Edison Universal Shaver



This article is part of the ANTIQUE PHONOGRAPH, GRAMOPHONE AND TALKING MACHINE IDENTIFICATION GUIDES.
SEE ALSO: Our listings of outside horn talking machines for sale.


The capability of home recording distinguished the cylinder phonograph from the disc machine, and was certainly a selling point for the phonograph industry, but despite this one finds very few home recordings, leading to the conclusion that home recording was technically difficult and that the public prefered pre-recorded music rather than domestic momentos. A shaving attachment was fitted to most Edison models through the Model A machinery, but after 1904 it was relegated to the Edison Triumph.

Brown wax blanks had to be prepped for recording, or existing grooves had to be shaved down for re-use. Quite a bit of torque was necessary to obtain a smooth shave, and the motors of the Edison Standard or Edison Home weren't truly powerful enough to yield a professional result. Edison offered a separate series of shaving machines, many driven by a simple, hand-powered flywheel.

This version of the Universal Shaver dates to around 1905. Despite its small size, around 14 inches long by a foot high, it carries some heft because the entire frame was made of cast iron.


Edison universal shaver
This Universal Shaver appears to share a small number of components with the Triumph. Note the removable bin below to contain the swarfs.
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Edison shaving machine
The E on the frame is reminiscent of some treadle Edisons.
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Edison universal shaver, underside
A series of pulleys drove the cutter.
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