Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

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nostalgia
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Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

Columbia portables seem to haunt me these days, at least it feels so. I guess that is how it is when you first have started to give something attention, then you spot it and sense it, everywhere around you. Today I have spent 5 hours online, on the forum, and in google, looking at different Columbia models. I have also saved photos, all of Columbia portables, and it seems like an endless task. Despite the hard work, an old Columbia came my way today, it is up for sale for 60 euro. When I first spotted it, I told myself, this time I will be able to identify you, without posting on the forum! But, of course...it is not a Columbia for nothing! I simly can't identify it, both the wooden motorboard, and the position of the wind up mechanism do not match any of the Columbia models I have been able to look up so far.
I post the photos, so you can have a look.
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3.jpg
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Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

This is not a true Columbia machine. It's made under licence by Pathé. I have an identical one, in red, badged "La Voix De Son Maitre", ("His Masters' Voice")

nostalgia
Victor III
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

Thanks for posting that, Barry. After I had started the thread, I felt I had seen that wooden motorboard earlier on, and yes, I remember now
I during the summer came across a "La Voix De Son Maitre", that I never bought but that still confused me because of the HMV logo. I have read and learned a bit since then, but this is the first time I come across this Pathé machine, now with the Columbia name and logo inprinted on it. Wonder what kind of agreement this really was, and how Columbia allowed a French manufacturer to use their logo, on a machine that in many ways probably was inferior to their own standards? At least that is the feeling I get. But I guess it was all, again, a matter of money, and the fact that Pathé could now brand their portable with HMV and also Columbia logos raised their own sales in regions outside the UK where maybe Columbia anyway did not have a too strong foothold...

epigramophone
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by epigramophone »

UK Columbia acquired Pathé's European gramophone and record division in 1928, therefore from Columbia's merger with HMV in 1931, Pathé became part of EMI.

nostalgia
Victor III
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

Thank you, Roger. This explains it all, I guess this gramophone then was made by Pathé during the years of 1928 to 1931, before Columbia was merged with HMV to become EMI. Maybe not exactly a unique find, but still quite fascinating, as I see it.

nostalgia
Victor III
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

I am reopening this old thread, not because there are more to say about the portable that started this thread, but because I have come across this Columbia portable, that I believe must be a model 202C (?), but what confuses me though, is that the motorboard seems to be made of black wood? Anyone?

After more time spent checking my Columbia portable photos saved on my computer: Because of the front wind up, I now start to doubt this is a C version of the Model 202, but the motorboard is still enigmatic to me.

PS. This is a UK made Columbia 202, it also exist a Japan made Columbia portable model 102, but it looks different. The Japan version can by the way be seen here:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=44519&start=10
Attachments
Columbia 201 (2).jpg
Columbia 201 (1).jpg

Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

The 202c (pictured below) has the side-winding EMI motor. The model you have is a standard 202, but I'm not sure of the difference between an A and B. The black painted motorboard is often found, mine has the same.

Barry

Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

Phono48 wrote: The model you have is a standard 202, but I'm not sure of the difference between an A and B.
It may possibly have been when the internal fitting changed from nickel to chromium. The one you have has the typical Pakawa handle ends, so it must be an after-merger model.

Barry

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Gramophile »

Yes, the little differences between machines are indeed haunting, aren't they?
Here on the attachment is a picture of a US model 161 (I thought it was model 160?) from Fabrizio & Paul's magnificent book "Discovering Antique Phonographs 1877-1929". Comparing it with Epigramophone's (British) 113a, note the different speed adjuster, suitcase clips - and the tone-arm, which is however the 113-type.
Attachments
Columbia 161.     .jpg

nostalgia
Victor III
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

Thank you, Barry.
I did not buy this black Columbia, even if I could probably get it cheaply ( it does look rusty to me...). For the moment I just paid attention to the motorboard, that looks different than what I would expect it to look. If one is clicking on the last photo I posted, and view it in detail, the motorboard looks like wood to me, or maybe it is just the Rexine (or whatever one call this covering) that is worn out?

Update: After scrutinizing more photos of the black model 202 online with black motor board, this black motorboard seems to be the normal covering, for this early model 202, while the later editions of the 202, like your blue 202, has a motorboard with a different black/blue texture.

And yes,,Gramophile, the small differences between the different Columbia models are really haunting:)

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