- For Sale
Dennis and Patti Valente, proprietors of the Antique Phonograph Supply Company, met over 25 years ago while Dennis, an accounting student, was working part-time at the New York fish market.
Dennis had been interested in phonographs since he and his brother had fished some old wind-up machines out of some trash. He traded his brother his collection of Nixon campaign material for his brothers share of the cache.
The Valentes operated phonograph sales and restoration shops on Long Island until 1989. Then, needing more space and feeling that Long Island was becoming too crowded for business, they moved to central New York State.
Always a gardener, and descended from a generation of farmers, Valente began farming as a complement to the phonograph business. He took some agricultural extension courses.
Pumpkins and squash were the big crops a few years ago, but lately he has been growing flowers and ornamental plants.
The Antique Phonograph Supply Company offers a full line of phonograph supplies, specializing in their own mica diaphrams and high quality mainsprings, which Valente makes himself. They continue to offer flake shellac, horns, cranks, steel needles and record sleeves.
Valente notes that computer technology has made it possible to run his phonograph business away from a metropolitan area. Their site, www.antiquephono.com, is one of the oldest phonograph sites on the web. A catalogue is available online, or can be ordered for $3 from Dennis Valente, Box 23, Route 123, Davenport Center, NY.
Ron Haring, the Victrola Man, attributes his interest in Victrolas to the antique seminars he attended with his parents as a child.
He didnt purchase his first machine until he moved from Youngstown, Ohio to Chicago as an adult, but after a while was buying and selling phonographs to finance his hobby, which has become a full-time business.
Id always been interested in floor models because they were afordable and because of the intrinsic value of the cabinetry, says Haring, who like everyone else was suprised when upright Victrolas shot up in price. He is particularly looking for heavily carved, Circassian walnut, and hand painted machines.
Haring also makes and sells plaster busts of Edison--copies of an original found in a bank in Chicago-- and five different sizes of plaster Nippers.
Robin and Joan Rolfs of Hortonville, Wisconsin, have collected phonographs for 25 years. After a years research they completed a phonograph doll book begun by the late Bessie Seiter.
Robin, recently retired, has a degree in technology education, and Joan
has taught business and interior design at a local college.
They are involved with Hearthstone Historic House Museum in Appleton, the first house in the world to be lighted by Edison hydro-electricity.
Joan, who became interested in phonograph dolls about twenty years ago, has also specialized in the restoration of papier mache Nippers.
The Rolfs have participated in the Richfield show since its inception.
On the web: www.audioantique.com
Howard Embleton purchased his first Victrola in 1985, when I was brought by my wife to an antique show against my will.
Embleton, who has taught high school science and physics for 33 years, is most interested in early Edison spring driven machines. In his spare time he enjoys riding through the mountains on his Harley.
The Embletons maintain a co-operative antique shop on Rt. 206 in Andover, NJ, open Wednesday through Sunday.
Copyright 2017 Lynn Bilton
We buy, sell, and repair antique phonographs and music boxes.
Pick-up and delivery possible in many parts of the midwest, south, and northeast.