The “Edison Victor Phonograph” (1905)

The “Edison Victor Phonograph” (1905)

 

A disaster narrowly averted — the Edison Victor Phonograph, from the July 1905 catalog:

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From “Edison Phonographs” (Form No. 740 7-15-05)
(Edison National Historic Site)

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This surely would have given Eldridge Johnson and the other Victor folks a collective case of the shrieking fantods, had they gotten a whiff of it. Fortunately for Edison, someone caught what can only be described as a stunning lapse in judgement, and the machine was renamed the Balmoral.

It’s interesting to note that p. 22 is hand-corrected, but p. 23 is not. So the question is, did any of these uncorrected catalogs get into circulation? And more intriguing, might any of these  machines have slipped out with Victor nameplates? Pretty unlikely, but as Fats Waller used to say, “One never knows, do one?”

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Early Columbia Cylinder Phonograph Outfits (Chicago Projecting Company, c. 1901 – 1902)

Some tantalizing ads for Columbia cylinder outfits from a rare catalog issued by the Chicago Projecting Company (225 Dearborn Street). In addition to projectors, films, stereoptions and slides, and related items, the company stocked a wide array of Columbia and and Victor merchandise.

The catalog is undated but includes Victor Monarch “pre-matrix” discs that were recorded as late as October 1901, suggesting a late 1901 or early 1902 publication. By that time, high-volume molded cylinders were beginning to enter the market, and the ear-tubes, oversized “exhibition horns,” and Concert-type cylinders offered here were on the verge of obsolescence.

One page implies that the company was making its own cylinders, picturing an unbranded cylinder and bragging that “our records…made with much greater care than the ordinary records,” while another shows a Concert-type cylinder in a special Chicago Projecting Company box (but with a Columbia lid). In fact, they were all Columbia cylinders, using Columbia’s catalog numbers.

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