My Caruso portable.

Discussions on Talking Machines of British or European Manufacture
epigramophone
Victor VI
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Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
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My Caruso portable.

Post by epigramophone »

Thanks to our meeting on this forum, Martin (nostalgia) and I have maintained a regular correspondence by email. A few weeks ago he posted pictures of a Caruso portable, and as Caruso has been one of my lifelong record collecting interests the idea of a gramophone bearing his name appealed to me.

I asked Martin whether he knew if it was for sale, and he confirmed that it was advertised on a Swedish internet marketplace owned by PayPal. Martin lives in Norway, and with his help I was able to purchase the machine and have it shipped to the UK.

I attach pictures of the machine partially dismantled in my workshop in the hope that someone will be able to identify it. There is no manufacturer's name displayed anywhere, but the case structure closely resembles the HMV101. The only clue to it's nationality is the speed control in both English and Italian.

A previous repairer has reassembled the soundbox with the backplate upside down. This will be rectified when the hardened gaskets are replaced.

Over to our European experts......
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nostalgia
Victor III
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Location: My gramophone repair room

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by nostalgia »

I am very happy to see the Caruso portable in very good hands, and the machine also looks very well built.
I cross my fingers that someone can help identifying the motor, and hopefully also the manufacturer of the portable.
:clover:

CarlosV
Victor IV
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Location: Luxembourg

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by CarlosV »

The lento-presto written on the speed control is common on many German machines, and the auto brake is also typical of German machines. Same for the look of the soundbox, there are many German soundboxes with very similarly inscribed names, including the handwritten-type of lettering. I have seen also many German imitations of the nr 4 HMV like this one.

Phono48
Victor IV
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by Phono48 »

I recognise the motor immediately, as I've been looking for one for months! It's a Steidinger. They later became Dual.

Barry

epigramophone
Victor VI
Posts: 3855
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by epigramophone »

Thank you gentlemen. The consensus is that the machine is German, but as far as I have been able to discover, Steidinger did not make complete machines until after they adopted the Dual brand name. More research is needed to establish the manufacturer.

poodling around
Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:52 am

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by poodling around »

epigramophone wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:36 pm Thanks to our meeting on this forum, Martin (nostalgia) and I have maintained a regular correspondence by email. A few weeks ago he posted pictures of a Caruso portable, and as Caruso has been one of my lifelong record collecting interests the idea of a gramophone bearing his name appealed to me.

I asked Martin whether he knew if it was for sale, and he confirmed that it was advertised on a Swedish internet marketplace owned by PayPal. Martin lives in Norway, and with his help I was able to purchase the machine and have it shipped to the UK.

I attach pictures of the machine partially dismantled in my workshop in the hope that someone will be able to identify it. There is no manufacturer's name displayed anywhere, but the case structure closely resembles the HMV101. The only clue to it's nationality is the speed control in both English and Italian.

A previous repairer has reassembled the soundbox with the backplate upside down. This will be rectified when the hardened gaskets are replaced.

Over to our European experts......
Oh, there is another Caruso Portable for sale in Glasgow.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auct ... 3d00daab59
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epigramophone
Victor VI
Posts: 3855
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by epigramophone »

Very interesting. It shows the actuating arm on the autobrake which is missing from my machine.
A previous owner probably removed the arm when the autobrake malfunctioned. It now has two manual brakes!

Phono48
Victor IV
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by Phono48 »

My Linguaohone portable is identical to your Caruso, with exactly the same fittings, motor and case. In tiny letters which are hard to read, on the bottom right of the record pocket I can just make out the word "Wennergrens". I was informed by a German collector that this was a Swedish manufacturer of gramophones.

Barry

epigramophone
Victor VI
Posts: 3855
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.

Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by epigramophone »

That makes perfect sense. My Caruso was advertised on the Swedish on line market place Tradera.

nostalgia
Victor III
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Re: My Caruso portable.

Post by nostalgia »

I think I have some news on the Caruso portable, that I asked my old collector friend about today.
I can't say for sure that the gramophone brand was imported by Wennergrens, but I at least have some news on Wennergrens. They were not exactly a gramophone manufacturer, but an import company in Stockholm Sweden in the 1930s. They were the sole importer of Durium records to Sweden and they were also importing fashion clothing at the time, and also at one stage changed their name to Wennergren- Williams, which can be shown in this brochure: http://www.forsth.com/pdf/jg1937.pdf They were also active in Norway, where they were issuing pocket books of all kinds, and also selling philatelist products to collectors, printing catalogues etc. Finding their name on gramophones and also Linguaphone producst show they were big enough to have their name printed on such products.
If the Caruso portable was not imported and sold by Wennergrens themselves too, it most likely must have been a close association between them and another Swedish importer, since at the time some Swedish warehouse brands were importing gramophones with their own unique name on their portables, manufactured by Thorens , Steidinger etc.

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