Antique Gramophones

Antique Gramophones
Antique gramophones are spectacular musical devices, imposing and attractive. Their aesthetics of the first half of the 20th century, their beautiful designs and their nostalgic sound have turned them into highly sought-after pieces by collectors. They not only stand out for their impressive presence: they also allow you to enjoy the sound of th...
Antique gramophones are spectacular musical devices, imposing and attractive. Their aesthetics of the first half of the 20th century, their beautiful designs and their nostalgic sound have turned them into highly sought-after pieces by collectors. They not only stand out for their impressive presence: they also allow you to enjoy the sound of the old slate records. The antique gramophones that are part of our collections were manufactured between the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century (1955): they are collector's items that are still in good working order today. Among them are iconic models, marketed by the best brands of all times: from His Master's Voice, to Odeon; from Columbia, to Pathé.


Antique jukeboxes are often confused with antique gramophones and identified as such. In reality, jukeboxes are gramophones without an external horn or trumpet. Under this generic name are also included those nostalgic machines that allowed to listen to music in bars, after inserting some coins. Antique gramophones, on the other hand, include all kinds of models: from the magnificent horn or trumpet designs to the practical suitcase or travel gramophones. And not forgetting, of course, the elegant mantel gramophones.

History of antique gramophones



The origin of musical recordings dates back to the first phonographs. Before these devices, an important evolution was assumed: instead of recording sounds on a cylinder, the recording was made on a flat disc. The first was patented in 1887 by Emile Beriner, to whom we also owe the invention of vinyl records. Its design included the classic elements common to all old gramophones: a crank motor (mechanical), a needle with a reproducer, a turntable and a speaker in the form of a horn or trumpet. Although there are dissenting voices on the matter, it is believed that Berliner founded the Victor Talking Machine Company together with Eldridge L. Johnson. This company entered in "commercial war" with Edison and his phonographs, although around 1910 the gramophone definitively displaced the phonograph. From then on and until the arrival of electric record players, its rise and popularity were unstoppable.

Types of antique gramophones

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Trumpet or horn. The first ones that appeared in the market. Their impressive image and good sound has turned them into authentic jewels. To make them work you have to operate the crank; the motor, then, will rotate the plate. Through the reproducer, the sound coming from the contact between the needle and the slate disc reaches the trumpet, which amplifies the sound.


Mantel. Its operation is similar to that of the trumpet gramophones, although in this case the speaker is located under the plate. They do not have a trumpet, which makes them lighter and more functional. They began to be marketed from 1910.


/>Suitcase. Suitcase. Also known as portable, travel or even "picnic" gramophones. They began to be manufactured in 1910 and became very popular. Its parts (reproducer and crank) were guarded disassembled inside a suitcase itself, in whose lower part were the plate and the motor. The loudspeaker, meanwhile, occupied the lid, where there was also usually a compartment to store records.

Marks of antique gramophones. Icons of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

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Antique gramophones were manufactured and marketed by famous record labels, some of which have survived to the present day (often merged with each other and under other names). The first known record company was the Victor Talking Machine Co. founded in 1901 by Eldridge L. Johnson; in 1930 it was sold to RCA and became known as RCA Victor. Other famous brands of the time were Columbia, Odeon, the French Pathé... However, the best known of all is undoubtedly His Master's Voice (His Master's Voice in the original). At first, this brand and its famous logo with the dog Nipper listening to a gramophone were owned by The Gramophone & Typewriter Company. In 1901 the North American rights became property of the Victor Talking Machine Co.; however, in the Commonwhealt countries it remained property of The Gramophone & Typewriter Co. From 1909, this company became known under the name of the title of the picture, 'His Master's Voice' (HMV).


Antique gramophones are nowadays perfect pieces to decorate any living room with style and personality. Music and vintage antiques lovers will find in our collections the most interesting and sought after models.
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