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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Victor VI
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Edison Records - Close your eyes and see if the artist does not actually seem to be before you.
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 3760
Location: Česká Republika
Maker: Edison
Model: A300 “Modern Renaissance” Circassian Walnut
Serial # SM 2503
Years: 1912 (129 were sold to Dec 31 1914)
Original Cost: $300
Case/Cabinet size: 49.5"h x 21.5d x 23w
Turntable/Mandrel Size: 12"
Reproducer/Soundbox: Diamond Disc
Motor: Double Spring as in the A250
Horn Dimensions: 17"w x 12"h
Repro Parts: None
Current Value Mint: Don’t know
Interesting Facts: See Below
Favorite Characteristics: See Below

Introduced in late 1912, this is one of the first Edison disc phonographs and probably one of the first 25 model A300s made. Only 129 of the A300 were ultimately sold according to George Frow’s The Edison Disc Phonographs page 123.

An internal factory memo dated July 18, 1912, a copy of which was provided me some years back by the late Mr. Frow, includes instructions to take 25 of the Amberola cabinets in circassian walnut and “manufacture these over from the Amberola cabinets now in stock.” It appears this example is one of that first 25. (Mr. Frow added a picture I sent him to page 123 of the later softcover edition of his book).

Because the cabinet was designed and fitted for an Amberola I mechanism, it’s about 2 inches shorter than the later A250s and A300s, has the "earlier “cloven hoof” style front feet, the Amberola side vents and unused mounting holes are visible inside to make it accomodate the Amberola 1 mechanism. Various alterations were subsequently made at the factory including the following:

  • The point at which the lid support is mounted to the lid is moved back a couple of inches from it's original location. This has the effect of locking the lid open at about a 45 degree angle as opposed to the less steep angle of some of the Amberolas.
  • The side of the cabinet where the record cut-out is located for an Amberola I (to slide the cylinder on and off) has been cut down and replaced.
  • Drawers were fitted for discs. The bottom record drawer was designed to fit 12 inch Diamond Disc records even though except for sample records and the much later Edison long play records, (1926), Edison never produced a 12 inch disc. In late 1912 it was anticipated that they would market 12 inch discs. There is very little clearance on the topside of either drawer. Some 10" discs bump the top side of the drawer frame when you try to open/close the drawer. My Edison 12" sample record which I put into the bottom drawer clears by no more than a 16th of an inch. You can’t use the bottom drawer for 10" records at all. They fall through the bottom so you can’t close the drawer. Also it’s almost impossible to pull 10" records out of the bottom drawer because the record falls through and sinks below the top of the individual wooden dividers.

Rarity does not always correlate into value so this may not be worth a million but I certainly find it an interesting example of how the Edison seemed to take advantage of whatever was available in order to get product out the door.

(Click on any of the images below to view a larger version of it.)

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 am
Posts: 2580
Location: Jerome, Arizona
Sweee-eeeet! Love it! John M
"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Richard Brautigan


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Victor IV
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Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:37 pm
Posts: 1463
Location: Frederick Maryland
Very nice machine Bruce. I am glad to see another Edison Disc Machine get featured.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:12 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Tampa, Florida USA
Stunning Circassian walnut cabinet. That's a beautiful machine. It's clear from the photos of this and other phonographs you've posted that you are a collector with discriminating taste!


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:18 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:22 am
Posts: 1001
I thought I knew a lot about DD phonos, but I didn't know that there were any with wood horns. (That is a wood horn, no?) Awesome! Beautiful machine.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Victor IV
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Contact me for TMF tech support.
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 1125
Location: Boston, MA
phonophan79 wrote:
I thought I knew a lot about DD phonos, but I didn't know that there were any with wood horns. (That is a wood horn, no?)

Actually (and I’m sure we’ll get a definitive answer from Valecnik), I believe that it was merely painted to match the grain of the wood...if you click that image and look at the larger size, you can see a worn seam towards the top, where there appears to be bare metal, and a few spots below where it seems to be missing paint.

I’m not sure how prone they were to painting the horn in this fashion, though. I think this is the first machine I have seen painted like this.

I love the color and grain of the Circassian walnut; it’s really a beautiful machine.

— MordEth

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:00 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:56 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi
Very nice machine, Walnut always looks stunning. The horn looks like painted steel to me, it is interesting that the bell of the horn is attached in the same fashion as a cygnet horn.

Regards Marcel


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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"If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." - A. Lincoln
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 6621
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
Holy Toledo! I really like the entire A-series Edison Disc Phonographs, and this A-300 is a beauty! Look at the way the Circassian is cut on the top of the lid - I wish Victor had done that! This particular cabinet was manufactured for Edison by the Pooley Furniture Company of Philadelphia. Mmmm-mmm-good!

...And yes, the horn is grain-painted metal, like the other A-series machines - - another reason to love them!

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:31 pm 
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Victor IV
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Contact me for TMF tech support.
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 1125
Location: Boston, MA
phonogfp wrote:
...And yes, the horn is grain-painted metal, like the other A-series machines - - another reason to love them!

George,

Did they just do that on the A-series, or on other series as well?

— MordEth

Proudly supporting phonograph discussion boards, hosting phonograph sites and creating phonograph videos since 2007.
Need web hosting or web (or other graphic) design? Support MordEth by using BaseZen Consulting for all of your IT consulting needs.
Want more phonograph discussion? Be sure to visit The Online Edison Phonograph Discussion Board.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 5
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:47 am 
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Victor VI
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Edison Records - Close your eyes and see if the artist does not actually seem to be before you.
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 3760
Location: Česká Republika
Hi,Yes it is correct as MordEth and others note that the horn is woodgrained metal, not actually wood. I'm pretty sure they did this with all of the A series Diamond Discs phonos. Luckily too the paint on the inside of the horn is very good, albeit dirty.

As Saxymojo points out, the horn is fastened to the elbow in the same fashion as a cygnet with one difference. You can see in the last picture just to the right of the cygnet clip is a gold wash knurled nut, for extra security I guess. It's the same nut used on an Opera, Amberola I and III to secure the reproducer to the tube. Use what you have in stock no?

As George P notes, the cabinet is of Pooley manufacture. I have an Amberola 1A and 1B (oak and mahogany) in exactly the same except for the cloven hoof feet on this one. The L, W, H are exactly the same as are the grills.

There is one flaw I forgot to mention. The right front foot is broken so that it will not properly hold a caster. Look closely at the 5th picture and you can see it. I have the piece but have not done anything about it because I've been unsure of the best way. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Suggestions on how to safely clean the horn would also be appreciated.


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