1896 Amet Echophone * Clockwork Motor Cylinder Phonograph * Exceptionally Nice & Exceptionally Rare


1896 Amet Echophone * Clockwork Motor Cylinder Phonograph

There were at least 4 slightly different versions of the Echophone, Edward Amet’s ingenious, short-lived and impossibly delicate device for playing pre-recorded cylinders with a glass rod instead of a sapphire stylus. All of them were deemed to infringe on existing patents, however, and by 1897, the remaining inventory of Mr. Amet’s low-cost alternative to the Edison Phonograph and Columbia Graphophone was being offered at deep discounts to jobbers and mail order houses, who were selling them in bulk for as little as $20 per dozen.

It’s estimated that today there are just a handful of survivors.

Condition of this example is excellent throughout. The cabinetry and clockwork in particular are outstanding.  The stylus and drive string have been replaced, but the phonograph is otherwise original throughout, including the gutta percha mandrel, the motor, the winding key, the wood stanchion, the casting and the casting’s Japanned finish, the wood cabinet and the cabinet’s shellac finish, the cabinet hardware, etc.

The clockwork motor still works, but the phonograph was built to a price rather than to a standard, so don’t expect high fidelity from what might be the most unusual talking machine ever made.

Includes a pair of hearing tubes (rubber tubes are later made) and an early brown wax cylinder for display.

Shipping considerations require that buyers outside the USA contact us prior to purchase. 


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