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 Post subject: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Victor III
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It has been a realativly long dry spell for me phono wise and I score two unique machines from different sources within a day.

I won what I think is a B-250, however, there are some interesting nuances to it. Pictures below.

It appears to be original mission oak finish. The model tag does not have any model number listed, and the serial number is X1020. (You can expand the picture of the id tag to see it more clearly.)

The motor board is maroon, the horn and other hardware is gold plated, the repro is nickel.

There is no volume control mechanism or ball.

There appears to room for a frame around the motor board, but I can't if there ever was one there.

The cabinet DOES have the tone slots on the sides.

Besides the id tag, the record storage drawers are interesting. They appear to be made from 4 1A cylinder drawers attached together with the bottom removed from the upper drawer of each pair. There is poor grain matching in the drawer fronts. There are no dividers, slats, or any evidence there ever was.

I am wondering if this is an experimental/prototype model? Frows section on the A/B 250 is a little confusing in differentiating the A from the B. Frow mentions that Edison made up some cabinets to show his cabinet makers that the 1A cabinet could be adapted to records, however, by his description this would have been prior to 1912 and there is a 1913 patent date on the tag.

There is some chalk marking on the inside of the cabinet ( see pictures).

So what do I have?


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Cool!!! It looks to me like an Amberola that was converted to a Diamond Disk. The drawers started as cylinder drawers and were modified and joined together to hold disks. The ID tag is very interesting. If it had an Amberola tag, I would suspect the modification was done after the machine left the factory. The fact that the tag is left blank would suggest something else. We all want to believe that whatever we own is truly "rare" so I'll jump into the deep water. This cabinet started out as an Amberola I-B cabinet and it was modified at the factory to determine the feasibility of using Amberola cabinets for the new Diamond Disk machines. Another idea... Maybe there was a surplus of pre-made Amberola cabinets and it was an attempt to use up existing cabinets. Either way, it's a very interesting find. Congratulations! Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Brad,

Very interesting machine. Once you get the machine home, you'll know if you have an A-series mechanism or a B-series ("Standardized") mechanism. Judging from the machine's other characteristics that can be seen in the photos, I suspect you have what became the A-250. The tone slots certainly suggest an early cabinet, and the lid brace is oddly sited and quite long. I don't know what to make of the drawers; wish I could see a photo of the insides. But the kicker is the data plate. No model number, and the "X" prefix which was typically used to denote "experimental" among several firms.

If, as I suspect, the mechanism is an A-series, there will be a serial number stamped into it. It would be interesting to know if it matches the number on the data plate. I'll withhold further speculation until we know the number.

Also - although the reproducer may not be original to the machine, it is an early production model, so its serial number should be examined as well.

On the basis of what I can see, I'd venture to make a preliminary comment that it looks like a legitimate mock-up...dare I say "prototype?" I'll be interested to see further photos!

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Victor V
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Frow mentions that Edison made up some cabinets to show his cabinet makers that the 1A cabinet could be adapted to records, however, by his description this would have been prior to 1912 and there is a 1913 patent date on the tag.


I reckon that's what it is too. More than likely it would have hung around the shop for some time before it was finally given the boot. Maybe eventually sold to an employee or at a discounted price.
The unique serial number seems to indicate it was never intended to be passed off as an A250/B250.
Perhaps the X indicated it was an experimental model as George stated.
Great score whatever it is Brad. It never ceases to amaze me that 100 years on, these types of weird, seemingly original variations are still turning up.


Last edited by gramophoneshane on Fri May 27, 2011 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Victor III
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Thanks George,

I have the machine home and will take more pictures tomorrow when the light is better.

Where would the serial number be stamped in the mechanism?

There is an access door on the back, however, it is either fastened shut or the door is swollen. I don't want to force it. Suggestions?

Thanks,
Brad
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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:10 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Brad,

When you remove the turntable, you should see the serial number stamped in a small unpainted area.

I wouldn't force the rear door. It works on a ball catch, so simply squirting a bit of light lubricant into the catch might cure the problem. Also, depending on the storage conditions of the past few months, the door may have swollen. Returning the machine to a drier environment may help. (I once bought an oak Victrola XVI whose record storage doors were so swollen they overlapped by almost ¼". The sound doors were tight, but those record storage doors were unbelievably swollen. After a couple of months in our house, they closed together perfectly, and remain that way to this day.)

Also, even though the drawers make it clear that this cabinet was originally intended to house an Amberola, check the right lower edge of the lid, and the corresponding right sill for signs of the cut-out that aided cylinder installation and removal.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Victor V
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Those drawer straps were obviously purpose built for something & recycled for use here. It would be interesting to know their original purpose, and whether such items were used at the factory for something like machine crates or cylinder shipping boxes etc. It does seem a little odd to me that they were painted, but perhaps it would make more sense if they're recognized by someone.


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:38 am 
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Victor VI
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What an interesting find Brad!

Looking closely under the lid, it certainly looks like an "A" mechanism as indicated by the large speed control knob on the back left but we'll see.

Also would be interesting to know if there's any indication of mountings for the wooden frame around the motor board and whether the inside of the cabinet was drilled for mounting an Amberola 1 mechanism, (as my A300 was).

There also appears to be two holes where the lid support would have normally been mounted, wear inside the cabinet where the lid support would have rubbed when raising, lowering the lid and I see the remnants of the Amberola 1 fancy decal under the lid.

Certainly seems to have all been done a long time ago, probably at the factory based on the strange SN tag.

Looking forward to hear, see more.


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:40 am 
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Victor Monarch
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After a good night's sleep, my brain is fully functional again. I'm pretty sure that what we're looking at here is NOT a particularly early Diamond Disc machine, but rather a mock-up for converting stocks of unsaleable Amberola 1A cabinets into disc cabinets. This looks to have occurred after approximately 1000 A-250s had been shipped (early 1914?). The data plate is a later type, showing the March 11, 1913 date on a different line that the others.

So probably not significant as to the machine, but a very interesting mock-up for converting Amberola cabinets. I'd love to know where this has been all its life!

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: A250, B250, or what?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:21 am 
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Victor III
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Brad,
Do the drawer bottoms have evidence of cylinder holder hardware on them in the form of screw holes? That is a really cool machine!!! Nice find!!!

Steve


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