This machine in the shape of an upright piano, introduced to dealers in November, 1907, represents Columbia's first entry into the internal horn market and the Graphophone Company's response to the Victor Victrola. At $200, it was marketed on the basis of its high price, "a Graphophone that should appeal to those people who could afford the outlay of two hundred dollars for an instrument devoid of mechanical suggestion," according to contemporary advertising. Elegant people in formal evening attire, seated in palatial surroundings, were depicted listening to the Symphony Grand.
Although the idea of placing a talking machine mechanism in a piano shaped case would occur to a number of manufacturers in succeeding years, the inspiration for the Symphony Grand may not have been the musical quality of the piano as such, but rather the example of the Pianola. Columbia dealers were instructed to emphasize that any man who could afford a Pianola in the house could also afford a Symphony Grand.
Access to the mechanism was achieved by lifting the fall board; the record rack was said to accomodate 340 discs. Columbia claimed that the motor would play a dozen selections off a single winding.
Note that the Symphony Grand was touted as a new type of Graphophone -- there was no use of the word Grafonola at this juncture.
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