The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Robeyphone soundbox
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:03 pm 
Victor IV
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 1495
Robeyphone soundbox ... 0005.m1851

aarobeyphon.jpg [ 106.77 KiB | Viewed 525 times ]
 Post subject: Re: Robeyphone soundbox
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:52 am 
Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2477
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Charles T. Robey of Coventry ran a mail order business and modestly described himself as "The World's Provider". Sometimes he even advertised as "Geo. Robey", probably to gain attention by cashing in on the name of this famous music hall artist.

The Robeyphone was a cheap machine assembled from bought in components. It could be delivered with 24 records on payment of 4/6d deposit.

 Post subject: Re: Robeyphone soundbox
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:41 am 
Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:12 am
Posts: 13
Actually as individuals, George Robey and Charles T Robey never existed.

They were the trading names of Francis & Ada O'Brien who lived in Coventry after their marriage in 1892. Francis was a "cycle manufacturer" so not surprising that Gramophones were involved.
He died in 1913 and Ada took over the company. "George Robey" changed to "Charles T Robey" about 1913 (reason thought to avoid any problems with George Robey the music hall celebrity).
Trade marks "everything under the sun" and "the worlds provider" were fully justified as the company also supplied prams, lamps, kettles, records ("Robeyphone Grand") and later on radios at very competitive prices.
Their only surviving son Edgar carried on the company after Ada's death in 1933.
The basic budget "Robeyphone" was the funny looking one with short legs but for a higher price, very good quality "swissies" with double spring motors (easily comparable with more well known names) were available.

I am very pleased to now own the soundbox in question (being labelled "George Robey" it is pre 1913) and it behaves brilliantly with correct era acoustic records and, puts up a creditable performance on electrics up to the late 1930s (certainly on a par with "branded boxes").
It is a four spring! imported from Saxony and very solidly built, far better than the pot metal rubbish which sadly was also used for later "Robeyphone" "Premiers" and by the majority of the British gramophone industry.

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