The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:34 pm 
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Victor Jr
I know nothing (yet) help!
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 pm
Posts: 10
Anyone know anything about this brand? The one I saw was a console type with a side by side cabinet. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:50 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Portland, Oregon
Welcome to TMF.

The Polk-Phone information we have is this:

James Polk, Inc, Atlanta, Georgia. Jobbers and distributors of musical instruments, records, etc., for the south.
Conducted their business in the 20's, from Okeh records to Zenith products.

It is possible that the phonograph was made for them to put their own name on (as were many other off-brand machines).

If you have a picture to post, it may help with the identification. Lots of European makers and brands from Canada could also have a similar name.

Here are a few pictures(from the internet, sources unkown):


Attachments:
Polk, console.JPG
Polk, console.JPG [ 81.16 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]
Polk, decal.JPG
Polk, decal.JPG [ 124.1 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]
Polk, tonearm,reproducer close-up.JPG
Polk, tonearm,reproducer close-up.JPG [ 116.19 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]
Ed and Nancy
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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:58 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Baltimore, MD
Being a Southerner by birth, I'm always interested in the handful of small, independent companies that were in the Southeastern US.

The only information I have about Polk is basically what phonolamplighter posted above. That said, if your machine is from the same company, it was likely intended for a regional market, which makes it an uncommon machine. The only thing is, uncommon does not necessarily translate to high value. Most horizontal phonos aren't very desirable to collectors. If yours is like the one in the picture above, it dates to about 1924-25. It might bring $100 from someone who is interested in its history. It's just too ordinary and plain to really get a lot of interest, plus there may be pot metal issues - something that's commonly encountered in lower end machines.


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:12 pm 
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Victor II
User avatar
Honk, honk.
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:00 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Tennessee
zenith82 wrote:
it dates to about 1924-25.
I was thinking with knock-off orthophonic reproducer it'd date after 1925?

A lot of department stores/music distributors commissioned phonographs across the country, which most were just decal brands.


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Baltimore, MD
Benjamin_L wrote:
zenith82 wrote:
it dates to about 1924-25.
I was thinking with knock-off orthophonic reproducer it'd date after 1925?

A lot of department stores/music distributors commissioned phonographs across the country, which most were just decal brands.


It could be slightly later than what I originally said - maybe 1926. Hard to tell from the picture if the reproducer was "inspired" by the Orthophonic, or if it's just a cheap pot metal reproducer. It's interesting that the name is stamped into the back of the reproducer and not just on the decal.


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:01 pm 
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Victor II
User avatar
Honk, honk.
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:00 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Tennessee
zenith82 wrote:
It's interesting that the name is stamped into the back of the reproducer and not just on the decal.


I thought the same thing, it seems odd for a decal brand to have their own part cast. It had to cost them a little more . (I think a few other decal-brands had their own knock-off orthophonic reproducer cast.)


Last edited by Benjamin_L on Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:22 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: 808
Location: South Carolina
I wouldn't mind owning one if I had space. Consoles have a nice look to them and the Southern connection is kind of neat, considering how much of the phonographic heritage of the South has been ruined by the climate and by neglect.

Decal brands and off-brands are all neat phonographs...I like 'em, but don't have one yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:08 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Portland, Oregon
Here is a picture of a Polk-Phone reproducer. Obviously pot metal, but shows the face and trade-mark.
(from internet, source unknown)

Let us all know if you get the one you were inquiring about.

All the best,
Ed and Nancy


Attachments:
polk phone soundbox (copy).jpg
polk phone soundbox (copy).jpg [ 160.16 KiB | Viewed 268 times ]
Ed and Nancy
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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:21 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Baltimore, MD
So evidently the reproducer wasn't an Orthophonic knock-off.


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 Post subject: Re: Polk-phone
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:40 pm 
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Victor II
User avatar
Honk, honk.
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:00 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Tennessee
zenith82 wrote:
So evidently the reproducer wasn't an Orthophonic knock-off.


It looks like the James Polk, Inc made machines through the early 20s into the Orthophonic era.

Here's an earlier acoustic machine with the reproducer phonolamplighter shared:(https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/54 ... phonograph)

While here's a plain Orthophonic knock-off with a tonearm and the back of the reproducer which I think look closer to the first photos:(https://offerup.com/item/detail/608257960/)


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