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English phonograph


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I picked up a very unusual phonograph today. It has the makers' name -INSOLA  Number 10, with a reproducer labeled LEWIS'S, and the names of LIVERPOOL,MANCHESTER, AND BIRMINGHAM.

PLEASE ANYONE ever hear or see a phonograph ( from England I suppose) with these names? This unusual phonograph does have a Gerrard spring motor number 12.

Please email - rather than contacting here.       lyn@levens.com 




Edited by Lyn
I opened up the motor board and discovered a Gerrard motor.
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I must apologize, I should have proof read my typing- The name on the phonograph is    "INSULA"  NOT  insola   Thanks for any comments of 

some one who may have heard of the model!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi! I tried but could not find any clue about the Insula Number Ten gramophone. The name Lewis’s sounds familiar. The reproducer might have been one of the products introduced and sold by Lewis's, a chain of British department stores that operated from 1856 to 2010. They opened their first store in Liverpool city centre. I also found a record presented for sale on eBay and the name Lewis’s is stamped on its jacket. 

From the first quarter of 20th century, we have strong evidence about existence of hundreds of off brand phonographs (gramophones). According to R.J Wakeman ‘It was not unusual for a furniture , department, piano or music store to sell gramophones under its own name. To supply these stores, some cabinet manufacturing firms made and sold complete brand X phonographs’ . If I correctly understand the machine inside these cabinets came from one of the big names in production of gramophones,  as is in your case, while the cabinet carried  the name of cabinet maker. Additionally, there used to be a decal showing the brand name and/or a plate bearing name of store selling the gramophone. Your machine is probably one of this kind. 

Probably , the newspaper archives of Liverpool will be a best source to get more information about your machine. 

I hope this information will be of some assistance to you. 


Sheraz Hyder 



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Whatever its history, this is a very attractive period style phonograph and a great find.  I love the cabinet...

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