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Mysterious French “Le Graphophone”


Martin_P

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Hey everyone. I wanted to share with everyone this mysterious phonograph. It is a French “Le graphophone” which seems to have been “heavily inspired” by something like a Columbia type N, to say the least. That being said, it was built quite well, it runs quietly with a compact motor (the crank winds backwards as it runs). The case is also lined with a thick green felt underneath the bedplate to eliminate some vibration. The decal is also quite beautiful, although it doesn’t look as bright and flashy as it likely did when it was new. 
 

there is also a hole right in the front above the decal. On the inside of the case there are 2 screw holes, and obvious signs of a piece that was once attached. What it was used for, I can’t figure out. There is even a mark on the bedplate on the opposite side that lines up, but I’m unsure if there is any correlation. If anyone has an idea of what it might be, I would love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Martin_P
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I've never seen one like it, but I love it! It looks to be more inspired by the Columbia A rather than N -- no endgate. The motor is similar to many of the Eagle knockoffs, except that it obviously is hidden under the bedplate and is not openworks. 

 

Great machine!

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Dulcetto

Hi everyone ,   I too have an example of this unusual machine. Mine has a black enamel and lined bed-plate and the case I think is slightly different . I will dig it out and post some photos . I bought it a few years ago at a British auction sale together with a batch of cylinder records that had evidently been with it all its life , so almost certain it was sold new in UK. Would also like to know which  firm made it -- I imagine it was a European import from possibly France or Germany . Greetings from  UK

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Dulcetto

Here's my machine.   It came to me without horn or reproducer and I haven't gotten around to sourcing those parts yet !

As you can see , the bed - plate and upstand for the mandrel fixing are black enamel with gilt lining.   The mandrel is nickel plated.  Other than that , it appears to be

the same -- I thought from memory that the case was a little different , but it does appear to be the same after all.  Also it does not have any mysterious holes in the wood-work !   Best wishes from UK

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2 hours ago, CurtA said:

The red trim makes me think of the German Excelsior, but not sure.

 

The red trim is a layer of red felt under the top plate.

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Martin_P

Thank you Ducletto for the pictures. After seeing the photos of you’re machines, I decided to take apart the phonograph and look for any evidence of paint. And underneath the break, as well as in the serial number and hole for the belt, is clear evidence of green paint…. I cannot be 100% certain that this was factory paint, though I think it is likely. Whether or not it is enough evidence to repaint the whole bedplate green, I don’t know yet. Let me know what you guys think, maybe another one will show up some day to confirm 

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Tinfoilphono

Interesting. It wouldn't make sense to paint over nickel, but perhaps your bedplate isn't actually plated -- is it perhaps just polished steel?

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