Amberola I

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Introduced in late 1909, the Edison Amberola I was partly a response to the success of the internal horn Victrola. The beautifully done cabinets were available in mahogany or oak, and later in circassian walnut. In most models, the composition horn was wood grained to match the finish of the machine. The motor was unique to the machine. The upperworks featured an airtight connection between the horn and reproducer, and a moving mandrel in the style of the Edison Opera, leading to the utmost in acoustic fidelity.

Collectors usually divide this model into the A 1 and the B1, the A 1 having two and four minute gearing and the B 1 being a straight four minute machine. A number of reproducers, embellished with oxidized copper finish, were mated to the Amberola I, initially the Model L (two minute), and beginning around 1910 the Model M (two-four minute).

Amberola I, inside
Upperworks of an Amberola I. The decorative fretwork is visually appealing, but it was also applied for legal reasons. The motor was mounted on brackets, rather than a motorboard, with a cautious eye toward Victor patents. Larger image
Amberola I
This style grill would date this Amberola I to 1910.Orlando Antique Phonograph Show, Courtesy Richard Brown. Larger image
Amberola I, early
The very first run of Amberola Is, around 500 in all, featured this lyre type grill. Larger image
Amberola I motor
Motor was unique to the machine. Larger image
Amberola I gear train
Upper gear cover removed showing the belt drive (someone has slipped an extra belt over this example). The Amberola I B was equipped with a different, direct drive motor. Larger image
Amberola I bedplate
Detail of the maroon bedplate showing the stenciling. A gun metal finish has also been seen. Larger image