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 Post subject: (Outdated Post—see link)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:40 pm 
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Victor II
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This thread is outdated and has been replaced.
The new thread regarding the Player-Tone Talking Machine Company can be found here.
Thank You


My first phonograph was a Player-Tone, which sparked my curiosity in the company.

Below is the information I discovered when researching the company, and the resources where that information was found. Feel free to post, especially if you own a Player-Tone Phonograph.
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The Player-Tone Talking Machine Company; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

-Established:
The Player-Tone Talking Machine Company was established in September 1919 by Mr. Goldsmith of the Goldsmith Furniture Company and Railroad Sales Company.

-Location:
Player-Tone’s factory and sales room was located at 967 Liberty Avenue; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Player-Tone phonographs were sold at various furniture stores in the Pittsburgh area, a list of those stores includes but is not limited to: (as of 1919)
---Taylor Bros, 942 Penn Ave.
---A.Hamburger, 927 Penn Ave.
---The Household, 908 Penn Ave.
---Simon Solof & Son, 2000 Carson St., South Side
---Hahn Furniture Co. 6285 Frankstown Ave, E.E
---Goldenson Furniture Co., 1214 Carson St., S, S
---Kings Furniture Store, 223 Federal St., North Side
---Blum Furniture Co., 954 Penn Ave.
---Superior Music Shop, Superior & California. Ave., N.S.
In March, 1923 Player-Tone established a large retail store at 632 Grant Street along with United Furniture Factories.

-Products:
Player-Tone manufactured high grade mechanical phonographs of quality construction. The company specialized in the furniture aspect of construction, ordering their mechanical parts from phonograph suppliers. The company purchased most (possibly all) of their mechanics from the ‘Otto Heineman Phonograph Supply Company’ at 25 West 54th Street, New York. One of Player-Tone’s advertised features was its tone arm, a Heineman Tone Arm No.11 used on the floor models which featured a pivoting reproducer for playing vertical and lateral cut records. Player-Tones came in a variety of wood types, from golden oak to mahogany. Decorative ‘wood carvings’ on the phonographs were made of molded resin, which simulated fine wood carvings. The large floor model phonographs are made with wood veneers, with solid wood legs.

The Player-Tone models ranged in price from $95 to $250 (accounting for inflation, those prices are equivalent to ~$1,076 to $2,830)

-Company slogans:
“It’s simply great” “World’s Greatest Phonograph”

-Company’s purchase by Sig Hahn:
In 1926, Sig Hahn bought out the Player-Tone Talking Machine Company and liquidated its current stock in a large sale.

-Company fate:
It is unknown exactly what happened to the Player-Tone Company; accumulated research reveals the following possibility:
The company likely closed down in the early 1930s after the stock market crash and a devastating warehouse fire. A warehouse fire on December 11, 1930 destroyed $15,000 of inventory; this is equal to $203,790 dollars today. It appears that the company was already struggling before the fire due to a listed ad for their company truck “Selling cheap for want of use”.-(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9,1930) No information on the company has surfaced post 1930, increasing the probability that the company closed down in the early 30s.

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The following resources were used to establish the information on this post.
Information format: (Paper or Magazine Title/Page #/Year of publication)
-Listed in order by date:

(The Music Trade Review/Page 33/September 28, 1918)
(The Music Trade Review/Page 53/September 28, 1918)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 34/September 11, 1919)
(The Grand Rapids Furniture Record/Page 211/October, 1919)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 48-49/November 5, 1919)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 68/November 30, 1919)
(The Washington Reported/Page 15/December 31, 1919)
(The Crawfordsville Review/Page 6/July 6, 1920)
(Reading Eagle/Page 12/August 11, 1920)
(Presto/Page 17/March 31, 1923)
(Credit Memo Stationary/1 of 1/Jun 17, 1924)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9, 1930)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 1/December 11, 1930)


Attachments:
File comment: ‘Player-Tone Type 14’ made c1924.

Specifications:
Dimensions (WHD) 20x47.5x20 inch/ 508x1207x508 mm

Phonograph cabinet made by Player-Tone at 967 Liberty Ave.
Construction: Solid oak frame/ golden oak veneer doors/ shellac finish/ nickel door knobs/ brass casters/ steel hinges.

Phonograph mechanics made by the 'Otto Heineman Phonograph Supply Co' 25 West 45th Street, NY.
Mechanics specifications:
-Tone arm 'HEINEMAN TONE ARM No.11'-silver
-Reproducer 'HEINEMAN IDEAL SOUND BOX No.2'-silver
-Motor 'Heineman Motor No.77'.

The Player-Tone Type 14 phonograph is a large floor model mechanical phonograph capable of playing both lateral and vertical groove disc records.The storage cabinet features multiple storage shelves which providing ample space to stack records. The top has a 12 inch green felt table, with an automatic shutoff switch and manual lock lever. On the right side is a sound dampener, a more important feature for machines without the solid horn doors acting as a volume control. There are also 4 needle cups, one for soft, medium, loud, and used tone needles. The 'Heineman No.77' double spring motor will easily play a full record (front and back) before needing rewound. The sound is produced by a mica diaphragm and amplified through an internal wood horn.

PlayerTone.jpg
PlayerTone.jpg [ 1.74 MiB | Viewed 4169 times ]
File comment: Player-Tone Type 110 phonograph, c1925
PT110.jpg
PT110.jpg [ 461.06 KiB | Viewed 4169 times ]
File comment: Player-Tone ID tag for the 'Type 14' phonograph.
Player-ToneIDtag14.jpg
Player-ToneIDtag14.jpg [ 738.45 KiB | Viewed 4169 times ]
-Mike
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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm
Posts: 497
See and hear the Player-Tone Type 14 phonograph at the following YouTube links:

Playing ‘Martha-M’appari’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1pk3uQq86A

Playing ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’ Medley March:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deqLBXIlTeU

Playing ‘Glow Worm’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSJ7BOBWMJM

-enjoy.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional pictures related to the ‘Player-Tone Talking Machine Co.’ listed below:


Attachments:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 49/November 5, 1919
PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 137.36 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 48/November 5, 1919
PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 79.95 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
File comment: The Crawfordsville Review/Page 6/July 6, 1920
PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 79.91 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
File comment: Credit Memo from the department store at 632 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA. This store was established in March, 1923. The credit memo is dated June 17, 1924.
PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 138.99 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9, 1930
Note the typo "961" for 967 Liberty Ave.

PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 61.9 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 1/December 11, 1930
The caption reads: “Here are firemen clambering up extension ladders six floors to get at the fire which broke out this morning in Warehouse No. 49 of the huge Pittsburgh Terminal Warehouse Buildings extending along Terminal Way from Carson Street. The fire was confined to the floor occupied by Player-Tone Talking Machine Company and United Furniture Company. The damage was estimated by Fire Chief Smith at $15,000. One fireman was overcome. Traffic over the Smithfield Street Bridge and in Carson Street was tied up.”

PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 86.41 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]
-Mike


Last edited by Player-Tone on Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Victor V
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Posts: 2858
Location: Near NY's Capital
Nice machine! Welcome!

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Arizona
There is a small unit for sale here in Az that is just like your table top-but they are taking "offers" rather than setting a price. How well does yours play and what do you think is a fair offer
Thx Abe


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Victor II
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Posts: 497
Hello, and thanks!

Sorry Abe, I don't own the table top 'Type 110' phonograph-I got that picture off an old eBay listing.

-I DO own the 'Type 14' floor model however, which plays great!
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Jerome, Arizona
I think $150 would be generous, Abe. Heck! They're giving away Diamond Disc Phonographs in Az! ;-)
"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Richard Brautigan


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:35 am 
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Victor II
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Posts: 373
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Very interesting. I believe the buildings on Liberty Avenue are largely still standing, as are the former warehouses on Terminal Way. Interesting to note that the truck lists 961 Liberty, a few doors down from 967. A typo? The abbreviations are still in use today: South Side, North Side, and East End.


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Victor II
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Posts: 497
Yes, the 961 address is a typo for 967 in the truck listing.
I wonder how that affected the sale, with the interested costumers going to 961 instead of 967. :lol:

I know the building at 967 Liberty is still standing, though I assume it has been remodeled since the 30s.
The large retail store at 632 Grant Street stood where the Steel Plaza is now, at the base of the USX building.


Attachments:
File comment: Here is a help wanted ad from September 1919, when the company was establishing:

(The Pittsburgh Press/Page34/September 11, 1919)

PlayToneTempPic.jpg
PlayToneTempPic.jpg [ 21.04 KiB | Viewed 3992 times ]
-Mike
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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Victor II
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Abe, I found the expired craigslist ad for the Player-Tone Type 110 you mentioned.

The reason why the Type 110 phonograph for sale in Arizona looks like the one pictured here is because it IS the one pictured here. The pictured phonograph sold for 157.50 on March 6 through eBay from Connecticut to Arizona-where it was later resold.

As of right now there are only two confirmed and documented Player-Tone phonographs, and they are both pictured here. I am sure there are other Player-Tones out there in dusty basements or private collections, but they are yet to be documented. Hopefully more will surface now that there is information on the internet about them.
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Victor II
A man is not a man who does not make the world a better place
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:46 pm
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Location: Arizona
Interesting-Thanks guys and lets see if it comes up again. Yes John it was free and George and his wife Michell are really nice to boot!
Abe


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