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Columbia Type N Survey


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Tinfoilphono

I'm starting a survey on Columbia Type N Graphophones to see if any useful patterns can be determined.

 

If you have a Type N, either the regular home version or the scarcer coin-operated model, please let me know the serial number (either in this thread or by PM) and any pertinent details that come to mind. For example, early versions have the word "SWITCH" stamped into the on-off lever, but I don't yet know when this practice ended.

 

Your information will be kept private, but I will share any useful data information that may come from this study.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Tinfoilphono
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phonogfp

Here is an example of the conventional version of the Type N Graphophone.  This one is #42660.  The on/off lever is unmarked.  This one happens to have a Chicago Talking Machine Company decal applied over the lower right-hand portion of the Washington DC Graphophone decal.

 

N.thumb.JPG.70080abdaade8ae6601cdb05b23369f5.JPG

 

Here's an N coin-slot.  This one is #44981.  Unmarked on/off lever.  Also sporting Chicago Talking Machine Company markings.

 

Ncoin.thumb.JPG.2d03aea03384f3dee39de4f048694bd5.JPG

 

George P.

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Tinfoilphono

Thanks, George.

 

I hope to get a lot more numbers. The dropping of the 'SWITCH' stamping remains a mystery. It happened somewhere after 40326 and before 41466, but that's a very wide gap.

 

So far the only thing that is looking clear is that Thornwards are all in the 47,000 range -- well past conventional N production.

 

 

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Fran604g

Hi Rene,

 

As you're aware I already provided some info to your survey elsewhere, but I thought I'd share a bit more here, for posterity.

 

SN 41803
Case is typical except(?) for two ~2-inch x ⅛" notches cut into top left edge.
No stamping on switch lever.
A "The Chicago Talking Machine Co." decal covering the Washington D.C. portion of the Graphophone decal.
No Gutta Percha reproducer came with it (as I suspect is the case for many).
I assume the lid latches may have been the same throughout, but in case not, photo attached.

I'm also attaching a photo of the motor, in case you might identify any significant changes over the course of production.

 

Another source of pride for me is that the former owner (George Paul) contributed a very nice photo for the March, 2015 issue of The Antique Phonograph to accompany his article "The Type N 'Bijou' Graphophone", and has given me permission to share it here alongside my own images.

 

It's merely a happy coincidence that it lives right next to an Eagle. 😉 

Cheers,
Fran

 

front-cover_2.thumb.jpg.14d97b209724b75fa6dbb1fb278c670f.jpg

 

1800032984_DSC04735(Large).thumb.JPG.0066f4ef7a6e3bc7313b54d7e297bea1.JPG

 

1255110884_DSC05045(Large).thumb.JPG.dae37a0271847009b46d14580db2b8ef.JPG

 

731467976_DSC05048(Large).thumb.JPG.8792d1c9bed0e6d49a3bbaea27154e04.JPG

 

2073290143_DSC05041(Large).thumb.JPG.467388c4150ddaaf3c98b45680c44464.JPG

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phonogfp
5 hours ago, Tinfoilphono said:

 

So far the only thing that is looking clear is that Thornwards are all in the 47,000 range -- well past conventional N production.

 

 

Rene,

My research suggests that the Thornward did not appear until the spring/summer of 1901 in Montgomery-Ward catalog No.69.  See The Sound Box, March 2008, p.5-6.

 

 

Fran,

I get a twinge of regret every time I see that Type N!  Still, I'm happy it's sitting where it is.😀

 

George P.

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Tinfoilphono

For sure, Thornward production was very late. I'm wondering now if the leftover topworks that Columbia recycled had already been stamped with serial numbers, or if perhaps they only stamped them (in a new 47,000 block) once Thornward production started.

 

One curious data point at the moment is that there's a wide range from 43889 to 44981 which are all coin-ops (six in total).  This is, of course, based on very limited data, but it's interesting. There's one coin-op well below that range, and one well higher, but that cluster comprises 75% of those recorded to date. I find it very unlikely that Columbia made a thousand-plus in a single run. I don't even believe they made anywhere near a thousand in total. Obviously we need more data! 

 

If you know of anyone with at Type N in their collection, please add it to the survey. 

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phonogfp

Back off, you two!  Mike has already promised that machine to ME!  (You do remember, don't you Mike?  Old buddy, ol' pal?)😄

 

George P.

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Tinfoilphono

This is slightly off-topic since it's on an AN, not an N, but it's in the family -- and it's one of the coolest dealer tags I've ever seen.

 

 

IMG_1368.JPG

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Fran604g
On 4/3/2021 at 5:02 PM, Fran604g said:

Hi Rene,

 

As you're aware I already provided some info to your survey elsewhere, but I thought I'd share a bit more here, for posterity.

 

SN 41803
Case is typical except(?) for two ~2-inch x ⅛" notches cut into top left edge.
No stamping on switch lever.
A "The Chicago Talking Machine Co." decal covering the Washington D.C. portion of the Graphophone decal.
No Gutta Percha reproducer came with it (as I suspect is the case for many).
I assume the lid latches may have been the same throughout, but in case not, photo attached.

I'm also attaching a photo of the motor, in case you might identify any significant changes over the course of production.

 

Another source of pride for me is that the former owner (George Paul) contributed a very nice photo for the March, 2015 issue of The Antique Phonograph to accompany his article "The Type N 'Bijou' Graphophone", and has given me permission to share it here alongside my own images.

 

It's merely a happy coincidence that it lives right next to an Eagle. 😉 

Cheers,
Fran

 

front-cover_2.thumb.jpg.14d97b209724b75fa6dbb1fb278c670f.jpg

 

1800032984_DSC04735(Large).thumb.JPG.0066f4ef7a6e3bc7313b54d7e297bea1.JPG

 

1255110884_DSC05045(Large).thumb.JPG.dae37a0271847009b46d14580db2b8ef.JPG

 

731467976_DSC05048(Large).thumb.JPG.8792d1c9bed0e6d49a3bbaea27154e04.JPG

 

2073290143_DSC05041(Large).thumb.JPG.467388c4150ddaaf3c98b45680c44464.JPG

I promptly forgot to post a photo of the motor in mine, my apologies. I understand that wonder if the earlier motors had a cast iron mainspring barrel, whereas mine has been replaced long ago with a brass one (the original cast iron barrel had broken).

 

I'm not able to amend my earlier post, so I'm attaching photos of my motor here, and hope others might also for posterity.

 

Rene, do you have information as to when (through serial numbers) the change might've taken place? I hope I'm not taking this thread too far off course.

 

Cheers,

Fran

 

DSC05036 (Large).JPG

DSC05031 (Large).JPG

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phonogfp

In the course of examining a number of Type N and Type F Graphophones, as well as Macdonald motors that were sold to convert Class M Phonographs to spring operation, I noticed that the earlier motors had cast iron spring barrels - - as did Fran's No.41803.  (It was broken - with a piece missing - when I acquired it, but I was fortunate in finding a partial Macdonald motor with an intact brass spring barrel.)

 

As with other production changes in early talking machines, there may not have been an immediate switch from cast iron to brass, but in general only early Type N Graphophones will have cast iron barrels.

 

George P.

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Fran604g

Thank you, George. I'm always curious as to design/production changes. Especially the "invisible" changes most are/were not aware. 

 

Cheers,

Fran

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"Back off, you two!  Mike has already promised that machine to ME!  (You do remember, don't you Mike?  Old buddy, ol' pal?)😄"

 

Absolutely George.  You get first shot on that one!  👍

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On 4/6/2021 at 1:40 PM, MikeSherman said:

"Back off, you two!  Mike has already promised that machine to ME!  (You do remember, don't you Mike?  Old buddy, ol' pal?)😄"

 

Absolutely George.  You get first shot on that one!  👍

 

😄

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