1897 Edison Home Phonograph With Original Listening Rail, Standard Speaker, Etc. * Near Mint Condition


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Stunning early Home Phonograph manufactured in the summer of 1897, when Edison was still making adjustments to the final design of what would become known as the “Suitcase Home.”

This example has a serial number in the 1400’s, an Edison Standard Speaker (combination reproducer and recorder), a lift lever support cast into the upper deck, a brass mandrel, brass governor weights, and an early badged crank.

But what truly distinguishes this early Home from others is its condition and its primary accessory — an original 2-section listening rail. Each section has 3 ports. The ports in front have listening tubes; the ports on the side section are capped with rubber and cork that likely dates to when the rail was manufactured.

Though only three sets of tubes are connected to the rail, all six sets of tubes that came with the phonograph are included. The cork and rubber caps on the side are fragile, however, and — if removed — will likely break.  It would probably be wisest to leave them in place.

The brown flex connector that couples the reproducer to the rail has been replaced, and the gray tubing — though very old and somewhat stiff — may not be the original tubing.

The phonograph and rail, however, are themselves wholly original, with no restoration, no repairs, no touch-ups, no issues.

The phonograph — as you can see — is immaculate, with glossy original enamel on the bedplate and prominent pin-striping everywhere.  The cabinet finish is original, and the lid decal — like the rest of the phonograph — is nearly perfect. Both rail sections are in excellent condition, with secure soldering and original thumbscrews that can be tightened and loosened easily.

Note that all of the adjustment screws on the phonograph — both large and small — are brass, with knurled heads.

The phonograph is in good working order, although the mechanism is dry and will benefit from judicious lubrication. Given its condition, it’s quite possible the phonograph was never sold and/or seldom used.

This is an exceptional Home Phonograph in every respect and its new owner will be delighted.


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