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 Post subject: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA.
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:36 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm
Posts: 497
Information on 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 a large variety of affordable high grade mechanical phonographs. The company specialized in the furniture aspect of construction, ordering their mechanical parts from phonograph suppliers. The company purchased most (possibly all) of their early 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. To keep prices low some decorative ‘wood carvings’ on the phonographs were made of molded resin. The large floor model phonographs are made with wood veneers, with solid wood legs. Player-Tone's cabinets were cheaply made compared to larger brand names such as Victor, though they are still considerably nice. Many Player-Tone phonographs closely resemble other well known phonographs of the day, such as the Model 200 "Sonnet" which is basically a Victor 'Credenza' knockoff.

In 1919 the Player-Tone models ranged in price from $95 to $250 (accounting for inflation, those prices are equivalent to ~$1,301 to $3,425 as of the year 2014)

-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 Talking Machine World/Page 66a/July 15, 1926)
(The Talking Machine World, New York/September 1927)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9, 1930)
(The Pittsburgh Press/Page 1/December 11, 1930)


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Related newspaper and magazine articles - Note: Blue and yellow highlighted areas are not part of the original graphic.

Company Established (1919):
Help wanted ad: The Pittsburgh Press/Page34/September 11, 1919
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page34/September 11, 1919
HelpWanted1919.jpg
HelpWanted1919.jpg [ 21.04 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

Starting the company: Article from ‘The Grand Rapids Furniture Record’ Volume 39, dated October, 1919.
Attachment:
File comment: Article from ‘The Grand Rapids Furniture Record’ Volume 39, dated October, 1919.
Starting Player-Tone.jpg
Starting Player-Tone.jpg [ 16.97 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]


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Company Ads:
In order by date (1919-1927)

The Pittsburgh Press/Page 48/November 5, 1919
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 48/November 5, 1919
Player-Tone add.png
Player-Tone add.png [ 91.93 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

The Pittsburgh Press/Page 49/November 5, 1919
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 49/November 5, 1919
PitPress1919.jpg
PitPress1919.jpg [ 137.36 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

The Pittsburgh Press/Page 68/November 30, 1919
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 68/November 30, 1919
Player-ToneChristmasad.jpg
Player-ToneChristmasad.jpg [ 108.7 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

The Talking Machine World/Page 66a - July 15, 1926.
Attachment:
File comment: The Talking Machine World/Page 66a - July 15, 1926.
Player-Tone1926.png
Player-Tone1926.png [ 2.38 MiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

The Talking Machine World - September 1927.
Attachment:
File comment: The Talking Machine World - September 1927.
Player-Tone1927.png
Player-Tone1927.png [ 1.7 MiB | Viewed 2866 times ]


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Additional Ads and Listings:
(1919-1924)

The Washington Reporter/Page 15/December 31, 1919
Attachment:
File comment: The Washington Reporter/Page 15/December 31, 1919
CharlesReedsale.jpg
CharlesReedsale.jpg [ 54.82 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

Reading Eagle/Page 12/August 11, 1920
Attachment:
File comment: Reading Eagle/Page 12/August 11, 1920
Auction1920.jpg
Auction1920.jpg [ 49.7 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]

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.
Attachment:
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.
CreditMemo.jpg
CreditMemo.jpg [ 138.99 KiB | Viewed 2866 times ]


Last edited by Player-Tone on Thu May 15, 2014 1:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA.
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:48 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm
Posts: 497
Player-Tone's Last Years:

Selling company truck: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9, 1930.
Note the typo "961" for 967 Liberty Ave.
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 39/March 9, 1930
Player-Tone Truck sale.jpg
Player-Tone Truck sale.jpg [ 61.9 KiB | Viewed 2860 times ]


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.”
Attachment:
File comment: The Pittsburgh Press/Page 1/December 11, 1930
Fire.jpg
Fire.jpg [ 86.41 KiB | Viewed 2860 times ]


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The Location Today (Year 2014CE)

Then and now (1928-2014) map of the Player-Tone/United Furniture Factories retail store located at 632 Grant Street, Pittsburgh PA. -Store is highlighted in yellow. Notice that the building was demolished for the construction of the 'Steel Plaza' under the USX steel building (now UPMC).
Attachment:
THENandNOW.jpg
THENandNOW.jpg [ 107.41 KiB | Viewed 2860 times ]


Property map of 967 Liberty Ave as it appeared in 1928 during Player-Tone's occupancy (967 is highlighted in yellow):
Attachment:
967 Liberty Ave 1928.jpg
967 Liberty Ave 1928.jpg [ 163.14 KiB | Viewed 2722 times ]


Satellite image of 967 Liberty Ave as it appears now (2014)-967 highlighted:
Attachment:
967 Liberty Ave-today.jpg
967 Liberty Ave-today.jpg [ 119.6 KiB | Viewed 2722 times ]


967 Liberty Avenue as it looks today:
Attachment:
File comment: 967 Liberty Ave today:
967LibertyAve.jpg
967LibertyAve.jpg [ 40.75 KiB | Viewed 2860 times ]


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-End of information on the Player-Tone Talking Machine Company.
The following post will discuss the Player-Tone phonograph in my collection...


Last edited by Player-Tone on Thu May 15, 2014 8:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Player-Tone Type 14
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:17 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm
Posts: 497
‘Player-Tone Type 14’ made circa 1924.

Specifications:
Dimensions (WHD) 20 x 47.5 x 20 inch (508 x 1207 x 508 mm)

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

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.

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Phonograph Pictures:

Attachment:
PlayerTone Type 14.jpg
PlayerTone Type 14.jpg [ 1.74 MiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

Attachment:
Player-Tone Table.jpg
Player-Tone Table.jpg [ 145.36 KiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

Attachment:
Player-Tone Record Storage.jpg
Player-Tone Record Storage.jpg [ 172.12 KiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

Attachment:
Player-Tone Closed.JPG
Player-Tone Closed.JPG [ 2.74 MiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

Attachment:
Player-Tone.jpg
Player-Tone.jpg [ 203.59 KiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

Attachment:
Player-ToneIDtag14.jpg
Player-ToneIDtag14.jpg [ 738.45 KiB | Viewed 2843 times ]


Phonograph mechanics:
The Player-Tone Type 14 is equipped with the Heineman Tone-Arm No.11 and an Ideal Sound-Box No.2 (top right):
Attachment:
HeinemanToneARM.jpg
HeinemanToneARM.jpg [ 77.11 KiB | Viewed 2831 times ]

The Player-Tone Type 14 is powered by a Heinemann No.77 double spring motor (left):
Attachment:
HeinemanMotor.jpg
HeinemanMotor.jpg [ 132.44 KiB | Viewed 2831 times ]


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This Phonograph's Ownership Chronology:

Original Owner (unconfirmed)
Andrew Bringer Sr.
Born in 1872
-1920s residence: Armstrong, PA.
Was 52 years old in 1924 around the time when this phonograph would have been purchased.

Previous Owners:
John E. Bringer :rose:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cg ... d=84801976
Janet I. Bringer :rose:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cg ... d=39893668

This phonograph was purchased by me on March 17, 2012 and has remained in my collection up to the present date (May, 2014).
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Videos of the Player-Tone Type 14:

(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)



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Conclusion of Original Post:
All information is current as of May, 2014CE. Any additional information relating to the PlayerTone Talking Machine Company discovered later on will be added as new posts to this thread.
-Thanks for viewing!
Regards,
Mike (Player-Tone)


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA.
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Victor IV
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Those who were seen dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music. Nietzsche
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 1433
Location: Tucson, AZ
Great job gathering all this data to document your phonograph!

James.


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 Post subject: Re: Player-Tone Talking Machine Co; Pittsburgh, PA.
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:12 pm 
Offline
Victor II
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm
Posts: 497
I knew I would forget something, lol

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a period photograph capturing part of the 632 Grant Street Building (one of Player-Tone's retail locations in 1923)
Attachment:
632 Grant Building corner-1920.jpg
632 Grant Building corner-1920.jpg [ 81.32 KiB | Viewed 2733 times ]

The following image shows the camera's field of view in relation to the 1928 map to give you an idea of location. Field of view represented by the two red lines, the left-most building in the above picture is the corner of the furniture retail store which housed the Player-Tone show room (Property Labeled 'DENNY o Neil' on the map).
Attachment:
Camera Perspective.jpg
Camera Perspective.jpg [ 240.87 KiB | Viewed 2733 times ]


1920s image enlarged to show detail:
Attachment:
632 Grant Building detail.jpg
632 Grant Building detail.jpg [ 210.58 KiB | Viewed 2675 times ]

Zoomed in on the building- notice the workers putting up a store sign. Could this be 1923 and they are putting up new signs for the Player-Tone company? It is unlikely considering this is the far corner of the building, though it's still possible!
Attachment:
632 Grant Street Building corner-zoomed.jpg
632 Grant Street Building corner-zoomed.jpg [ 95.53 KiB | Viewed 2675 times ]

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thus officially concludes all the information I have right now on the company,
Thanks for viewing!
-Mike


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