The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings
https://forum.talkingmachine.info/

Featured Phonograph № 44
https://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3347
Page 1 of 2

Author:  mariof [ Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Featured Phonograph № 44

Sorry if you've seen it...

Make: North American Phonograph Company (made by Edison)
Model: Class M
Serial # 5142
Year Made: 1893
Original Cost: ??
Case/Cabinet Size: Earlier Style - Mahogany
Turntable/Mandrel: Standard - Brass
Reproducer/Sound-Box: "Standard" - 2min and cutter combo (early variant with pin - see below under favourite features)
Motor: Electric
Horn Dimensions: Listening tubes / Recording Mouth Piece
Reproduction Parts: Swarf drawer (it was missing the screws on the reproducer carriage but I had these made and then I was offered some original ones!)
Current Value: ???
Interesting Facts: I purchased the machine out of a 40 year collection. It was apparently originally used in the mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia for exhibition purposes.

Favorite Characteristics: There's a few: 1. Originality (the swarf draw is a repro, but the rest of the machine is original including the finish!)
2. Early Reproducer/Carriage. The 'locating pins'on the reproducer and carriage made it possible to only attach listening tubes in 'play' position OR recording tube in 'cutting/record'position. This was a feature against using the wrong stylus.
3. The exposed governor

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Author:  brianu [ Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

all I'm hearing is the voice of harrison ford... it belongs in a museum... seriously, super nice and rare machine, an excellent find.

Author:  Aaron [ Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

Awesome example of such a rare machine

Aaron

Author:  Edisonfan [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

WOW! :o Now that's a real nice machine.

Author:  Valecnik [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

Mario,

Thanks for posting. What a fantastic machine and especially great that you found it locally and know some of the history. Incredible that it could have survived so virtually entact and in such good condition all those years.

I especially like the hand stenceling, the script on the bedplate, "Turn this wo... only".

Congratulations. You have a real piece of industrial history there.

Author:  phonophan79 [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

Great machine, always nice to see. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Can someone refresh me on what the "North American Phonograph Company" is and how Edison is connected?

What is the "shall not be used within the state of New Jersey" inscription?

Author:  phonogfp [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

phonophan79 wrote:
Great machine, always nice to see. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Can someone refresh me on what the "North American Phonograph Company" is and how Edison is connected?

What is the "shall not be used within the state of New Jersey" inscription?

Well, here's the Reader's Digest Condensed explanation:

An entrepreneur named Jesse Lippincott formed the North American Phonograph Company on July 14, 1888 after securing the rights to distribute the Graphophone (from the American Graphophone Company) and the Phonograph (from Edison). Graphophones at this time were mounted on treadle bases and driven by foot-power. Edison's Phonograph was the Class "M" and the first ones featured "Spectacle" carriages which carried both Reproducer and Recorder. The single-eye carriage as seen on Mario's example appeared in November 1889.

Originally the Graphophone and Phonograph were not sold, but leased - much like telephones were until the 1980s. Local "territories" were drawn out, and eventually 32 local subsidiaries existed under the North American umbrella. Although the territories were meant to protect the local companies, they were constantly knifing each other, and exhibitors were particularly prone to transport a machine leased from one company into the territory of another. After North American dropped the leasing arrangement and selling machines in 1891, the same territorial rights were supposed to remain in effect, but nothing really changed. In an attempt to discourage the illegal use of the machines (these were virtually all Edison Class "M" Phonographs after 1890 since the treadle Graphophones had proved impractical), some of the larger territories requested that special markings would be attached to machines sold in neighboring territories. This activity was most prevalent in the Northeast. Mario's Class "M" may have originally been sold in Pennsylvania, so the New Jersey Phonograph Company (subsidiary of North American) might have had an agreement that all machines sold in Pennsylvania bear that special marking to protect New Jersey. The most commonly seen plates are for New York, New Jersey, and New England.

North American was thrown into receivership in August 1894 by Thomas Edison, the firm's chief creditor. It would take two years before Edison could disentangle himself from the legal quagmire of North American, and it was during this time that the Graphophone made much headway in the marketplace.

George P.

Author:  mariof [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

Hi George,

I'm wondering what you think about the date of 1893 that I have had associated with this machine. Can the serial number or any of the features help pinpoint a year (someone else using such a method said 1893)?

Also, have you seen any instances of this particular carriage and reproducer arrangement? (locating pins)

Cheers,
Mario

Author:  phonophan79 [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

Thanks for the info, George!

Author:  phonogfp [ Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Featured Phonograph № 44

mariof wrote:
Hi George,

I'm wondering what you think about the date of 1893 that I have had associated with this machine. Can the serial number or any of the features help pinpoint a year (someone else using such a method said 1893)?

Also, have you seen any instances of this particular carriage and reproducer arrangement? (locating pins)

Cheers,
Mario

It's tough to use serial numbers to date Class Ms. The earliest numbered examples (say, below 1000) seem to have the earliest features, but soon later and earlier castings became mixed in inventory. None were manufactured after July 1890 (if I recall correctly) due to Jesse Lippincott failing to pay his bills and asking that his mandatory monthly order be put on hold. Class Ms subsequently sold were brought out of the 1890 inventory, and this didn't change until 1896. For instance, my example is numbered in the 7000-range, but retains the early raised ridge in the upper casting between the back rod and the feed screw. I don't see this ridge on yours, although it may be hiding. In any event, there are Class Ms numbered well below 7000 that don't have the early style ridge in the upper casting. Bottom line: manufacture date is no later than mid-1890, but assembly date could be years later.

Your carriage and reproducer arrangement are typical of a Class M - - I've seen quite a few, including my own. A Standard Speaker on a Class M should always have the locating pin. But finding the proper speaking & listening tubes with the appropriate collars is quite another matter! ;)

Hope this helps - -

Best,
George P.

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
http://www.phpbb.com/