1901 Victor Toy Phonograph * Eldridge Johnson’s $3 Victor

$10,800.00

1901 Victor Toy Phonograph * Eldridge Johnson’s $3 Victor

This is the third and final version of the Victor Toy Phonograph, and it’s perhaps the most uncommon, with a remarkable, highly detailed decal and a bent rod support arm that extends only to the center of the horn. When new, it was marketed as a phonograph for children, but it’s price (approximately $100 when adjusted for 2020 inflation) put it beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest parents.

Though partially restored, this example presents beautifully and authentically.

The oak base, the drive belt and the decal are exact replacements, and the horn has an older repaint (which is chipping in a few areas near the rim of the bell).

Mechanism, speed control, and crank are in excellent condition with no damaged or repaired gears (the large gear on this final version of the Toy was made of steel rather than fiber), and minimal oxidation on the metal parts. Governor runs quietly.

Nice gun metal finish on the casting, with only minimal wear evident.

Clean 7” turntable with beveled edge and original gold felt. The felt is in good condition, with no rends or insect damage. (The 7″ beveled turntable and gold felt are both unique to the Toy.)

Nice cast reproducer with clean nickel plating. The reproducer was likely re-built at some point in the past. Sounds okay given its primitive design and sonic limitations.

The horn is structurally sound, with no dings or dents. There are some areas of spot rust, concentrated near the rim of the bell, but they’re easy to overlook in the context of the entire phonograph.

This is a hand-drive machine, and it takes a bit of coordination and good timing to play a record through at a constant speed, but as noted above, it was marketed as a phonograph for children, so high fidelity was not at forefront of Eldridge Johnson’s mind when he was designing it.

Includes an early 7″ Victor record.

Shipping considerations require that overseas buyers contact us prior to purchase.

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