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Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:10 am
by MordEth
Fredrik wrote:I've noticed that when watching your avatars with Window/Explorer the parts that should be transparent are all visible in white or light blue. When I look at them with Mac/Safari however, everything looks fine (i.e. the backgrounds aren't visible at all).


Unfortunately, you are discovering one of the many fun and broken things about Internet Explorer 6 (and why I strongly recommend that people do not use it—apart from the gaping security holes it contains). After 7 years (8 come August of this year) of it being largely crap, you’d think people would stop using it. ;)

Dave also mentioned something to me that seemed to suggest that the JavaScript that I have added here to fix the IE6 PNG transparency issue might not be working—I will have to look into it more.

Of course, if your copy of IE6 has JavaScript disabled (a common security practice at some places), you’ll just have to live with it, much like one suffers through using Windows in general. ;)

— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:20 am
by Fredrik
I can only blame my employer. :evil:


Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:12 am
by MordEth
Fredrik wrote:I can only blame my employer. :evil:


I bought a bunch of Mozilla shirts to wear to work when my employer was doing the same—which was amusing because at the last trade convention that I attended it resulted in someone thinking I worked for the Mozilla Foundation (the group responsible for Firefox).

Of course, our desktop tech gave me admin on my machine there quite a few times, so one of them I went ahead and installed Firefox (even though we were supposed to use Internet Explorer).

I will stop ranting about browsers now, and instead let me present the transparent version of Steve’s stunning Pathé Pathéphone—Modèle E:


Here is the before image:



Pathé Frères


Pathéphone — Modèle E

Serial #




Original Cost

275 Francs (not sold outside France to the best of my knowledge)

Case/Cabinet size

(to be confirmed)

Turntable/Mandrel Size



Ebonite closed type mica diaphragm. The one shown is an “upgrade” for playing purposes and a “Concert” type with all aluminium body. I do have the original soundbox stowed away safe somewhere!


1 very large single spring motor

Horn Dimensions

24" diameter or 60cm to be more accurate

Repo Parts


Current Value Mint

According to Phonogalerie (Paris) a machine like this with same (original) horn would fetch approx. 3000 Euros on the open market.

Interesting Facts

A similar machine has been spotted, sold by Phonogalerie. The “twisty” aluminium horn on the other example is referred to as “Pavillon Torsade” and considered a Holy Grail amongst European collectors. Although undeniably plainer, my horn featured here is the correct original horn for the machine and shows it as it was originally sold, a factor which makes this one of my personal favorite machines.

Favorite Characteristic

I like the detached or loose lid which was a great idea to protect the platter when not in use. Not surprisingly they are an incredibly rare survival on this machine.

Pathé Frères “Pathéphone — Modèle E”. A Pathéphone was just Pathé’s name for a disc talking machine in contrast to the company’s earlier cylinder machines.

The first disc playing Pathé machines were introduced in 1906 with a range consisting of the Modèles: A, B, C, D & E with "E" being the top-of-the-range machine.

The Modèle A was a simple affair with plain box and a horn directly connected to reproducer with a rubber tube similar to a cylinder machine. The horn was suspended on a travelling arm made from alloy and similar to the Victor / Columbia types, albeit a lot smaller. The Modèle B had an identical case and motor but used a tone-arm and back-bracket (more advanced) to connect horn to soundbox. This type is obviously the most common pattern of machine type you will see everywhere.

The Modèle C was similar to the A in as much as it had the travelling arm arrangement BUT it had a bigger motor and a more decorative case and lid. The Modèle D was to the C what the B was to the A! Still with me? So the D had tone-arm back-bracket but the better case and motor. Not surprisingly as we progress from A - D, the price rose considerably. So what is the “E” then? Well, the “E” was literally a wealthy man's extravagance. It was essentially the basis of the D model but in an even more elegant and luxurious case AND a much bigger horn as standard. Whilst the D could be had with a 20" horn (metric approximate), the E came with a 24" as standard.

The motor I believe is a Paillard and capable of playing 2 sides of an 11" disc at speeds up to 110rpm! There are no markings on it but it is thought that Paillard made these especially for Pathé and it is very nice quality although fairly conventional and typical of its type.

The first version of these tone-arm machines had a strange almost goose-neck like bend in the back of the arm where it met the back-bracket. This straight arm version probably dates from 1908-ish. In 1910 Pathé introduced a completely new (and much expanded) range of machines and these models were superseded.

Note: All information courtesy of Steve. I just typed it up and made it look pretty. I expect that sooner or later this Featured Phonograph will make its way back here.

— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:37 pm
by MordEth
Here’s another fun image that I have been looking forward to getting up for all of our cylinder fans for a couple of days...

From ColoradoPhonograf’s collection, let me present his Columbia AQ...before:


And after:


And, for anyone like me who really does not know anything about this particular machine, he graciously provided this information about it:

ColoradoPhonograf wrote:The machine is a Columbia AQ which, when sold by Sears & Robuck, used this style of horn instead of the black conical ones. When sold by Sears, they advertised it as an “Oxford Junior“.

I was pleased to be able to make the cut-out for use as his avatar.

Next, I hope to bring you some of the great images that BrianU has sent me, as well as some more record label transparencies. The labels will keep me going forever, I think. There are so many from which to choose...


— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:30 pm
by MordEth
Also, here is a re-post of the Victor V that can be found in our stock avatar gallery, in the ‘machines’ category:


If you would like any of the black & white graphics as a sepia tone (for example for use as an avatar), please let me know, as this is very easy to do and only takes a few moments of work.

At some point I may also offer a ‘technicolor’ version, particularly if someone is interested in seeing it colored.

— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:08 pm
by Edisonfan
That's a nice Columbia, there Mordeth.


Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:59 pm
by MordEth
Edisonfan wrote:That's a nice Columbia, there Mordeth.

Yes, it was very nice of ColoradoPhonograf to share it with us.

Here is another cut-out for a personal avatar, this time from AZ*’s collection (a HMV Model 32):


(Click on the image above or this link for the full-size PNG.)

I will let him tell you more about it; it’s a lovely machine.

— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:28 am
by AZ*
Thanks for posting the image, Mordeth. I like my new avatar. :mrgreen:

Here are the details of the HMV 32:

Maker: The Gramophone Company, Limited

Model: 32 in mahogany

Serial # 70

Years: 1927-1929 (at least according to Barry Williamson's book)

Original Cost: 9 Pounds Sterling (approximately $44.00 in 1928)

Case/Cabinet size: 16 X 18.25 X 6.75 inches

Turntable Size: 12 inches

Reproducer/Soundbox: HMV #4

Motor: 4 spring

Horn Dimensions: 24 inch diameter

Repro Parts: turntable felt, soundbox diaphragm and gaskets

Current Value Mint: Unknown (Mine's not mint and I'm telling what I paid for it. :!: )

Interesting Facts: Despite having a 4 spring motor, this machine has only a manual brake. Model # and serial # appear on a small white disk under the needle cup. On one of the other message boards someone posted a link to a similar machine on ebay, and referred to it as a Crapophone, which it definitely isn't. :?

Favorite Characteristics: The funky look, plus it has a pretty good sound.

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:30 am
by MordEth
AZ* wrote:Thanks for posting the image, Mordeth. I like my new avatar. :mrgreen:


Thanks for sending me the image; I enjoyed cutting it out and getting to post it here, as well as learning a bit about it.

That’s really been the interesting part of me making most of these graphics—I’ve seen a lot of labels and machines that I might have not seen, otherwise.

— MordEth

Re: Machine transparencies (phonographs/parts/etc.)

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:20 am
by MordEth
Finally, another image from is his spider-leg VV-X:


(Click on the image above or this link to view the full-size [520x972] PNG.)

For any fans of this machine, it has been added to the stock avatar gallery in the ‘machines’ category—and I have a lot more left to do.


— MordEth