems almost (literally? ) bomb proof. It was made by Portogram Radio Electrical Industries of London SW16. I assumed it was made for the forces in the war but looking up the company on the net reveals they only formed in December'44 so it could only have been made for the last few months of the war.
Was it made as a contract for the armed forces to their spec. or could the public buy it as well ?
Could it have been produced post war to mark Churchill's contribution to victory and was meant for a Cold war bunker when all the power stations had been blown up ???
Another strange thing is that despite is robustness and 12 inch turntable is is fitted with a tiny Garrard 20 single spring motor which seems somewhat puny for a solid lump of machine like this.

Any info gratefully received !!


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:24 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 pm
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Location: Made it, Ma ! Top of the world !
Gramtastic wrote:
Anyone know more about this strange machine ? It is made of sheet steel and weighs in at an incredible 30lbs (over two stone). It is very sturdily made in a utilitarian way and seems almost (literally? ) bomb proof. It was made by Portogram Radio Electrical Industries of London SW16. I assumed it was made for the forces in the war but looking up the company on the net reveals they only formed in December'44 so it could only have been made for the last few months of the war.
Was it made as a contract for the armed forces to their spec. or could the public buy it as well ?
Could it have been produced post war to mark Churchill's contribution to victory and was meant for a Cold war bunker when all the power stations had been blown up ???
Another strange thing is that despite is robustness and 12 inch turntable is is fitted with a tiny Garrard 20 single spring motor which seems somewhat puny for a solid lump of machine like this.

Any info gratefully received !!


Sorry if this is irrelevant - but I found this link.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/stroud-auctions-ltd/catalogue-id-srstr10068/lot-774a29c4-6947-45b5-9de5-a87801204451

saying:

WWI Naval aluminium cased portable gramophone 'The Winston' also marked Manufacturers Portogram Radio Electrical Industries Ltd, London SW16 and this instrument is the property of the R N W A F Admiralty

It seems very similar but there is a different screw and the writing seems feinter - different tonearm 'fixer'.

It has documentation too and sold quite recently.


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:47 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:22 am
Posts: 366
Thanks ! It's strange that those fleet orders to do with amenities are dated over a year before the company started.... Perhaps they commissioned Portogram to produce machines for them and it took them a year to register the company ??


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 pm
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Location: Made it, Ma ! Top of the world !
Gramtastic wrote:
Thanks ! It's strange that those fleet orders to do with amenities are dated over a year before the company started.... Perhaps they commissioned Portogram to produce machines for them and it took them a year to register the company ??



Yes, it is odd.

Also, I suppose they meant to say ww2 instead of ww1 ?

Very interesting 'all around'.
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 pm
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Location: Made it, Ma ! Top of the world !
Gramtastic wrote:
Thanks ! It's strange that those fleet orders to do with amenities are dated over a year before the company started.... Perhaps they commissioned Portogram to produce machines for them and it took them a year to register the company ??



Oh, in a previous thread epigramophone mentioned during 2013 that he has/had one of these gramophones - so you might consider DMing him to see if he has any further information.

Thread here:

http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14836&hilit=winston&start=10
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:53 am 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2532
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
My machine also has the "Property of R.N.W.A.F Admiralty" script.
The initials stand for "Royal Naval Welfare Amenities Fund" which suggests that the machine was intended for entertainment rather than official use.

The Winston was made in three colours for the three branches of H.M.Forces. Olive Green for the Army, Air Force Blue for the RAF and Battleship Grey for the Navy. I have seen all three, but the Navy version seems to be the most common.

The machines are basic in the extreme. As well as the puny Garrard No.20 motor already mentioned, there is no autobrake and no provision for needle storage.


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 Post subject: Re: The Winston "Portable !"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 1561
They were all made to shelter behind when attacked hence the very thick steel ! :lol:


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