Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

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fran604g
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Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by fran604g »

Hi folks,

A couple of months ago, I added the "shock proof governor" (asking if your governor has 2 or 3 weights) to my questionnaire in the C250/C19 Database Project here: http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewto ... =2&t=16837.

It's easy to identify by its three weights (as opposed to two weights), and obvious sturdier construction.
Shock-proof.JPG
Standard.JPG
I had assumed that this version of governor was used late in the production of Edison's Disc Phonographs (Frow mentions it on pgs. 38 and 175 of his Edison Disc Phonographs book), and indeed the Patent application date bears out my assumption.

However, I have a much earlier C-250 mechanism (#23481) that has this governor installed in it with no other apparent modifications to the mechanism.

I wonder if other C-250 owners have one installed on theirs ?

If you do, would you either post your serial number here, or PM me with it?
Three Weight Governor.JPG
Best,
Fran
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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by EarlH »

I have one of those governors, but haven't put it on my machine yet. I need to take it apart and service it this winter. I greased the springs when I got it back in 1972 and it now sounds like it's time to do it again! I was 10 at that time and my Dad's stepfather (who's mother owned the Victor dealership here in town from about 1905 and for the next 50 years) helped me do that. Have you noticed an improvement in how the machine runs? I have no complaint about how mine has operated for all of these years but I'm kind of curious of course. I had a long play Edison back in the 70's and I remember a governor like that in that machine. I was still at home in those days and my Dad thought that machine was VERY ugly and traded it to a guy for a player piano!

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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by fran604g »

EarlH wrote:I have one of those governors, but haven't put it on my machine yet. I need to take it apart and service it this winter. I greased the springs when I got it back in 1972 and it now sounds like it's time to do it again! I was 10 at that time and my Dad's stepfather (who's mother owned the Victor dealership here in town from about 1905 and for the next 50 years) helped me do that. Have you noticed an improvement in how the machine runs? I have no complaint about how mine has operated for all of these years but I'm kind of curious of course. I had a long play Edison back in the 70's and I remember a governor like that in that machine. I was still at home in those days and my Dad thought that machine was VERY ugly and traded it to a guy for a player piano!
Hi Earl,

Actually, I have. The C-19 (TYPE B?) mechanism I had before ran fine, but this C-250 mechanism, with the 3 spring governor, runs smoother, I think. I have noticed that the springs do make a different sound, too. Not at all "worse", just different. I'm assuming it's because of the earlier spring manufacturing process. Frow mentions that there were problems with the springs early on, but I don't know if that is the reason for the difference. Also, he notes that the spring barrel/spring combination changed from the barrel driving the mechanism to the center of the spring driving it, at some point. I need to do a lot more research until I can be certain how any of this relates to my own experiences. 8-)

Fran
Last edited by fran604g on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by EarlH »

Now on the later machines when Edison started out with the long play records, they did roll the springs out to be much flatter and tempered them so that when the motor was wound up the springs would lay flat. Apparently they tended to arch a little bit when there was tension on them. So, if that was carefully done the springs needed very little grease and there was much less friction on them as they unwound so the springs were not slipping and jerking as the motor was run. I forget where I read that at and maybe it was in Frow's book. The old Stereo Review magazine back in the 70's used to have articles on phonographs and I might have read about it in one of those years ago too. Frow's book is confusing and should be done over but that's a whole different subject.

I have played thousands and thousands of records on that old Edison of mine, I'm really amazed the motor hasn't worn out on it. But I've always kept it oiled and I suppose that has much to do with it. I'll have to get after it this winter and get that swapped around and see what it acts like then. I got it from the son of the original owner. I saw him about 10 years later and told me he remembered his Dad buying it from a row of them at the Edison dealer here in town. At one time I had 3000+ diamond disks but have since thinned down that number considerably. There's a lot of forgettable music out there. Ha!

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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by fran604g »

Thanks, Earl for the response.

Frow did write about the problems Edison [sic] ran into with the springs cupping, and implies that Henry Ford was involved with the spring manufacturing process in some way (pg. 38). Edison apparently had realized that springs weren't being rolled flat, and they needed to be rolled to within 3 ten-thousandths of an inch flatness. This revelation seems to have been pretty early in the development of the TYPE A mechanism, so I'm probably wrong with my assumption that the springs in my C-250 may be the "bad" ones.

Mine show indications that the spring barrels have been apart, and maybe the springs have been replaced.

Fran
Last edited by fran604g on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by dennis »

So, if one has a DD with the 2 spring governor, should one live in fear?

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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by fran604g »

dennis wrote:So, if one has a DD with the 2 spring governor, should one live in fear?
Absolutely not! Most have 2 weight governors.

I'm just curious if any other C-250's may have the later "shock proof" 3 wieght governor.

Fran
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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by marcapra »

I just checked the governors on my C-250 SM58189 (c.1917) and my Edisonic Beethoven (c. 1928). No surprises here as the C-250 has the two spring governor and the Edisonic has the shock-proof governor. Since the shock-proof governor wasn't invented until 1926 according to your patent sheet, your C-250 governor must have been installed by some tinkering mechanic in some unknown past decade.

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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

Post by fran604g »

marcapra wrote:I just checked the governors on my C-250 SM58189 (c.1917) and my Edisonic Beethoven (c. 1928). No surprises here as the C-250 has the two spring governor and the Edisonic has the shock-proof governor. Since the shock-proof governor wasn't invented until 1926 according to your patent sheet, your C-250 governor must have been installed by some tinkering mechanic in some unknown past decade.
Thanks, I think that's exactly what happened, too bad LP gearing wasn't installed, also! ;)

Since beginning my research into the C-250/C-19, I've found several inconsistent and confusing statements in Frow's book.

Also, on pg. 38: he explains that the TYPE B mechanism was standardized in the beginning of 1915, but on the same page he states that the three spring (shock proof) governor "was liable to have it's rollers [whatever he meant?] for reducing starting and stopping strain removed by impatient repairmen."

On the preceding page, he shows a picture of the (3 spring) governor in a "TYPE B" mechanism that is clearly (to me) at least a second generation casting.

This was a much lighter casting than the pinstriped examples I've seen and was probably begun after America became involved in WWI because of wartime shortages and economizing; my words).

Why would he use these 2 examples that are probably 9 years (or even possibly as many as 11 years) apart from each other? And especially if the governor hadn't been invented yet?

I've noted many more variations than I had initially wanted to cover in my research, but it's become very evident I must include new discoveries in my ever expanding work as I uncover them. :)

Best,
Fran
Last edited by fran604g on Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Edison "shock proof" Governor used on C-250's

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Last edited by fran604g on Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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