Vitaphone phonograph



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.


There are two separate, unrelated incarnations of the Vitaphone.

The first, which dates to around 1900, is a quite scarce early disc talking machine, begun by Albert Armstrong.

The second, which dates to around 1914, was begun by H.R.Repp, who had been a salesman for the earlier Vitaphone company. Manufactured in Plainfield, New Jersey, these Vitaphones employed a method of reproduction unique in the annals of phonographic history. A solid wood tone arm vibrated along with the stylus, and communicated the sound to a diaphram kept under constant tension by a string attached to a coil spring under the motor board. The Vitaphone could be set to play either vertically or laterally cut records by slipping the string over a hook on one of the pillars that supported the reproducer.

There was a whole series of Vitaphones, including an external horn model and models in upright Victrola type cases. Unlike most other horn-in-lid machines the Vitaphone will play whether the lid is up and down, as the sound was communicated to the horn by a complex series of joints.


early Vitaphone
The early Vitaphone.
early Vitaphone motor
Motor of the early Vitaphone
Vitaphone model 50
The Vitaphone model 50
Vitaphone outside horn
Later Vitaphone with vibrating tone arm. Examples have appeared with a small red petaled horn, as well as the wooden horn. Larger image
Vitaphone model 50, inside
Tensioner on the string was necessary to amplify the volume.

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330 325-7866

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