Edison Bell portable

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dzavracky
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Edison Bell portable

Post by dzavracky »

Hi guys,

I think this is my second time posting in the European section; so please forgive my lack of knowledge about this portable I got today.


I saw it on Facebook and just really loved the way it looks. Granted the outside of the cabinet is in pretty sad shape.

So my first question is… what can you guys tell me about this portable? Is it an uncommon machine in Europe? I can only assume it’s a pretty hard machine to find in the US (I live in Tennessee).

The main reason for this post though, is the bottom spring is broken. I was really hopping the outside of the spring was broken because that’s repairable. But turns out the center of the spring broke. I haven’t ever seen a spring like this before. It has pear holes on both ends… but the inside has a “clip” connected to the pear hole. Is it possible to get a replacement for this spring? The rest of the motor was pretty straight forward.

Would this be a correct material to re-cover the outside with? https://ratchford.co.uk/product/red-41-leathercloth/

If I can find a spring I’ll send the reproducer to Wyatt M for a full rebuild.

Here’s some pictures. The picture of the motor put back together was taken after I cleaned the motor.
Thanks for your help!

David
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mrrgstuff
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by mrrgstuff »

I ought to say I am no expert on these, but as somebody living in the UK, and owning an Edison Bell machine, I can at least say in my experience these portables are not particularly common here. My (somewhat different machine) was missing its reproducer so I saw a few pictures of machines like this and the reproducer on its own (though I think in nickel finish), but I haven't seen one in the flesh.
Your one (very nice it is too), looks a lot like a HMV 101, which in my limited experience is a much more common find.
Good luck in getting it sorted out

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dzavracky
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by dzavracky »

mrrgstuff wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:17 pm I ought to say I am no expert on these, but as somebody living in the UK, and owning an Edison Bell machine, I can at least say in my experience these portables are not particularly common here. My (somewhat different machine) was missing its reproducer so I saw a few pictures of machines like this and the reproducer on its own (though I think in nickel finish), but I haven't seen one in the flesh.
Your one (very nice it is too), looks a lot like a HMV 101, which in my limited experience is a much more common find.
Good luck in getting it sorted out
Can you post a picture of your portable? What what I could get from it by spinning the platter with my hand, it should sound really nice when it is all fixed up! The reproducer seems to be really heavy though... :?

David

epigramophone
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by epigramophone »

Here is a pre digital photo of an Edison Bell 345G which I sold some years ago. This was their top of the range portable costing £7 in 1930. An automatic brake was an optional extra costing 2s.6d.
It had an Edison Bell No.45 double spring motor and, unusually for a portable, a 12 inch turntable. With the 12 inch record album removed it would play with the lid closed, the 3 foot long horn emerging at the front of the case, which measured 9 inches high by 14 inches wide and 16 inches deep. It weighed 20 pounds.
It's weak point was the complex pot metal tonearm, which had broken beneath the motor board where it joined the horn.
I had the motor professionally serviced, and the repairer remarked on the unusually thick and strong springs.
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Steve
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by Steve »

Crikey, Roger, I like that portable you had. I'd buy one of those in a flash but they are quite uncommon and I can't even recall ever seeing one.

There was a fairly basic EB portable on Ebay close to me recently. I submitted an offer but it sold for the asking price in under 6 hours!

They must be in demand?

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dzavracky
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by dzavracky »

Wow that's a really nice portable! What is the main difference in the 44 and 45 motor? The springs on this machine and pretty small.

David

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Curt A
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by Curt A »

Nice find, David...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
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mrrgstuff
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by mrrgstuff »

dzavracky wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:32 pm Can you post a picture of your portable? What what I could get from it by spinning the platter with my hand, it should sound really nice when it is all fixed up! The reproducer seems to be really heavy though... :?

David
Its in bits - but I did do a YouTube video of it when I bought it. I really didn't know what I was buying - but I knew I was onto a good thing. I bought 3 machines that day, the Edison Bell is the last - and starts at about 8:35 in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd4q5yGQ3pQ

Since then I have picked up a soundbox which although I'm sure is from a different sort of Edison Bell portable (as it has the locating pin on the neck - which my one doesn't need) - from the very few pictures I have and the remains of the original one - I would say is about 98% correct - and good enough for the moment:
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Last edited by mrrgstuff on Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Curt A
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by Curt A »

https://ratchford.co.uk/product/red-41-leathercloth/

David,
I think the red "leather cloth" that you asked about on the above site is probably correct for re-covering. This seems to be the replacement for "rexine", which is quite often quoted on UK sites as the proper material for re-covering portables... Maybe one of our UK members can verify this...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife

epigramophone
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Re: Edison Bell portable

Post by epigramophone »

dzavracky wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:10 am Wow that's a really nice portable! What is the main difference in the 44 and 45 motor? The springs on this machine and pretty small.

David
I never saw the 45 motor in pieces, but when I collected it from the late great Philip Knighton he said that the springs were as thick as (cylinder) phonograph springs. He had the scars to prove it, and asked me never to bring him another one to fix!

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