1901 Columbia Nickel-Bed AH Phonograph * First AH * Unusual & Uncommon


The is the first version of the venerable Columbia AH, which was in production until 1905. The phonograph features a nickel-plated metal bed, a “flip-switch” brake mounted on top of the motorboard (rather than a plunger-style brake protruding from the front of the cabinet); a novel but factory-correct linkage assembly connecting the brake lever and governor screw to the governor, a leather horn elbow, a record hold down, a 20″ brass & black horn, and an early long throat Columbia reproducer, with patent information blind-stamped behind the diaphragm.

Condition is very good throughout. Nickel-plating on the bedplate exhibits wear and pitting, but it’s still prominent and reflective. Original turntable felt is in good shape, with no rends, no needle tears, no insect damage. Original record hold down is likewise in good condition, with the felt still intact on the underside of the clamp. Original leather elbow exhibits wear but stitching is intact, and the elbow still securely holds the horn.

Cabinet finish is original, and the wood joints are tight everywhere. The cabinet decal is an overlay, but it’s crisp, colorful and vibrant, and there are no cut lines anywhere; the decal “flows” into the wood, as it should. Clean original support arm and traveling arm. The brass carrying handle — though decorative in nature — is still sturdy enough to tote the machine.

The motor is in good shape, and the phonograph has no trouble making it through a record without needing to be re-wound. Runs well, and it runs level. The long throat Columbia reproducer is in excellent condition. Original crank, with some nickel wear evident. but overall still very nice.

An early, atypical Columbia front mount machine, and an eminently collectible one. Includes an excellent reproduction of the original set-up and operating instructions.


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