The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

It is currently Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:35 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor Case
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:26 pm 
Offline
Victor IV
User avatar
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
I'm not sure I have ever posted a Featured Phonograph but I thought this one might be fun. Certainly not a fabulous rarity, though as a presumed one-of-a-kind I suppose it is rare, if not terribly valuable. I've owned it for about 25 years so it's time to pull it off the shelf and dust it off:

Make: Columbia
Model: Type B "Eagle"
Year(s) Made: 1897-1898 for this uncased style
Original Cost: $10
Case/Cabinet Size: 11 x 7.25 x 5.5
Turntable/Mandrel: conventional 2-minute
Reproducer/Sound-Box: Eagle
Motor: two spring, open works
Horn Dimensions: listening tubes
Reproduction Parts: tubes
Current Value: ?
Interesting Facts: homemade carrying case

This is a one-of-a kind example of a cheap Graphophone in a homemade case made for use in public exhibitions. Although the lowly "Eagle" Graphophone was a much cheaper and more basic machine than those normally used for exhibitions, at least one company promoted them for the purpose: Sears Roebuck & Co. In the late 1890s the Sears catalog pushed the Eagle "at a price which brings them into the easy reach of those of small means, who wish to give public exhibitions... You can make $5 to $25 every evening by giving public exhibitions... by using hearing tubes and charging 5 cents for each individual."

The Type B "Eagle" was sold starting in September 1897 at $10 uncased or $12 with the rounded lid as typically found. This is an example of the uncased style, with the serial number stamped onto the belt cover. The machine is mounted to a simple board with drilled corners and fitted inside a very crude homemade case made of rough pine. Curiously, the exterior was carefully painted to simulate expensive burled wood, as can be seen in the closeup photo below. The Graphophone is securely nestled inside, with holes in the base fitting over metal posts inside the case. An extra-long winding key and speed control extend through the left side, making it very convenient to carry about and operate. The holes on the side for the key and control are filed to a vertical oval shape. This allows the right end of the machine to be lifted up to remove and replace a cylinder, without having to take the machine out of the carrying case. The construction is crude, yet thought out.

It was likely used by a small-town exhibitor to cadge nickels from customers in saloons and general stores. Curiously, the box has a Sears mailing label glued on the top. I suspect that the original owner fabricated the carrying case using wood from the original shipping crate in which Sears packed the Graphophone. Why the maker didn't remove the label before painting it with faux grain will forever be a mystery. But it was deliberate: he varnished it for protection. Perhaps it was to imply to viewers that it was a professional machine from a respected source, rather than a cheap, homemade unit?


Attachments:
exeagle1.jpg
exeagle1.jpg [ 217.98 KiB | Viewed 924 times ]
exeagle3.jpg
exeagle3.jpg [ 455.42 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
exeagle4.jpg
exeagle4.jpg [ 80.73 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
exeagle5.jpg
exeagle5.jpg [ 95.04 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
exeagle6.jpg
exeagle6.jpg [ 96.43 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
exeagle7.jpg
exeagle7.jpg [ 202.29 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
exeagle8.jpg
exeagle8.jpg [ 158.13 KiB | Viewed 928 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:56 pm 
Offline
VTLA
User avatar
TMF Moderator
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:36 am
Posts: 2786
Location: Delaware
Thank you very much for presenting such an interesting machine. It would be great to know how long this was used for presentations and if the owner was able to make at least some money from it. The home made case is a rare glimpse into a time long gone when enterprising dreams were born with the availability of these new Talking Machines.

Thanks again
Andreas


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:28 pm 
Offline
Victor IV
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:43 pm
Posts: 1033
Location: Port Huron, MI
Thanks for sharing this unusual piece!
Dave D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:17 pm 
Offline
Victor IV
User avatar
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:31 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: New Hampshire’s West Coast
Very cool. Thanks for sharing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:02 pm 
Offline
Victor II
User avatar
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 10:58 am
Posts: 218
I like it, René. A lot. Very neat phonograph.

-- Grant
Visit TechnoGallerie -- Antique Phonographs & More

http://www.technogallerie.com

A Museum Of Science & Invention Where The Exhibits Are For Sale


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:40 am 
Offline
Victor III
User avatar
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 771
Location: okc ok
Neat early example of recycling by the original owner. Keeping the shipping label on the box is the icing on the cake. Thanks for posting this one of a kind example.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:16 pm 
Offline
Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 7472
Location: Albany, Oregon
Thanks for sharing. That Eagle is such a treasure.

Jerry B.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:39 pm 
Offline
Victor VI
User avatar
I'm Feeling Cranky
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 3618
Location: Hemlock, NY
It amazes me to see something like this little B, that could be considered diminutive and relatively insignificant in the bigger picture, be elevated to the stature it surely enjoyed.

Thanks Rene, items like this helps give us a real glimpse into the past, and allows us to imagine a world long past, and almost feel history.

Best,
Fran
Francis; "i" for him, "e" for her
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" - the unappreciative supervisor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No.148: Columbia Eagle in Exhibitor
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:44 pm 
Offline
Victor III
User avatar
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 932
Location: Davie, FL
TinfoilPhono wrote:
... You can make $5 to $25 every evening by giving public exhibitions... by using hearing tubes and charging 5 cents for each individual."





I love it. Assuming a full 2-minute cylinder is used, and allowing 30 seconds to rewind and collect another nickel, it would take about 21 hours to make $25. Would make for a long evening, indeed!

Raphael


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CharliePhono and 31 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Content © 2009-2020 by The Talking Machine Forum and the respective posters.
Americanized by Maël Soucaze.