When I was around 10, my grandfather passed away, and my dad brought home his Victrola and stuck it under the stairs in the basement. It was a 1917 – my grandfather bought it right before World War I.
One day I was messing around and opened it up and started playing with it.
A mahogany Victrola would sell for 0, but circassian walnut might sell for ,000. When they started making early electric phonographs around 1925, it was the first time they used electronic amplifiers, and Victor was very involved in that product line.
There are some rare ones there that use special early amplifiers and designs, but those are a later generation than the older ones we’re talking about.
RCA bought them in October 1929, right before the crash.
Victor made at least a hundred different phonograph model variations and probably lots more. I would snap up anything if the price was right, but now I want things that are either rare or unusual or in exceptional, original condition. Prices have really softened in the last couple years, so there’s some good deals out there. And secondly e Bay has put a lot of machines in front of millions of people that were previously not seen often.
The big work is the woodwork, the veneer restoration of the woods.
It’s difficult to do a quality job that simulates how they looked when they were new.
The XVIII for example, which sold for around 0, was extremely ornate. One of those nowadays would bring at least ,000 or ,000 or probably a lot more because there were only about 12 made.
I’d always been into music from the 1930s and ’40s, because my parents played it at home so much, but then I got this thing working. It just was fascinating to get music out of such a crude, mechanical-type system.
I’ve gone through different phases in life where I didn’t do much with phonographs; in college and when I got married and started a family.
I also used to collect old radios, but lost interest in that because what you play on them isn’t old stuff.
When you turn on the radio, you get punk and everything else now.