Introduced in 1905 at a price of $45, the Columbia BI was a mid-range machine that would have competed with a Victor II or Victor III. It was the first disc Columbia to use a rear mount bracket and Columbia's new aluminum tone arm. Although Columbia advertising sometimes touted this model as the Sterling, most collectors would refer to it as a BI.
The fancy, boxy case exhibiting a love of ornateness would have had great appeal to turn-of-the-century aesthetic tastes, and still appeals to collectors today.
This example is in beautiful original condition, with gorgeous old dark varnish, very nice nickel plating, and very good colorful Columbia decals.
The nickel plated horn, approximately 19 inches long with a 21 inch bell, is as nice and shiny as you find them, no dents, dings or weathering.
Mechanically, a substantial amount of work has been performed to get this machine to run right. We have totally disassembled, inspected and cleaned the motor. One questionable brass gear has been replaced. Both mainsprings have been pulled and re-greased, a big job but important for smooth running. The turntable drive gear, a traditional trouble spot on Columbia motors, has been replaced. And the reproducer has been rebuilt.
You can hear how nice this plays by clicking on the link to the audio file, and you can hear it play a different record by viewing the youtube video below.
Compare to $2100 for a lesser example of this model on ebay.
We buy, sell, and repair antique phonographs and music boxes.
Pick-up and delivery possible in many parts of the midwest,south, and northeast.