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 Post subject: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
Posts: 6
I am looking for some information on this machine. I believe it is an early version of the Edison Spring Motor Phonograph that was sold by the North American Phonograph Company.

I'm trying to find out what year this would have been made. The information I could find suggests early 1890's, but I am a novice in this field and thought I could get a better timeline here. From what I can surmise, The North American Phonograph Company didn't sell many of these machines.

A few things noteworthy while viewing these photos:

- Sometime in the last century a wooden trim piece was constructed for below the cylinder. It's not fastened in anyway and I don't believe it was part of the original design. This was obstructing the text "NORTH AMERICA" above "PHONOGRAPH CO" on the plate that lists the patent dates.

- The plate behind the reproducer states "MODEL-C" This is not visible in my photo.

- The vertical plate on the left hand side of the unit states "This Machine is sold by THE NORTH AMERICAN PHONOGRAPH COMPANY under the restriction that it shall not be used within THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY".

- This unit runs and played one the cylinders that came with it.

Along with the year made, I'm curious of its worth. Also, maybe the best way to sell it? This is part of an estate liquidation I am assisting my in-laws with, but I'm half tempted to purchase it myself. Just the little research I have done on this era has been fascinating. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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The machine is indeed an Edison Spring Motor, but it was not sold by the North American Phonograph Company. Keep in mind that the NAPCo. went into receivership in August 1894.

The design of this motor was patented by Frank Capps in December 1895. The earliest of these "Triton" motors appeared around March 1896, powering the new Spring-Motor Phonograph, and the top works consisted of old Class M - type mechanisms like the one here. However, the motor number (11832) suggests that it was manufactured after May 1898. (The design of the gears and governor weights confirm manufacture no earlier than the fall of 1897.) This strongly suggests that the owner of a Class M converted his machine after May 1898 by purchasing the motor and cabinet (which were available separately for such conversions). For some reason, someone removed the original plate below and in front of the mandrel which was lettered "Spring Motor for Phonograph" (there were several wording versions) and replaced it with the NAPCo. plate that was originally on the bed plate of the Class M.

The Model C reproducer appeared in February 1902, further suggesting that the owner used this machine for a long time.

The metal corner pieces on the cabinet are not original, but the often-missing drawer is still there.

In short, it's a legitimately converted Edison Class M (a battery-powered machine) to an Edison Spring-Motor Phonograph sometime after May 1898.

Nice machine! :)

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Victor V
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Needle Tins are Addictive
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You should buy it... if you can get it reasonably...
"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: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:43 am
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This example also appears to have the original swarf drawer under the mandrel from the original Class M.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:31 am 
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Victor V
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Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
I agree that this machine is historically interesting as an early conversion, and that it would be a desirable piece for any collector.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:31 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
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Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
I believe the rectangular plate sticking out from the back of the carrier-arm would originally have had a shaving attachment (for paring off the surface of a cylinder so that it could be re-used for recording) mounted on it.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:33 am 
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Victor III
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I believe that the plate that is partially covered by the swarf drawer says: "United States Phonograph Co." That would indicate that the bedplate or perhaps the top works are pretty early in the Spring Motor era. John Levin has a really nice example of one that he has brought to some shows. However, I can't quite recall if his had the North American badge or not. I seem to think it did, but wouldn't like to commit myself. In any case, if I had the Kale, I'd want to try to get this machine. ;)

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:08 am 
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Victor Monarch
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martinola wrote:
I believe that the plate that is partially covered by the swarf drawer says: "United States Phonograph Co." That would indicate that the bedplate or perhaps the top works are pretty early in the Spring Motor era.

Martin


The United States Phonograph Company plate does not list patent dates, and it's differently laid out and in different typeface. It was based in Newark, N.J. rather than New York. I could post a photo from The Talking Machine Compendium, but perhaps the OP will show a picture of the plate in question to settle the matter? :)

The top works are relatively early Class M production, as the casting retains a ridge for the spectacle arm. But the cabinet, motor, and bed plate likely date at least 8 years later. Again - this is all perfectly legitimate.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:49 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
Posts: 6
First off, thank you all for the information. As stated before, I don't have any experience in this field.

Below is a photo of the plate with the swarf drawer removed. It does state "NORTH AMERICAN". If I am to understand this correctly, the wooden piece (swarf drawer?) under the mandrel is from the original Class M? And not a piece fabricated separately like I originally presumed?

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Quote:
I believe the rectangular plate sticking out from the back of the carrier-arm would originally have had a shaving attachment (for paring off the surface of a cylinder so that it could be re-used for recording) mounted on it.


Would it be one of the items in the photo below? This is the contents of the drawer.

Image

Any idea of its value? It also came with around 60 cylinders, nearly all of them in the 9000 series.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Identifiying Early Edison Machine
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 100
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
I am pretty certain that the rectangular block with the handle projecting from its right-hand side, along with the L-shaped component to its right and the four screws above, makes up the main body of the shaver; I have never examined one of these units and cannot say what else (if anything) should be present, but I am sure there is somebody here who can.

Oliver Mundy.


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