1905 Edison Home Phonograph With Rare, Working “J” String Repeater * Exceptional
No Sales Tax If Shipped Outside North Carolina.
If Rube Goldberg had created a phonograph repeater, it would have looked and operated just like the J Repeater on this magnificent “long case” Edison Home.
As a record comes to an end, a sequence of events begins to unfold that’s somewhat reminiscent of the toy MouseTrap you might have played with as a child.
In this case, instead of a plastic boot kicking over a pail that contains a metal ball that descends a staircase, the phonograph carriage’s half-nut bar trips a lever that engages a clutch that couples a spool of string mounted on the mandrel shaft with the upper mandrel pulley. As the mandrel pulley advances, the spool now rotates with it and begins to retract a length of string wrapped around a pair of horizontally-oriented idler wheels, one of which is mounted on the carriage casting north of the reproducer, the other of which is riveted to the underside of the repeater. The string terminates at an arm that’s connected to the carriage’s lift lever, and as the string retracts, it lifts the entire carriage up off the record and feedscrew and pulls it back the record’s starting place, where the reproducer is lowered onto the cylinder.
All of this happens in the space of approximately a second, and if you’re not paying attention, its complexity is easy to overlook. Which is of course what distinguishes it from MouseTrap. Though complicated, the J Repeater is at its heart quite elegant, even if its elegance can be overshadowed at times by the amount of torque that’s required to lift the cast iron carriage and drag it back to the beginning of the record. This is a shortcoming of all spring motor phonograph repeaters, and the J is no exception — the phonograph must be fully wound in order for the repeater to work properly.
As for the phonograph, the pictures should speak for themselves. This early Home, like the J Repeater mounted on it, is in exceptional condition, and it’s entirely original, with no replica or replacement parts. The cabinet’s finish is original, and its original banner decal is pristine. The bedplate enamel and pinstriping are original, and they’re clean and crisp. There are scattered minor dings in barrel and bell of the 24″ all brass horn, but the horn’s caramel patina is a perfect counterpoint to the cabinet’s green oak finish. The bedplate mounted crane is original and in excellent condition. The crane’s chain is later made.
To see the repeater in action, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGBOU2LuyAo