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 Post subject: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:25 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:43 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Leicester, England
Hi guys.

I recently decided to sell some stuff from one of my other collections to raise capital to buy a coin operated phonograph. I've always wanted one ever since I started collecting, but they are hugely expensive. Now that I actually have the means to potentially buy one I'd like to make absolutely sure about what I'm buying. I saw this Columbia Graphophone type AT for sale and was tempted, mostly by the fact that it was possibly a Victorian machine (pre-1901) and took big old pennies (I'm from the UK, so this is preferable over buying an American machine that takes nickels). I'm no expert in coin ops, so what do you guys think of this machine? From what I can see the decal definitely looks like a repro (the patent dates look way off for this machine), the case key looks new, the back card looks new and the horn looks tied on with copper wire. This is all superficial stuff, and the decal can be changed, so this isn't too bad. But based on the pictures does it look ok and original aside from that? And is there any indication on the year of manufacture based n the serial number? Does anybody even have a history of AT coin operated graphophones or even graphophones that were made to take British Pennies? Sorry for all the questions, but would hugely appreciate your thoughts on this. Cheers :)


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:29 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2799
Location: Harrison Township, MI
It's not an AT. It's a BS, (no pun intended). The name plate is wrong. That being the case, what else is incorrect???? I believe there are a lot of reproduction/home made parts on this machine.

This is an AT


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:54 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:15 pm
Posts: 494
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Josh

This is definitely a Graphophone BS or "made to look like one"

It is always hard and risky stating what is reproduction and what is not from photos.
I think you are correct the case looks like a modern replica with an incorrect lock, and poor quality decal.
The base of this is a Columbia B which is original but most of the coin-op parts look reproduced with some of them being artifically "aged".

Personally buying this is an individual choice. A good shape all (or mostly) original should cost $ 3000+ where as a nice looking one with reproduced coin-op parts can run in the $ 1000 to $ 1500 range.

If you can pick this one up for a good deal you could replace the decal and put a better horn and horn elbow on it and have a nice machine to look at.

Best of Luck

Bruce


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:15 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:43 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Leicester, England
Thank you. I really appreciate your thoughts. Seems to be some sort of cobbled together coin op machine then. That's a shame, but it is what it is. I'm glad I asked beforehand before dishing out. The seller is asking £3850, which is over $4.5k, so this is definitely a no-no then.

Any idea where I can possibly find some genuine coin operated machines for sale at a fair price? Can be for UK or US coins.

Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:27 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 4440
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
For $4,500 you should be able to find a better machine. Maybe a Columbia AS, which is based on a Columbia A - a more robust machine than the Columbia B and with a larger case. I found one for that price several years ago, so hopefully you will have good luck...

If you like the smaller BS, Bruce is correct about the price and the BS is an attractive machine. The one you have pictured could be a good choice, if you want to replace a few things AND the seller would be more reasonable regarding the asking price...

You might be able to find a European coin-op (a Pathé or German machine), or another one in the UK which would suit you. The advantage is the shipping... I wouldn't really trust having one shipped from the US to the UK, since they are fragile and the curved glass is difficult to replace, if broken, not to mention the coin-op parts... Personally, I would want to see it in person before buying one.
"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


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:36 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 10:15 pm
Posts: 891
Location: The one and only member near Omaha, Nebraska
The decal appeared dubious to me. Another member saved from a frankenphoneish machine.


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:43 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:43 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Leicester, England
Really appreciated everyone's thoughts and comments :) Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:50 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 107
In June 2019 a coinslot Columbia AT 255367 sold for £ 446 at Bonhams.


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:12 am 
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Victor III
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Keep'em well oiled
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 am
Posts: 779
Location: Madrid, Spain
This is not my business... But I'll give my two cents (or two pennies). if you have saved money and you are ready to buy phonograph and you want the real thing I would suggest that you take your time and be patient. Ask in the Forum from time to time in the trader section, and eventually any colega collector with a good reputation will come to the rescue and offer you a good machine to buy. You're looking for an expensive and rare machine so take your time...
Inigo


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 Post subject: Re: Coin Operated Columbia AT. What are your thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:41 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:34 pm
Posts: 459
Location: South Florida
budsta wrote:
In June 2019 a coinslot Columbia AT 255367 sold for £ 446 at Bonhams.

This is the same machine. Someone is looking for a handsome profit. I agree with the posts above. I would look for a more original machine and consider an AS. Just keep one thing in mind, a coin op may require a little (or a lot) of tweaking to keep them functioning properly. I have owned several and have spent countless hours tinkering with them. There is not a Repair manual available with step by step instructions. Also consider shipping risks during these tough times.
Good luck in your hunt
Joe


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