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 Post subject: HMV model 144
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:29 pm 
Victor Jr
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:51 am
Posts: 2
Hello to everyone I am quite new to this forum so I hope the thread follows all the community guidelines.

Recently I bought this very interesting portable sold by the Italian branch of The Gramophone Co. ("La voce del padrone").

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any related information (also the model is not among the "export" ones which are mentioned in the book "The Perfect Portable Gramophone - His Master's Voice" by Dave Cooper).

I assume that this has not been assembled at Hayes or with all the components from it because all the engraved instructions are in Italian (i.e. speed indicator plate etc. - I also own an Italian HMV Mod.102 and with the exception of the lid transfer everything is written in English and marked "The Gramophone Company, Hayes Middlesex ).

The following components are for sure not HMV:

1. the motor is a Thorens Mod.530 (with the appropriate cranking handle)
2. the tonearm resembles a large bore HMV one but it shrinks to the point where an HMV No.4 soundbox fits
3. the needle container
4. the handle retaining clips (and also the handle itself)

I am not sure about the horn which in shape and size is equal to the one of an HMV Mod.102 but the metal sheet looks thinner, and about metal corners.

Regarding the soundbox it is a Columbia (more likely EMI) No.21.

Cosmetically the gramophone is covered with a snake blue marine leatherette and has internal florentine bronze fittings so I assume it is some sort of De-Luxe version (interestingly the external fittings have been subject to bluing).

If someone could provide me with more information that would be very much appreciated. I think it has not been sold/made before 1939 and the swiss motor made me think it was not made after 1945 (more or less).

P.s: please ignore all the chaos of the laboratory visible in the background :D

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 Post subject: Re: HMV model 144
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:34 pm 
Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1382
Location: South Carolina
Nobody knows?

It's a pretty machine and I hope someone can chime in with info, but I think it's very nice to find.

Is the motor original?

 Post subject: Re: HMV model 144
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:21 pm 
Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2865
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The machine is clearly based upon the HMV102, but neither the motor nor the turntable are of HMV origin. They always fitted their own motors.
Having said that, this is an interesting and unusual portable, well worth the effort of sympathetic restoration.

 Post subject: Re: HMV model 144
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:09 am 
Victor III
User avatar
F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 888
Location: Italy
This is an italian-specific, "fantasy" model produced by La Voce Del Padrone, the Italian branch of HMV. These models were released during wartime, and I believe also slightly before wartime, as supplies by the factory in Hayes became very limited. Perhaps also the pressure put by the fascist government, which required all products to be engineered and crafted locally, played a role.

The result were machines like model 144 and models 103A, 104A and 116 - all gramophones of their own, made with parts by Thorens, Pathé, and perhaps also with other generic parts.

As a side note, I have read that French and German branches of HMV released "local" gramphone models, see here.

The horn of the 144 looks well engineered and I suppose it will play excellently, if fitted with a good soundbox. It is an historical model which, if you like it, is worth restoring.

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