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The Bell-Tainter Series!!!


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Shawn, we could start a thread on inaccurate/confusing collector jargon!  Here are few to get started:

 

"Macdonald" used to denote the AB Graphophone (this would also include "McDonald" and "Mcdonald.")

"Record Hold Down" used to denote a record clamp

"Platter" used to denote a turntable

"Crank Handle" used to denote a crank

"Speaker" used to denote a horn

"Square-top Standard" used to denote the earliest Edison Standard (after all - it's really a rectangle)

"Victor" used to denote a Victrola (as in "Victor XI")

"Victrola" used to denote a Victor (as in Victrola III")

 

Gosh, I could go over to Facebook and go on for hours!

6 hours ago, Shawn said:

Which brings me to a serious note. There is no evidence that in the day (1894/ 1895), any of this class of early Columbia/ American Graphophone machines were referred to as "Bell Tainter machines." The machines were referred to a Perfected Graphophones (among other individual model marketing names) - all of them, even the G.   The term "Bell Tainter machine" is a an identity/ name used by more recent collectors to refer to American Gramophone Machines produced up until the Model N in Late 1895.  The 1894 G was produced in the same era along the same form (Seriously, there is enough  resemblance in the top works, mandrel, motor, overall form, to other peer machines), and is included in the class of machines referred to by the contemporarily made up name  of  "Bell Tainter machines."  

 

 

You and Rene make a good point (which I acknowledged in my earlier post) that the Type G was certainly inspired by the Bell-Tainter-White upper works, so whoever designed it, the Type G can be considered at least a variant/derivative  of the original. 

 

George P.

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Agree fully George.  We as collectors have a view of phonographs and Gramophones that did not exist when they were produced.  We ascribe names and classifications to phonographs, parts, etc. that were not part of the vernacular at their inception.   Ultimately this practice has helped the hobby to have a common modern dialect, but isn't really representative of what was happening "in the moment." 

 

It gets dicey when we try to retrofit our current representations to what existed then. For example, if you take your Bell Tainter discussion to the nth degree - a Columbia N and Columbia A are absolutely Bell Tainters - each have many examples with a Bell Tainter paper label in the lid noting they were created under Bell Tainter patents.   I am not proposing that we do that. What I am proposing is that Its a slippery slope to get into questioning the fine details of modern classifications that have no clear context to what was actually happening at the time they were produced. 

 

And if you ever see an advertisement of a Rigid Tone Arm R, I would love to be proven wrong!!!!

 

Merry Christmas. 

 

 

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This is a fascinating discussion. I know I'm weird, but I love this sort of arcane detail.

 

Shawn, your point is very well-taken -- we are ascribing modern constructs that weren't used in the day. "Perfected Graphophone" is much more accurate, but it's not a term that most collectors would immediately recognize or understand. "Bell-Tainter" has developed a life of its own.

 

Ditto for the "MacDonald" reference for the AB. Like George, I wince whenever I see it. But I've learned to accept that it has morphed over time into a term that is in common usage and commonly understood. For better or worse, it has become the accepted shorthand to designate an AB. So be it.

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Here are some additional photos, courtesy Eric Von Grimmenstein

 

Model C Hand Wind - all original

1633643731_ModelCHandWind-AllOriginal.thumb.jpg.a0fa31ee10bc846b2e588091b275b09e.jpg

 

115490110_ModelCHandWindb-AllOriginal.thumb.jpg.7d114f41dd185b9b6cdc376c0c66aee8.jpg

 

Model B

397544510_ModelB.thumb.jpg.8ac1d474b14b8ce9db4ddf0f2c1b0392.jpg

 

BT Shaver

651248212_BTShaver.thumb.jpg.d47f4c5879f581a6e979881a2b8ced46.jpg

 

Mirek BT Prototype

1674589648_MirekProtototypeBT_1.thumb.jpg.64f52af9e1668a27643d81673d4e8619.jpg

 

Mirek 1885 Hand Wind

961493648_Mierk1885HandWind.thumb.jpg.b24462358a9a926b5f20e771aae99107.jpg

 

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Holy Toledo - I heard that Eric had a nice collection, but that was clearly an understatement!  Please pass along our thanks to him, Rod.

 

That Type C is very interesting...  We showed one on page 29 of The Talking Machine Compendium, but it is equipped with a 2-volt electric motor.  Another Type C was shown on page 29 (coincidentally) of A World of Antique Phonographs, but that one has an entirely different motor design.  And both examples are later than Eric's, as evidenced by the serial numbers and the "Phonograph-Graphophone" lettering on Eric's pulley plate.  On page 25 of Phonographica, the 1894 Graphophone catalog describes the Type C as:

 

Combination treadle and motor Graphophone, on table, to be operated either by electric motor or treadle, fixed shaving knife, single-hearing tube and speaking tube and and battery cord...$160.00

 

Clearly, the Type C Graphophone went through several iterations before becoming the "Universal" of 1897.  Eric's appears to have a hand-driven mechanism!  At least I don't see a mainspring.  Is that accurate?

 

George P.

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Fascinating additions. 

 

Shawn, George and Rene, I've often thought during my relatively short time in the hobby that it would be very helpful if a publicly accessible glossary of terms, nouns, etc. were available. I realize we have one on the Home page of the APS site, but it seems it could use some updating or expansion. I'd be willing to help, but I find myself woefully ignorant a lot of times and, quite frankly my memory sucks these days.  I frequently search through whatever I can find (catalogs, parts diagrams, Tim and George's books, past TAP articles, etc.) for terms that escape me.

 

Fran

 

EDIT: Maybe a post asking for member's contributions?

Edited by Fran604g
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Fran,

 

Great idea!  Expanding on your concept a little further to also include a synonym or “also known as” cross-reference.

 

I was going to mention something else, but I can’t remember what it was.

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14 hours ago, phonogfp said:

Holy Toledo - I heard that Eric had a nice collection, but that was clearly an understatement!  Please pass along our thanks to him, Rod.

 

That Type C is very interesting...  We showed one on page 29 of The Talking Machine Compendium, but it is equipped with a 2-volt electric motor.  Another Type C was shown on page 29 (coincidentally) of A World of Antique Phonographs, but that one has an entirely different motor design.  And both examples are later than Eric's, as evidenced by the serial numbers and the "Phonograph-Graphophone" lettering on Eric's pulley plate.  On page 25 of Phonographica, the 1894 Graphophone catalog describes the Type C as:

 

Combination treadle and motor Graphophone, on table, to be operated either by electric motor or treadle, fixed shaving knife, single-hearing tube and speaking tube and and battery cord...$160.00

 

Clearly, the Type C Graphophone went through several iterations before becoming the "Universal" of 1897.  Eric's appears to have a hand-driven mechanism!  At least I don't see a mainspring.  Is that accurate?

 

George P.

Eric indicated that machine would be the first BT to have a cabinet.  They took the top works and governor off a C treadle and put a cabinet.  The hand crank replaces the treadle power.  No main spring and storage for the cylinders

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It makes sense, Rod.  The pulley is the treadle-style with a "V" groove rather than being channeled for a flat belt.

 

Thanks again for posting those images.

 

George P.

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