The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:15 pm 
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Victor III
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 902
Location: South Carolina
Greetings!

So I bought two Grafonolas lately. Both were cheap. I took the trashed one and used the tonearm to fix the somewhat less trashed one.

It looks like a client machine but the reproducer has "Magic Notes" and "Columbia." Also, the spindle is the normal size for a 78rpm machine. The finish is really pretty and the horns in both were woodgrained with no trace of a grill cloth. I'm going to leave them like that and show off that fancy horn.

The really trashed one actually had a pack with some unused Victor Fiber Needles in it! So I tried those out...nice sound.

What have I got?


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:40 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 3555
Location: Western, WA State
The machines you have is a late model BZ. This is a Columbia product made for Sears for their internal horn Oxford series. This was the entry level one and sold for $9.95 in 1912. These are really nice machines.
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Victor III
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 902
Location: South Carolina
Thanks a lot! So they're not actually Columbia...I would have never guessed Oxford!


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Baltimore, MD
Well, they were branded Oxford, but were built for Sears under contract by Columbia. So they are still technically a Columbia machine. These are from just before the Silvertone era.

They are uncommon machines.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:39 pm 
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Victor III
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 902
Location: South Carolina
I think it's pretty crazy that I found two of them, if they're that uncommon!

Mainly I bought them because I thought it was cool to find the body to fit that one tonearm onto, and because I originally thought they were Grafonolas which, for whatever reason, never had tone-leaves installed.

Time to get the needle bar straightened and rebuild the old soundbox and motor, clean it up, maybe put on a little fresh felt, and go hunt for Oxford Records!


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:06 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Baltimore, MD
Seems like Oxford records don't turn up in the wild very often, either, though you will see one from time to time. Most if not all of them were made from Columbia masters.

Sears introduced the Silvertone line in their Spring 1916 catalog if memory serves me correct. I suspect the reason for them to do this is the Oxford line wasn't selling too well judging by the number of machines and records encountered today.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 3555
Location: Western, WA State
I forgot to mention that these machines never had a grille cloth. That would hide the grain of the metal horns. Once you rebuild the reproducer, and get it working, they are pretty loud for such a small machine. Be careful of the pesky fiber gear. Ron Sitko sells good replacements.
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:20 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:50 pm
Posts: 180
Nice to see. I've never seen a table top Oxford. I have a Harvard with horn though. I do have about twenty to thirty Oxford records so they can be found!


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:39 pm 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3971
Location: Albany NY
zenith82 wrote:
Seems like Oxford records don't turn up in the wild very often, either, though you will see one from time to time. Most if not all of them were made from Columbia masters.

Sears introduced the Silvertone line in their Spring 1916 catalog if memory serves me correct. I suspect the reason for them to do this is the Oxford line wasn't selling too well judging by the number of machines and records encountered today.


Sears also began the process of streamlining the many names for its house brands.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Columbia machines--I don't know what I have here.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:33 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Baltimore, MD
estott wrote:
zenith82 wrote:
Seems like Oxford records don't turn up in the wild very often, either, though you will see one from time to time. Most if not all of them were made from Columbia masters.

Sears introduced the Silvertone line in their Spring 1916 catalog if memory serves me correct. I suspect the reason for them to do this is the Oxford line wasn't selling too well judging by the number of machines and records encountered today.


Sears also began the process of streamlining the many names for its house brands.


True, but that happened a little later. Even though the Silvertone name was eventually used on electronics and some musical instruments, I think the name was exclusive for phonographs until about 1924 when the radios were introduced.


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