Edison, Columbia and Sonoma
The term phonograph comes
from the Greek words for 'sound' and for 'scripture' (or 'writing').
Thus a phonograph may be roughly translated as a 'sound
writer'. The word 'gramophone' has a similar root meaning.
Any device used to record sound or reproduce recorded sound
could be called a type of 'phonograph', but modern use of the word
typically refers to a machine that plays a recording made by
etching onto a disc. Typically a needle runs along the grooves previoiusly
etched into the disk and the sound is amplified in some way.
Phonographs, in one form or another,
have dominated the way we record and listen to sound (particularly voice
and music) from 1870s all the way though the 1980s! they are still used
today by collectors, classical music enthusiasts and opera
The most famous of early phonographs is the Victrola made
by the Victor Talking
Machine Company (1906 - 1929). Victrolas
are acoustic phonographs with the amplifying horns 'built-in' to
the cabinet that houses the turntable. Earlier phonographs
used larger, external horns that made the player very bulky and obtrusive.
The Victrola's sleek internal horn may have been the most significant
factor in the popularity and staying power of the household phonogrpah...
in many styles and brands thereafter.
RCA bought Victor in 1929 and the marketed many products as RCA-Victor.
They even used the name Victrola liberally. These products were manufactured
as late as the 1960's, but are not considered original Victrola products
in the antique circles.
There were of course hundreds of other manufacutures
of early phonographs;
Edison, 'Sonora' and 'Columbia' to name
Questions & Answers
about vintage phonographs
Use the links at right to find supplies, parts, repair
resources for your Victrola, RCA-Victor, Edison,
Sonora, Columbia, or
other vintage phonograph or gramophone.
An overview of the internal horned phonographs from Victrola
Gifts for Opera Lovers
Love opera and classical music?
Opera tee's, ties, mugs, opera CDs and DVDs. OperaGifts.com
Victrola Repair Service
Repair, parts, accessories
and models for sale
Rose & Gracey's Antique Phonographs
Restored Antique Phonographs for
sale. Books. (Victrola, Edison, other vintage...)
German Incense 'Smokers'
Hand-crafted, opera themed