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 Post subject: Unique German portable gramophone, "Gekaico"
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 8:44 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I came across this portable, that I bought and collected some days ago. I decided to share some photos, because of the unique externally mounted speed control that is attached to it, and also because most of us never have seen this portable before.

I did some research before buying the portable, since the brand name "Gekaico" was totally new to me. I was able to detect that "Gekaico" was the brand name often used by German company named " Gebrüder Kaiser & Company", and that they originate as far back as the early 1900's, and became famous for their lamps, which today are highly sought after in the antique market. The company even exist today, as "Kaisershaus". I have however not been able to detect that they ever possibly designed gramophones, and this is still a mystery, at the time of writing this.

When purchasing the gramophone, (that obviously in its times was marketed by a Swedish company in Stockholm), I of course had to open the motor, and see if there were more clues that this really was a German made portable, and that the name Gekaico was not coincidentally also used by a(Swedish) manufacturer/importer only of portables. The fact that, I when checking yesterday, discovered that the soundbox was German made, was the first sign that my reaserch could have pointed me in the correct direction.
The motor confirmed this fact. The motor is made by another German "brotherhood", "Gebrüder Steidinger (later "Dual"). If it had not been for Barry (Phono48) nailing another Steidinger motor last November here on the forum, I would not have recognized the stamp on the motor. When I now saw the same "$" logo on the motor, it confirmed this is a German made portable.

Without knowing more, at this time, one could possibly think that this gramophone have been designed and sold by " Gebrüder Kaiser & Company", while the Steidinger company has manufactured the model, using also their motors. At least that is what comes to my mind. I for sure still cant be sure that this gramophone ever was designed by the Gebrüder Kaiser & Co, but as long as no other information is available, I at the time of writing this hold this as the best option.
If anyone have ever seen this gramophone, or have information to add, this is of course very welcome. Whatever information that is digged up on this gramophone, I wanted to share the photos and information, since sharing knowledge is the best way to make our hobby survive, reinforce and even "rejuvenate" in the long run:)

Pay also attention to the lid stay, it took me some extra seconds to understand how it was working, since one has to sqeeze the right part of the stay over to the left side, to close the mechanism. Luckily it has survived during the years, and it also survived my initial clumsiness.;)


Attachments:
Gekaico.jpg
Gekaico.jpg [ 1.24 MiB | Viewed 520 times ]
Gekaico1.jpg
Gekaico1.jpg [ 1.03 MiB | Viewed 520 times ]
Gekaico2.jpg
Gekaico2.jpg [ 1007.78 KiB | Viewed 520 times ]
Speed control.jpg
Speed control.jpg [ 1.03 MiB | Viewed 520 times ]
lid stay.jpg
lid stay.jpg [ 841.78 KiB | Viewed 520 times ]
motor.jpg
motor.jpg [ 538.42 KiB | Viewed 520 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Unique German portable gramophone, "Gekaico"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:23 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:02 pm
Posts: 14
A really handsome and original portable!
I never heard of this brand, but came across a few machines which were identical. In my first years of collecting someone offered me a Majestrola in the same color as yours, but I didn‘t buy it. Most of these machines are branded Majestrola and they had the capabilities to build these machines. So I think this one was made by Majestrola and renamed.

Majestrola (J.Polak Apparatebau) was absorbed 1927/28 by Lindström. The daugher of the owner Lotte Polak married Curt Holländer (both jews) who was employed by Lindström. A short time along machines from Odeon/Parlophon were also sold as Majestrola. Your machine is probably before this engagement!

Mentioned still in a catalog of 1930(!). Probably very old stocks.


Attachments:
752B00D9-BAE6-4257-AC9B-A1CC810A55A4.jpeg
752B00D9-BAE6-4257-AC9B-A1CC810A55A4.jpeg [ 357.66 KiB | Viewed 436 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Unique German portable gramophone, "Gekaico"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:44 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Thank you, Nektreg, for posting this interesting information, this was exactly what I hoped for, since it can shed more light on this "Gekaico" portable. The externally mounted speed control, and the horn look very similar to my machine on this Majestrola, even if the tonearm is on the left side, and not on the right side as on my machine. There must have been some cooperation here for sure, no matter if my machine is manufactured by Majestrola or not. The only aspect that still makes me ponder if my machine is really made by Majestrola, is that the Majestrola machine according to the catalog uploaded has a "Majesta motor", seemingly Majestrola also made their own motors, while the motor on my machine is made by Steidinger(Dual). I am just thinking loudly here though, so I am well prepared and will be happy to be corrected on my reflections.


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 Post subject: Re: Unique German portable gramophone, "Gekaico"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:52 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Still doubting if it should be called coindicende, or synchronicity, or just recognition, I came across the Majestrola gramophone pictured in the above ad gratefully posted by Nektreg. I could not resist it at a mere €18, particularly since it has the same lid locks as the Gekaico,which are somewhat destroyed on my Gekaico machine. In total these machines look so similar (including the external speed control),that it is hard to understand that they have not been manufactured undet the same roof.
I took some photos this morning for reference, and as we can see it has a 2 spring motor ( not numbered), also this time Steidinger. The soundbox has the "Electra" name on it, somehow it reminds me of Goldring's Jewel Electra fonts, but that may be a coindidence, I myself can not nail this reproducer. Also "Foreign Make" is written under the needle bar. And yes, I have the winding key. Whether it will be a donor machine or not, I still thought the obvious link between these two machines could be of general interest.
PS. The carrying handle is missing, and there are also rather big scars on the "leather covering" of the gramophone.


Attachments:
Majestrola 1.jpg
Majestrola 1.jpg [ 714.83 KiB | Viewed 181 times ]
Steidinger 2 spring motor.jpg
Steidinger 2 spring motor.jpg [ 388.12 KiB | Viewed 181 times ]
Steidinger 2 spring motor (2).jpg
Steidinger 2 spring motor (2).jpg [ 530.57 KiB | Viewed 181 times ]
Electra Soundbox.jpg
Electra Soundbox.jpg [ 475.34 KiB | Viewed 181 times ]
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