This machine was known in the trade as a "scheme," or promotional machine. Introduced sometime after 1906, Standard Talking Machines were given away by local merchants -- the customer was given coupons with each purchase redeemable toward a "free" talking machine.
The scheme was promoted by the Great Northern Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois, and judging from the number of surviving examples, enjoyed considerable success. Although the source of manufacture was not advertised, Standard Talking Machines employed components of Columbia origin.
There was one catch. These machines were fitted with an oversize, 9/16" spindle, thereby locking the purchaser into special proprietary records.
This is a very nice example of a Standard Talking Machine Model A. The cabinet retains good original finish, and original colorful red decal. Usually these machines are found with peeling veneer and missing pillars, but that is not the case with this example. The small red horn, which is the proper horn for this machine, has typical but original weathered red paint -- this is a condition common to all Standard A machines, on maybe only one in 10,000 is the paint factory fresh.
Mechanically I have done everything possible to make this machine play as well as it was every capable of playing. I have taken the motor totally apart, cleaned, oiled and readjusted everything and put it back together. I have cleaned and polished the governor shaft for smooth running. I have even pulled and re-greased the mainspring, a big job, but important because the dried up old grease sticks to itself and prevents the spring from letting down properly. I have also rebuilt the reproducer for maximum sound.
The special records aren't rare or hard to find, but I have only one to give with this machine, because I had re-homed a small pile of them with the last Standard A we sold. However I do have a few 78rpm records which were drilled to the oversize spindle size and which nicely demonstrate the machine. I'm also going to include one original coupon to display with the machine.
Buy this machine if you want an original working example of a funky outside horn phonograph. Buy this machine if you're a little pressed for space and you want a smaller machine to sit on a shelf. Don't buy this machine if you're going to play a lot of 78rpm records; you'll never be happy with it, and you'd be better off purchasing one of our outside horn Victors or Columbias.
We buy, sell, and repair antique phonographs and music boxes.
Pick-up and delivery possible in many parts of the midwest,south, and northeast.