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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Victor IV
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Victor Z
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:30 am
Posts: 1281
Make: Victor Talking Machine Company
Model: Z
Serial # 17315
Year(s) Made: 1905 - 1908
Original Cost: $17
Reproducer/Sound-Box: Early "Exhibition"
Motor: Single spring.
Reproduction Parts: Crank handle, horn cradle tubing.
Current Value: $1000 to $1500 estimated.
Favorite Characteristics: Near mint condition and well cared for throughout its life. I also like that its
small and easy to move if needed. This is currently the prize of my collection and I was very fortunate
to find it.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to go to the video on YouTube.)



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Last edited by antique1973 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 6170
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
I love that horn!

I know that Baumbach's excellent Look For The Dog cites 1903-1905 as production dates for the Z, but I can't believe that's accurate. I have an undated Victor catalog that contains testimonials from April & May 1904, and shows the Victor VI (first shipped in November 1904). This catalog shows the Victor Royal, but no Victor Z. Judging by serial numbers (which are intermixed with the Victor I), I'm estimating Victor Z production from 1906-1908. I can't find the Z in the Victor Data Book, beyond an illustration inexplicably labeling it as a Zonophone.

I've never seen a Z without the 8" cast iron turntable with the beveled lower perimeter, and that didn't appear until 1905.

In any event - nice machine!

Question: Does the support arm attract a magnet?

George P.


Last edited by phonogfp on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 6516
Location: Albany, Oregon
Lovely little machine. You have every right to be delighted. Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:59 am 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3605
Location: Western Canada
I too love the horn....heck, I like the whole machine. Nice to see you put the correct crank on it. It looks far better then the big (later)Victor crank.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Victor IV
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Victor Z
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:30 am
Posts: 1281
phonogfp wrote:
I love that horn!

I know that Baumbach's excellent Look For The Dog cites 1903-1905 as production dates for the Z, but I can't believe that's accurate. I have an undated Victor catalog that contains testimonials from April & May 1904, and shows the Victor VI (first shipped in November 1904). This catalog shows the Victor Royal, but no Victor Z. Judging by serial numbers (which are intermixed with the Victor I), I'm estimating Victor Z production from 1906-1908. I can't find the Z in the Victor Data Book, beyond an illustration inexplicably labeling it as a Zonophone.

I've never seen a Z without the 8" cast iron turntable with the beveled lower perimeter, and that didn't appear until 1905.

In any event - nice machine!

Question: Does the support arm attract a magnet?

George P.



Thanks George. A magnet sticks to the support arm. The factory label is tough to read in this photo but the date in the
bottom left says March 1, 1902 and someone hand wrote in pencil in the top right corner "⅓/5".

Brambach's book "Look for the Dog" says it was produced from 1903 to 1908. Its interesting that the book also shows the horn with a label on the side. I wonder what year they started putting the labels on.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 6170
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
Thanks for the answer about the magnet. That's about the nicest nickel plating I've seen on a Victor support arm! But the whole machine is so nice I guess it only makes sense.

Regarding the label on the bottom, I've seen that March 1, 1902 date on labels attached to machines that are several years later. I don't know the relevance of that date. Also note that the original price on the label is $17.00. If Look For The Dog is to be believed, this price change didn't occur until July 1905.

My copy of the 2005 edition of the book doesn't show a decal on the horn of the Z. Personally I prefer it without the decal -- it's very Berliner-like; a nice throwback. Congratulations again!

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:17 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:30 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Indianapolis, U.S. of A.
Love the machine, & I was surprised to hear how good it sounds-never saw one of those in person. A great demo, using Victor 18830 "When Frances Dances With Me" with the great Billy Murray & Ada Jones. That's got to be one of their last recordings, issued in 1921. This was a treat!


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:40 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:00 am
Posts: 999
In this condition it is the prize of any collection. Cute machine. I like it very much, thank you for sharing.

What is the advantage of 8" turntables?


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 6170
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
I was going through the Talking Machine World this afternoon researching something unrelated when I stumbled across an item in the July 1905 issue. The Victor Z was to be introduced between July 15 and August 1, 1905. So there's the date of entry. Then, in August 1908, the introduction of the Victor 0 was announced, and it was called "...a magnificent substitute for the Z..."

Victor Z: July 1905 - August 1908. :geek:

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 85 - Victor Model Z
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:41 am 
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Victor IV
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Victor Z
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:30 am
Posts: 1281
dennman6 wrote:
Love the machine, & I was surprised to hear how good it sounds-never saw one of those in person. A great demo, using Victor 18830 "When Frances Dances With Me" with the great Billy Murray & Ada Jones. That's got to be one of their last recordings, issued in 1921. This was a treat!


I was also surprised by the sound quality for such a small horn. Glad you enjoyed the tune!


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