The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:22 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1406
I came upon this Sears ad, which, judging from the style of the portable phonographs--case, sound box, tonearm-- seems to be from about the early to mid-1930s:

Image

(FROM: http://www.emediadesign.net/Phonographs/Info.html)

I know that Sears & Wards & other companies sold acoustic portable spring-wound phonographs into the early 1950s. (I have a 1950 Montgomery Wards catalog with two acoustic models for sale--spring wound and electric.) I'm wondering, though, how long the cabinet models were available? Any Sears Catalog collectors in our group?


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:58 am 
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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: 3967
Location: Albany NY
I'd say that's 30's. I have a 1942 catalog and there is nothing like that. I do know that in the 30's Sears sold an interesting hybrid. Aimed at homes without electricity it was a battery powered tabletop radio phonograph combination- the battery powered the radio and the phonograph pick up and amplifier, but it had a spring motor. This would greatly extend the battery life.


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:32 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1406
I noted that the site I linked to above is in the process of being changed. I'll edit the post with the new URLs as soon as this is completed.-- O.F.

Quote:
Aimed at homes without electricity it was a battery powered tabletop radio phonograph combination- the battery powered the radio and the phonograph pick up and amplifier, but it had a spring motor.


I've seen a few of those come up for sale on eBay--both small table top models, as well as a few portables. Probably the most famous "combi" type portable--spring motor & electrically amplified pickup -- was the RCA Special designed by John Vassos, as seen on these pages --

http://radiosphonos.com/museum/j583-spe ... -1152.html
http://radiosphonos.com/museum/j588-vas ... -1156.html


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:58 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
I expected to find that by 1937 there would be no cabinet mechanical machines around at sears.. But to my surprise I find a 36" tall "Console Cabinet Style Phonograph". in that year. Along with two portables.

The upright has an interesting note in the description. Play for up to Half and hour with the famous "Brunswick silent 4 spring motor". Wow! I wonder if Brunswick was the maker of the Sears line all along, or if it is due to the late date of this machine. No expert on Brunswick, but weren't they out of business by this time? Extra long horn is a feature along with balanced tone arm. Says made in a factory in Southern Indiana.. Anyone know who was down there in the phonograph business this late?

If latter today I can manage to figure out how to copy this page to this site I will try it. Not sure on that one yet.

I will also check some latter dates, but I suspect this may be one of the latter listings. I think my next sears is 1940, but am checking . I have a few wards and spiegel from late 30's I will also check them out.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:02 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
From the 1937 Sears Book;

Wow, that came though lousy, will see if I can do better on the Image Shack site, not sure?

No Luck, can't get the Image shack to download the photo at all at the moment.. there screens seem to be different than I am used to and that may be the issue?


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File comment: Sears 1937 Silvertone Phonograph
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sc0004639c.jpg [ 633.64 KiB | Viewed 1765 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
I looked in the 1937 Wards Catalog. Most were portables, but there is one table model which reflects the deco influence of the time. It has a wood cabinet with a lid similar to electric table tops of the time. The front is rounded and had slots, about three I think, that allow the sound to come though. Crank as usual on the side. Overall a rather neat little phonograph and a step above a suitcase. By 1940 I see no sign of anything other than portables.


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1406
This sort of re-writes history. For years, I've heard/read that cabinet model acoustic, spring-wound phonographs were totally phased out by the early 1930s in the US market. Obviously, a few were still available, though the selection was limited. This makes sense since the US was not "fully electrified" until after WWII. (Actually, it still isn't completely, but that's OT.)

Many thanks for the photo. I found that if I click on it (using Firefox), it will display, full size, in its own page.

O.F.


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
Hey, that was a great discovery.. Maybe that is how they are supposed to be viewed! I clicked on it and got a perfectly readable copy.. I wish now I had gone back and straighten it to get it perfectly true..

Glad you brought it up it was fun to see how late they really were. I had also the fall and winter as that is from the spring and summer. Oddly its missing the exact pages that would show the phonographs. I wanted to see if it was still available in the fall of that year. I will try and get the Wards photo up also now that I know you click on them to get a clear image.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
Unfortunately this item is in the very middle of a thick catalog and I can't get the description any clearer overall.


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 Post subject: Re: How long were cabinet acoustic phonos made in the US?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:30 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1484
Second try on a 1930 set of catalog pages by Sears.


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