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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:06 am 
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Victor III
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Drawing a blank...
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:59 am
Posts: 984
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Maker: Elmer Jones
Model: Kruesi Prototype Tinfoil Phonograph Reproduction
Serial: n/a
Year: Late 1970's?
Original Cost: ?
Case/Cabinet size: 11-5/8" by 10-5/8" base.
Mandrel Size: 3-3/8" wide and 3-3/4" diameter with 11 threads per inch.
Horn Dimensions: A horn wasn't used with this phonograph.
Repro Parts: All of it.
Current Value Mint: ?

Interesting Facts: First, a big thanks to JohnM for your help in providing me information about this phonograph. This is a precise working reproduction of the first phonograph ever built. The first and only example of the "Kruesi Model" was designed by Edison and built by one of Edison's machinists, John Kruesi. This was not only the first phonograph to record and reproduce sound, but did so successfully on the first test after being built. There have been small batches of accurate reproductions produced over the years. This particular reproduction was made by Elmer Jones and is extremely accurate down to the machine marks and original blemishes.

Favorite Characteristic: I find this interesting as it is a working model of the very first machine designed to capture and reproduce sound. Essentially, the Kruesi prototype marked the beginning of recorded sound history and consequently, changed the world in many ways. It's great that these replicas were produced with such attention to detail, that collectors can have a chance to own a working example of the very first phonograph.

This phonograph is not mine. It belongs to a local collector who contacted me in an effort to get more information about it and to possibly help him sell it. He will let me know today whether or not he would like to sell and if he does, prefers it to be listed on eBay. I will keep this thread updated as to what he decides to do with it in case anyone on the board is interested. In the meantime, I thought I would share some pictures of it as it is an interesting phonograph. If anyone has any other information about this aside from what I have provided, please feel free to shine some more light on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:04 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:00 am
Posts: 999
Great item. Thank you for sharing. Please tell us the selling price - some day I buy me one.

I see variance in the pitch of the mandrel which I never noticed before, see detail below. As this is an exact reproduction the variance should be congruent with the Kruesi model. Intention, or manufacturing error by one of the best precision mechanics of the 19th century?

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2517
Starkton wrote:
I see variance in the pitch of the mandrel which I never noticed before, see detail below. As this is an exact reproduction the variance should be congruent with the Kruesi model. Intention, or manufacturing error by one of the best precision mechanics of the 19th century?



Surely the original wasn't like this??
The thread on the mandrel shaft would have to have the same variance to allow the stylus to follow the mandrel grooves properly, but wouldn't this cause the shaft to bind when it reached the thread in the housing?
Otherwise, if the thread on the shaft is different from the mandrel, the stylus wont track the groove accurately, and most likely be damaged from hitting the solid metal beneath the tinfoil (or tear the tinfoil).
It's an interesting and nice looking machine, but I get the feeling my "inaccurate" repro would work a little better :)
Does anyone know which stylus (long or short) is used to record or reproduce?
Mine only has one stylus/reproducer for both functions.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:18 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3614
Location: Western Canada
I think the copy that Mireck made is the best that can be found. However, even they don't turn up often. Elmers copy is nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Victor III
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Drawing a blank...
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:59 am
Posts: 984
Location: Columbus, Ohio
The owner opted to put this on eBay. I will update this thread when the auction ends.

As to the threads, I will get some better pictures of them in the morning. On one end of the mandrel they converge in the same manner that a 78's threads do at the end of a song. (If that makes sense.) I wouldn't think the original was like that, but then again, look at the screw used to hold the crank on the shaft and the holes in the base on the original. It wasn't a perfect machine by any means. Maybe the original threads did converge in this manner.

I will post more pictures tomorrow and maybe we can get some answers. Either way, it's a pretty interesting machine to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph No. 69
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Victor III
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Drawing a blank...
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:59 am
Posts: 984
Location: Columbus, Ohio
I just wanted to update this thread for the purpose of reference. The Kruesi phonograph sold last night for $2,940. That was quite a bit more than I thought it would sell for. But it was in great condition cosmetically and mechanically so that obviously helped the final price.


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