In the 1890s pioneers such as Edward Amet in the United States and Joseph Greenhill in England tried to develop a reliable spring motor for the phonograph. Building on their work, Edison around late 1895 introduced a large machine with triple spring motor descriptively dubbed the Spring Motor Phonograph. The Spring Motor employed a mandrel and feed screw on the same axis, as used on early Edison electrics, and is identified not only by its nameplate but by its deep all-enveloping lid.
In 1901, with the introduction of the Model A machinery, the Spring Motor morphed into the Triumph, keeping its motor and the basic design of its upperworks. Model A Triumphs, introduced at a price of $50, were fitted in a green oak case with florid banner decal. Around 1906 the Triumph was placed in a restyled paneled case. A few very late Triumphs, dating to around 1911 or later, have appeared in a case with rounded pillars similar to the Edison Opera.
The Triumph was certainly one of the most powerful machines Edison ever manufactured, and was billed as playing up to 16 records off a single winding. The basic design of the motor and upperworks remained constant through all Triumph models. The two minute - four minute mechanism with sun and planet gearing shared some components with the Edison Home Phonograph. The Triumph continued as far as 1912, culminating in a Model G version with cygnet horn priced at $75.
Most of these machines were marked with a nameplate, but if you're not sure what Edison model you have the Triumph was substantially larger and heavier than most of its siblings, around 18 inches across and a foot deep, and weighing in at around 50 pounds.
Unlike most Edison models which employed a tensioner, the Triumph adjusted its belting by dropping the height of its motor. You'll find the knurled adjustment screw on one of the motor mounts.
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