Jump to content

Berliner Improved Gramophone (Trademark) Survey


Recommended Posts

MikeSherman

Fellow collectors - 

I am preparing an article on the Improved Gramophone (1897-1900) also known as the “Trademark” model and would very much appreciate some input from other collectors who may own one of these machines.

I have prepared a short survey detailing some of the changes over their 3 year production life, and if you can take a few moments to answer the survey questions, it would be a huge help.  

You may either send me a PM, or post your answers directly to the forum. All replies sent via PM will remain strictly confidential. Simply list the numbers 1 to 7 with the appropriate letter or serial number after each.

Thanks in advance for your assistance and all who contribute will receive a PDF of the article if they wish.

Mike

Trademark Survey 1.jpg

Trademark Survey 2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
phonogfp

Mike,

This is a great project, and I wish you luck.  My only suggestion would be to have respondents indicate if the sound box, record clamp, and horn are original to the machine (note my entry for #7 below).

 

1) Type of brake: b (side brake with lever).

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  Yes.

3) "Caution" tag?  No.

4) Record clamp: no hole.

5) What type horn?  d: all black with gold stripe and curved bell.

6) Serial number?  19791

7) Serial number of sound box?  I replaced the reproduction sound box which was in place when I acquired the machine, with an original Clark/Johnson but this genuine sound box was not originally found on this Berliner.

 

George P.

Link to post
Share on other sites
melvind

Mike,

 

Here is my info:

 

1) Type of brake: c  top brake

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No.

3) "Caution" tag?  Yes.

4) Record clamp: no hole.

5) What type horn?  c Black horn with brass bell

6) Serial number?  26620

7) Serial number of sound box? 89483

Link to post
Share on other sites
phonogfp

Mike,

 

Below are observations I took many years ago of Berliner Improved Gramophones.  I did not take notes on horns, as a number of them were equipped with later (incorrect) horns from Victors and Columbias. 

 

Likewise, I did not record serial numbers from sound boxes, as I had no way of knowing if the Clark/Johnson  models were original to the particular machine.  The only conclusion I drew for these was that it should always be a Clark/Johnson, and the number on the sound box was always higher than the number on the spring barrel ("spring cage" in Berliner parlance).

 

I regret not taking more careful notes, but I hope the following data will be helpful in constructing an accurate chronology of "Improved Gramophone" development.

 

#5738: Has a light cabinet finish and the "a" side brake.

 

#5745: Has a light cabinet finish and the "a" side brake.

 

#9588: Has a light cabinet finish and the "b" side brake.

 

#14133: Has a light cabinet finish and the "b" side brake.  Also has the guide (#2 question in your survey) next to brake.

 

#16038: Has a light cabinet finish and the "b" side brake.  Also has the guide.

 

#16920: Has a light cabinet finish , side brake "b," and the guide.

 

#17593: Has a light cabinet finish, side brake "b," and guide.

 

#19791: Has a dark cabinet finish, side brake "b," and guide.  (I already provided this data above.)

 

#20147: Has a dark cabinet finish and guide.  Unfortunately, I did not note the brake type for this one.

 

#21794: Has a dark cabinet finish, and top brake "c."

 

#24337: Has a dark cabinet finish, top brake "c," and a celluloid tag (as pictured below).

 

#26312: Has a dark cabinet finish, and top brake "c."

 

#27890: Has a dark cabinet finish, top brake "c," and a celluloid tag (as pictured below).

 

#28206: Has a dark cabinet finish, and top brake "c."

 

#34983: Has a dark cabinet finish, top brake "c," and an E.R. Johnson celluloid tag.

 

Gramoplate001.jpg.7e62a91c5d42a4084e1e6d9842da2867.jpg

 

George P.

Link to post
Share on other sites
phonogfp

I a bit surprised that more proud Berliner owners have not stepped up to help with Mike's project.  Here's a very easy way to do it:

 

1) Take a snapshot of your "Improved Gramophone" from the brake side, looking down slightly so the top of the record clamp may be seen.

 

2) Include the serial number of the machine and the serial number of the sound box.

 

That's all!

 

Here's an example:

 

Machine #19791

Sound box #32642 (sound box not originally found with machine)

Berliner.thumb.JPG.11f856c4dc351b340965dd34ec2c282f.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mlund2020

 

Here is of list of the Berliner ‘Trademark’ Models in my collection. I hope that helps. I would love to see others step up and post what they have. It is interesting to see the variations and the serial number correlation.
 

64634E0B-460C-4A2F-A092-05E871302490.thumb.jpeg.925db9b6bd76437b93852479a5c1ba05.jpeg
 

Light Cabinet

 

1) Type of brake: a (side brake- swinging arm).

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No 

3) "Caution" tag?  No but has decal suggesting that tone arm is not original to the machine but likely from a Canadian trademark model332CB8BA-A249-431B-A9FF-B8C572ED698A.thumb.jpeg.e4b2805e1732711e0fecec1233b1d9e1.jpeg

4) Record clamp: A (hole).

5) What type horn?  D (all black with gold stripe and black bell)

6) Serial number?  2986

7) Serial number of sound box?  Later Canadian model Automatic Berliner Soundbox

 

 

C8AA4433-C983-4BED-99AB-D840E84C5688.thumb.jpeg.4b9da50d105c17658864e535e1fa66db.jpeg
 

Light Cabinet

1) Type of brake: b (side brake with lever).

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No

3) "Caution" tag?  No.

4) Record clamp: B (no hole)

5) What type horn?  B (all brass horn - brass bell with seam)

6) Serial number?  9612

7) Serial number of sound box? 5714


 

145592D6-C54F-4FDC-BBDF-E81F9E0ECF0C.thumb.jpeg.c7bb5080f6b55b3047e31289bf3e23f9.jpeg
 

Dark Cabinet

 

1) Type of brake: C (top brake)

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No

3) "Caution" tag?  Yes

4) Record clamp: B (no hole)

5) What type horn?  D (all black with gold stripe and black bell)

6) Serial number?  24112

7) Serial number of sound box?  15542

 

C7E267D7-8275-4155-B65F-817138C03F69.thumb.jpeg.541bf099de41f3f29878235a576c71fc.jpeg

 

Dark Cabinet

 

1) Type of brake: b (side brake with lever).

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No but mounting screws present for one.

3) "Caution" tag?  No.

4) Record clamp: B (no hole)

5) What type horn?  Seamless brass horn

6) Serial number?  24428

7) Serial number of sound box?  23847

 

 

 

ACCF6C44-ED1F-4C54-B682-EB061DDA2DF4.thumb.jpeg.8047010412d27995b3a8823477f5cc98.jpeg

 

Dark Cabinet

1) Type of brake: a (top brake)

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal? No

3) "Caution" tag?  No.

4) Record clamp: B (no hole)

5) What type horn? C (all black horn with gold stripe and curved bell)

6) Serial number? 25139

7) Serial number of sound box?  31345

 

 

 

Edited by Mlund2020
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeSherman

Thank you Michael.  You have quite a collection of these.  I have data now on 32 machines.  One that is out of the ordinary, is the fourth one you listed.  I believe you said it is serial number 24428, but that is well within the range for the top brake models, yet that one has a side lever brake.  It is also in the "Caution Tag" serial number range.  It is possible the motor was replaced I suppose, or mixed styles were still going out in the late Spring of 1899.  Perhaps double check that number again as sometimes they are tough to make out due to corrosion or wear.  

 

Your last one (#25139) is also within the range of serial numbers that typically appeared with Caution Tags, but tonearms are sometimes switched among machines, so that isn't quite as strange an anomaly.

 

Again, many thanks for taking the time to reply.  George has shared his database as well, so hopefully we'll be able to do a fairly comprehensive article on these soon.

 

Mike

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Phonolair

Here's one from my collection that can be added to the list. I believe it is all original.

MACHINE SERIAL # J23491 

REPRODUCER # J30764

1) TOP BRAKE

2) NO

3) YES

4) NO HOLE

5) SEAMLESS ALL BRASS HORN

Larry Crandell

 

P1170971.JPG.7221cc408775cd5b455a2f3c61a6187e.JPG

Edited by Phonolair
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my trademark data.

1) Type of brake: b (side brake with lever).

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?  No, same side.

3) "Caution" tag?  Yes

4) Record clamp: hole

5) What type horn?  d: all black with gold stripe and curved bell.

6) Serial number?  17859

7) Serial number of sound box?  J 16604

 

There  is also a paper tag on the turntable felt. 

Gregg
 

 

A0514696-484E-4CAE-8D4A-D362D427E9B4.jpeg

548EDBBD-BBA8-4AD6-9F67-AE46DB1F771A.jpeg

7AA1756D-7A75-479D-B268-2D9B6703FDF0.jpeg

Edited by Lioret
Link to post
Share on other sites
Phonomark

Sorry I'm late to the party.

I believe that my Trademark is 100% original.  Was found in a steamer trunk in Boston Mass with a Berliner record (3430 Cheerfulness - Pryor & Higgins) on the turntable and a blanket over the machine.  The record must have preserved the paper tag.  Who knows how long it sat that way.

Here's the data:

 

1) Type of brake:   b

2) Sound box rest on opposite side of decal?   a

3) "Caution" tag?   b (no)

4) Record clamp:   a

5) What type horn?   d

6) Serial number?  19335

7) Serial number of sound box?  J 13751

 

Mine has a paper tag on the turntable felt just like Gregg's.  Also has a nice paper tag on the bottom regarding operating instructions.

 

Mark

 

 

Berliner Trademark - 05a.jpg

Berliner Trademark - 11a.jpgBerliner Trademark - 12a.jpg

Edited by Phonomark
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
billfeiner

Mike, Here is the information on my Berliner. Thank you for your effort on this research.

 1. Top Brake

 2. Reproducer rest on same side as the decal

 3. Celluloid caution tag present

 4. Record hold down has no hole

 5. The horn is the optional Coronet  Horn that I believe was sold through Montgomery Ward.

     This is the horn that was on the machine when I bought it.

 6. The motor serial number is 23276

  7. This is an original Berliner reproducer, but it not original to this machine.The original was reproducer was not present  when I found it.

       Serial number of this one is 25537.

 The pictured Berliner record cabinet was with the machine, filled with Berliner, Berliner pirated, Improved Gram-O_Phone, and early Victor records

DSC03982 (Medium).JPG

DSC03979 (Medium).JPG

DSC03984 (Medium).JPG

DSC03970 (Medium).JPG

DSC03938 (Medium).JPG

DSC03962 (Medium).JPG

DSC03991 (Medium).JPG

DSC03980 (Medium).JPG

DSC03984 (Medium).JPG

DSC03950 (Medium).JPG

DSC03987 (Medium).JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
phonogfp

Bill, every time I do a late-night eBay search (a very rare occurrence, I'll admit), I think of this Berliner - - the luckiest "Buy It Now" I've ever seen.  (I saw it a few hours too late!)  I couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, though - - thanks for sharing it.

 

George P.

Link to post
Share on other sites
billfeiner

Thank you George, I appreciate your kind words. I remember that when I saw it on Ebay, my heart was in my throat while I was quickley scanning the pictures to see what was all there. It was in pretty rough condition, especially the horn,and was missing the tone arm,reproducer, and crank. I hit the buy-it-now as soon as I scanned the pictures, then slowly scanned the pictures again to see what I had just bought. I was sweating bullets until I actually had it in my hands.  I sent pictures of the pieces that were missing, and a week later they found the tone arm. I was quite fortunate  the way the whole thing worked out. Enclosed is a picture of the horn before it was restored.

 

 Bill

DSC03776 (Medium).JPG

DSC03780 (Medium).JPG

DSC03782 (Medium).JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mlund2020
On 3/6/2021 at 7:33 PM, MikeSherman said:

Thank you Michael.  You have quite a collection of these.  I have data now on 32 machines.  One that is out of the ordinary, is the fourth one you listed.  I believe you said it is serial number 24428, but that is well within the range for the top brake models, yet that one has a side lever brake.  It is also in the "Caution Tag" serial number range.  It is possible the motor was replaced I suppose, or mixed styles were still going out in the late Spring of 1899.  Perhaps double check that number again as sometimes they are tough to make out due to corrosion or wear.  

 

Your last one (#25139) is also within the range of serial numbers that typically appeared with Caution Tags, but tonearms are sometimes switched among machines, so that isn't quite as strange an anomaly.

 

Again, many thanks for taking the time to reply.  George has shared his database as well, so hopefully we'll be able to do a fairly comprehensive article on these soon.

 

Mike

 

2D1116E6-45D7-42FD-ACD8-A1A467131C52.thumb.jpeg.8bd28c36b18f6c6bbf2f8ef171bd453c.jpeg

Here is a photo which clearly shows the 24428 serial number. I found it curious that a side break model has such a high serial number. While cranks, reproducers, record hold downs, horns and tone arms are often missing and easily separated from the machine, and thus commonly changed among machines. It seems that it would be unlikely to have had the motor housing changed from a different machine.
 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...