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 Post subject: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:24 am 
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Victor VI
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My Columbia BFT with woodgrained horn by Danny Arms...


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"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife
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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:07 am 
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VTLA
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Wow, that wood grain is awesome. I like the quartered oak look.

Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:15 am 
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Victor III
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Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Hi Curt,
What a great looking machine!! That horn really sets it off. I have been looking for a BFT myself. There is one on EBay now but the front decal is a little weak.
Pete


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:36 am 
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Victor Monarch Special
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That's a great looking machine. It's tough to beat a good looking and fancy Columbia cabinet and that wood grained horn is exceptional. I don't recall seeing that horn wood grained and it really works.

Even though I have collected for about forty years, I consider myself a second generation collector. Collecting seemed to be a more regional hobby when I started and I was influenced by early collectors like Ira Dueltgen, Bud Cannon, Orville White, and Richard England. Most of them looked down on Columbia products as being inferior to Edison or Victor machines. Perhaps this was because Columbia made wider use of pot metal. Maybe replacement parts were more difficult to find. Even the talking machine literature available back then was slanted towards Victor and Edison. I loved the look of Columbia machines like the BF featured in this thread so I bought machines like this when they ere available and I've never regretted my purchases. Did other really old second generation collectors, like George, find this to be true in your area?

Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:15 pm 
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Victor VI
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Needle Tins are Addictive
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Jerry,
I have been "influenced" to buy Edison and Victor machines by several collectors when I really started looking. These same collectors didn't like "foreign" machines, either. I think the pot metal in later Columbia machines, along with the fibre gears turned them off. I decided that Columbia and foreign machines were/are very attractive unique machines in their own right, despite their shortcomings. The pot metal is a bid deal and I have often wished that Columbia never used it in production, but that can't be changed. I have tried to collect machines without it, but I am attracted to the ones that used it as well. Maybe an effort needs to be put forth to produce replacement parts for all Columbia pot metal components and replacement gears for the fibre ones. There may be someone who is already doing this, but I am not aware of too many brass replacements - are they already out there?
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:46 pm 
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Victor IV
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I think that is the prettiest wood horn I've ever seen. I like that style better than the spear tips.


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Curt,

That's a beautiful Hawthorne & Sheble horn. Danny Arms clearly knows what he's doing with wood graining!

Jerry B. wrote:
Even though I have collected for about forty years, I consider myself a second generation collector. Collecting seemed to be a more regional hobby when I started and I was influenced by early collectors like Ira Dueltgen, Bud Cannon, Orville White, and Richard England. Most of them looked down on Columbia products as being inferior to Edison or Victor machines. Perhaps this was because Columbia made wider use of pot metal. Maybe replacement parts were more difficult to find. Even the talking machine literature available back then was slanted towards Victor and Edison. I loved the look of Columbia machines like the BF featured in this thread so I bought machines like this when they ere available and I've never regretted my purchases. Did other really old second generation collectors, like George, find this to be true in your area?

Jerry Blais


A "...really old second generation collector?" :lol: I didn't think 60 was quite on the brink of the grave!
:lol:

But yes, there used to be a definite anti-Columbia bias. The pot metal could have something to do with it, yet many Edison recorders, later reproducers, mandrel bearings on the Model Ds and up, and lower pulleys for Homes suffer the same problems. Edisons were/are forgiven these defects, but Columbias seem to have been painted with a broad brush - - especially considering that there's no troublesome pot metal in the entire B-series. In fact, Columbia's pot metal seems to be a problem only in the AT, AO, the Grand series (excepting the GG and AB), and the AZ. Can anybody think of others?

I continue to lay the blame for the anti-Columbia bias at the feet of Read & Welch, whose landmark book, From Tinfoil to Stereo, smeared Edison's competitors while attempting to elevate Edison the man to a virtual deity. Such black & white, simplistic skewing of fact is obvious once you look at an early Zonophone or a Graphophone like Curt's. Aside from the aesthetics, look what Columbia gave the customer for $40 (BF) or $50 (BFT). Four-spring motor, 6-inch mandrel, and rear-mounted horn equipment in the BFT. For the same money before Oct. 1907, $40 bought you a single-spring Edison Home with $10 left over to choose better horn equipment (mounted to the front of the cabinet), or a 3-spring Triumph with the inadequate 14 inch b&b horn.

Don't get me wrong - - I admire Edison machines and own many of them. I also greatly admire Thomas Edison without Read & Welch's unnecessary gilding of the lily. But there's a definite place for Columbia Graphophones in any collection. :)

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Victor IV
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Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
George really nailed this on the head, detail for detail. Thumbs up on that summary.

No question, my generation of collectors was heavily swayed by "Tinfoil to Stereo" and the Read/Welch demonization of Columbia. My mentors in the hobby definitely looked down on Columbias, and it took me a long time to break out of that mindset and recognize how lovely many Graphophones really are.

The bias never stopped me from buying any, but back in the day I bought anything that turned up in my price range. Still, even though I had Columbias, they were always somehow tainted compared to my Edisons in those early years.

With all of the information available now, unlike back when all we had was "Tinfoil to Stereo", it surprises me that Graphophones remain underappreciated and undervalued compared to Edison and Victor.

Today some of my Columbias are among my very favorite machines. There are at least 4 in my collection which I do not ever expect to sell in my lifetime. If I someday am forced to sell off most of my collection and move into a smaller home, I can think of 8 or 10 machines I simply won't part with, and those Columbias are right up there in the top ranks of lifetime favorites.


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Victor II
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What a stunning horn on this example of a BFT, and a 2&4 minute machine to boot. I'm I reading correctly that it's a new wood graining job on the horn. It sure has a nice aged look to it.

Best Regards, Larry


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 Post subject: Re: New Addition...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:17 am 
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Victor VI
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Location: Belmont, North Carolina
Phonolair wrote:
What a stunning horn on this example of a BFT, and a 2&4 minute machine to boot. I'm I reading correctly that it's a new wood graining job on the horn. It sure has a nice aged look to it.

Best Regards, Larry


Larry,

It is a newly wood grained horn, finished in May, I think. The original horn was black and in much need of repainting, so I sent it to Danny and asked if he could work with the embossed/raised panels. Although he had never done one like this, I think it turned out great. To "age" it just a little more, I applied 3 or 4 coats of amber shellac to the finished horn to make it more closely match the finish on the cabinet... The 2/4 attachment was an addition, since this was originally a 2 minute machine, but the BF 2/4 is almost impossible to find, so I adapted a BE 2/4 minute attachment to work on this and put the 2 minute components inside the case...

Curt
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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