|Phonographs and Their Records
|Ogee's Antiques on Ruby Lane
cylinder records and that was intriguing. We were doing an outdoor antiques show at the time and it was just slow enough
that Robert had the time and talent to make the phonograph work. When he finally wound it up the sound carried across the
lawn to entertain all of the vendors and buyers. At that point were hooked. In the following years we bought and sold many
phonographs always encouraging our buyers to enjoy their purchase and not to be intimidated by it. We made it easier by
providing some standard information which I would like to share with the Ruby Lane community.
records. Keep in mind there will always be an occasional exception to the rule.
small oiler for this reason. Using a light weight oil such as a sewing machine type, apply a couple of drops to the long
threaded lead screw which is located to the left or directly behind the mandrel where the cylinder goes. Also put a few drops
of oil on the bar along the back & the ledge across the front that the reproducer carriage rides on and on the pivot points.
Once in a while you will also need to apply a light weight grease to the gears of the motor and a little oil to the pivot points &
pads of the governor (usually a three weighted mechanism that spins while the motor is running).
should be able to move the carriage back and forth along the ledge (the needle should not be engaged for this test). It
needs to be moved on the ledge and not float above it or cause drag. If you can’t do this, the horn is hung incorrectly and
the phonograph will not play properly. Lengthen or shorten the chain from which the horn hangs until it moves freely.
reproducers but these are the two most common.
changes. You must change the speed with the gear changing device to the appropriate speed for the record you are
playing. Then you must select the appropriate reproducer, as described above to co-ordinate with the speed and cylinder
you've chosen. If you have a reproducer with two stylus, check to see that the co-coordinating stylus is being used by
rotating the plate on the underneath side of the reproducer. The stylus you want should be positioned at the top side of the
reproducer. If you consistently use the wrong stylus with the wrong record you can damage the record (if it's wax), and you
will damage the stylus. If you play a record at the wrong speed it will not sound right and you will end up doing damage to
the grooves of the record and the stylus.
cylinders are made of a hard wax but some are made of a plastic material like celluloid. These were made by a variety of
bakelite. These are typically made by Edison.
the right. Do not try to force a cylinder onto the mandrel. The cylinder should fit snuggly but don't try to push it on too far or
it may break, especially if there happens to be a hairline crack. When removing the record it is best not to pull it off, instead
push it off from the back side supporting the front edge so you don't shoot it off onto the floor.
not take them back (I haven't found one yet). It's also seldom that you get the opportunity to listen to them before buying
them but here are a couple of tips to consider when looking to purchase cylinders:
misshapen and deformed, especially if they have been subjected to moisture. Also check to see that no chunks of plaster
are missing from the inside.
across the grooves. A consistency in color(whatever color) is preferred, but not always a determining factor. Then cross
moist...not sopping wet, rag using mild soapy water. DO NOT immerse the cylinder. Always work with the groove pattern,
not across it. The same is basically true for the wax cylinders. Care should be taken to leave the cylinders and any cleaning
water to sit side by side for several hours to allow them to become the same temperature, otherwise you may end up with a
cracked cylinder. Lastly go over the cylinder with clear water and gently dry off. Be careful that you don't apply a lot of
pressure to a wax cylinder as you can literally crush them, especially if there happens to be a hairline crack.
help you to feel more comfortable with your phonograph. Most importantly, don't be afraid of your phonograph, play it and