Phonographs (Gramophones)

Phonographs (Gramophones) <br> Courtesy of Laurel Palmer Thompson and Ross Burgoyne

Phonographs (Gramophones)
Courtesy of Laurel Palmer Thompson (Left, Victor Table Top Phonograph)) and (Centre Phonograph) Ross Burgoyne

The phonograph in the centre of the image is an example of an early 1900s style containing the iconic horn that so many of us associate with the gramophone. Although the machines were popular, many felt that the horns were imposing in small parlours, and indeed they did have a tendency to get bumped and damaged.

A modified design (left), was produced where the speaker was placed on the inside of the machine, became the favoured version and sold well. This particular example (left) was manufactured in the United States by the Victor Talking Machine Co. and distributed in Canada by the Berliner Gramophone Co. Ltd. of Montreal. It hit the market in about 1917.

The first Victrola came out in 1906. In 1900, Emile Berliner, who 13 years earlier, had patented his gramophone, his horizontal disc, and the master for pressing it, opened his business in Montreal, where he made and distributed many types of discs and disc players. The American Victor Talking Machine Co. maintained links with Berliner until buying the business out in 1924. This gramophone has the horn built into its wooden base that allows the sound volume to be controlled by opening or closing the two doors in front of it. On the side of the machine is the famous trademark featuring Nipper the dog leaning towards a gramophone. The image, signed by British painter Francis Barraud, was registered in 1900 by Emile Berliner and used for over 70 years.

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