The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:43 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
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Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auct ... 6801587b1b


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:37 pm 
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Victor III
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... floating down stream ...
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 534
Location: Made it, Ma ! Top of the world !
Most interesting.

I wonder:


Is it complete ? Where are the coins inserted ? Why does it have two horns ? Where would it have been displayed for use ?

(My ignorance knows no bounds) :(
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 5917
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
poodling around wrote:
Most interesting.

I wonder:


Is it complete ? Where are the coins inserted ? Why does it have two horns ? Where would it have been displayed for use ?

(My ignorance knows no bounds) :(


From the single image provided, this BS appears to be complete. The braided connection from trunnion to horn is disconnected, but it seems to all be there. The coins are inserted from the top - - just above the coin chute. Here's a photo that shows it better:

Attachment:
BS1.JPG
BS1.JPG [ 919.18 KiB | Viewed 276 times ]


This rear view with the top removed shows virtually everything:

Attachment:
BS2.JPG
BS2.JPG [ 803.15 KiB | Viewed 276 times ]


Neither horn in the auction is original to the machine. At the time the BS was sold, the customer had a choice of a horn or ear tubes. The glass ear pieces included in the auction may be original, but the red tubing is not.

It's surprising that the auctioneer (who clearly knows little about antique phonographs) should call this an "Edwardian" machine. In the U.S., sellers call a surprising amount of stuff "Victorian," whether it was made before 1901 or not. In this case, the auctioneer's refreshing change of pace may actually be a bit too late, as the BS appeared in mid-1898. They were, however, offered beyond 1901, so it's possibly Edwardian, but without the serial number it's impossible to tell.

Here's the earliest known advertisement for a BS, as it appeared inn the August 1898 issue of The Phonoscope:

Attachment:
phonoscope13hunt_0326.jpg
phonoscope13hunt_0326.jpg [ 165.5 KiB | Viewed 276 times ]


As for where a BS would have been used, the ad above offers advice. Basically anywhere people might be congregated would work: train stations, ferry terminals, hotels, stores, etc. The BS was popular in that no electricity was needed, and it cost only $20.00. For these reasons, the BS is today the least difficult coin-operated cylinder phonograph to locate and afford.

You can access The Phonoscope online, and it's a rich source of information:

https://archive.org/details/phonoscope13hunt/page/n5

George P.

Edited for proper Phonoscope date. It wasn't 1989!


Last edited by phonogfp on Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 pm
Posts: 1387
Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
Although the original horn is not there in the auction photo, the original horn elbow is (along with an elbow for a conventional style horn).


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:04 pm 
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Victor III
User avatar
... floating down stream ...
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 534
Location: Made it, Ma ! Top of the world !
phonogfp wrote:
poodling around wrote:
Most interesting.

I wonder:


Is it complete ? Where are the coins inserted ? Why does it have two horns ? Where would it have been displayed for use ?

(My ignorance knows no bounds) :(


From the single image provided, this BS appears to be complete. The braided connection from trunnion to horn is disconnected, but it seems to all be there. The coins are inserted from the top - - just above the coin chute. Here's a photo that shows it better:

Attachment:
BS1.JPG


This rear view with the top removed shows virtually everything:

Attachment:
BS2.JPG


Neither horn in the auction is original to the machine. At the time the BS was sold, the customer had a choice of a horn or ear tubes. The glass ear pieces included in the auction may be original, but the red tubing is not.

It's surprising that the auctioneer (who clearly knows little about antique phonographs) should call this an "Edwardian" machine. In the U.S., sellers call a surprising amount of stuff "Victorian," whether it was made before 1901 or not. In this case, the auctioneer's refreshing change of pace may actually be a bit too late, as the BS appeared in mid-1898. They were, however, offered beyond 1901, so it's possibly Edwardian, but without the serial number it's impossible to tell.

Here's the earliest known advertisement for a BS, as it appeared inn the August 1989 issue of The Phonoscope:

Attachment:
phonoscope13hunt_0326.jpg


As for where a BS would have been used, the ad above offers advice. Basically anywhere people might be congregated would work: train stations, ferry terminals, hotels, stores, etc. The BS was popular in that no electricity was needed, and it cost only $20.00. For these reasons, the BS is today the least difficult coin-operated cylinder phonograph to locate and afford.

You can access The Phonoscope online, and it's a rich source of information:

https://archive.org/details/phonoscope13hunt/page/n5

George P.



Thank you so very much phonogfp for taking the time and effort to thoroughly explain, in such a clear and concise manner - in such away that you have answered all of my queries - and even I have no problem in understanding.

I am genuinely grateful.
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Slot Graphophone for auction in UK.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:43 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
User avatar
Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 5917
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
You're very welcome!

If you haven't already encountered it, The Fabulous Phonograph by Roland Gelatt offers a very nice overview of the early years of the phonograph industry and its effect on society. It's not very technical, entertainingly written, and with an emphasis on the music. It's also remarkably accurate for being the first book-length treatment of the subject (1955). There are also 1965 and 1977 versions, all of which can be purchased cheaply online.

(I don't recommend From Tinfoil to Stereo to anyone other than very well-informed historians of the phonograph who won't be misled by its many inaccuracies; and then only to see how much better the books have become since then!)

George P.


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