Meet the Dealers

A look at a few of the most important people in the automated music show--our dealers

April 2001
This article is part of the Noteworthy News archives.

Allen Koenigsberg

Allen and Judy Koenigsberg

A Lecturer in Latin, ancient Greek and Roman literature at Brooklyn College, Allen Koenigsberg attributes his interest in the history of the phonograph to his longstanding interest in the origins of things and “how they develop as part of culture and society.”

Koenigsberg purchased his first Edison cylinder phonograph in 1960, and in 1969 published the book Edison Cylinder Records.

In 1974 Konisberg began haunting the US patent office to research a second book. Sixteen years later he published The Patent History of the Phonograph, a comprehensive and authoritative re-examination of the history of the phonograph.

Koenigsberg has been interviewed in the New York Times and has appeared on national television.

He offers perhaps the world’s largest selection of phonograph related catalogue reprints and reference books.

George PaulTim Fabrizio
George Paul and Tim Fabrizio autographing The Phonograph, An Illustrated Compendium at the automated music show.

George Paul and Tim Fabrizio

Tim Fabrizio has been interested in the history of the phonograph since 1970, when he purchased an Aretino machine for $50 at local flea market. He got a copy of the company’s incorporation papers from the State of Illinois, because he couldn’t understand the purpose of the 3” spindle.

George Paul has written scholarly papers for the Archives of Recorded Sound and the New Amberola Graphic.

The longtime friends had discussed writing a history of the phonograph, but, relates Paul, “Tim said, ‘We’ll never find a publisher.’
“A couple of months later he called me and said,’You’d better sit down.’”
At a show, Fabrizio had received an offer of a book contract from Schiffer Publishing.

A year and a half later the resultant work was The Phonograph, An Illustrated Compendium, the first of seven books for Schiffer.

The pair’s newest work is Phonographs With Flair, an overview of the hundred year lifespan of the analog phonograph, focusing on its visual design and visual evolution. As usual, they split the writing and photography of this profusely illustrated volume.

Fabrizio had trained as an actor at Boston College, and had held jobs as a folksinger, chef in health food restaurant, and one week stint as a a rock star in London, before he opened and sold a small chain of bookstores in Rochester, New York.

George Paul holds a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology and currently works as an administrator. His hobbies including playing the guitar and collecting toy trains. He notes that he has been happily married for 25 years.

On the web:

Norman and Janyne Smith

Norman and Janyne SmithIt hardly seems possible, but it’s been over 15 years since Norman and Janyne Smith of Youngstown, Ohio were profiled in the inaugural issue of Noteworthy News (September, 1985).

Since that time the Smiths have established and sold a sheet metal business, and after a few years hiatus, are again manufacturing a full line of high-quality reproduction phonograph arms.

It isn’t every couple who keep a smelter furnace in their garage, but that’s where the castings begin their life. Each arm is patterned in a fine sand from an original. The rough castings are smoothed, drilled and polished on the premises.

“The phonograph companies at the turn of the century probably did sand casting also,” he says, “except that they used matchplates so that they could do hundreds of castings at a time.”

All the aluminum Columbia tone and support arms are back in inventory, as well as arms for oddball machines such as the Harvard and Double Bell Wonder.

Replacements for the always cracked pot metal Orthophonic brackets are now available in two sizes, for the big Credenzas and the Consolettes.

Also in stock: Busy Bee reproducers, 10” conical horns, knurled screws, and many Victor arms. Coming: Columbia turntables.

The Smiths have also perfected the art of repainting a petalled horn. Janyne, an artist, meticulously brushes hand painted flowers on the horns, which glow irridescent like the originals. The horns quickly sell out at the automated music show.

The Smiths used to sell a catalogue of their arms with dimensions and illustrations, which was very useful as an identification guide for front-mount machines. The catalogue is out of print, but a new version should be available in about six months.

MORE: Meet the Dealers, Page 2

Copyright 2017 Lynn Bilton

Lynn Bilton
Box 435
Randolph,OH 44265
330 325-7866


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