Edison Phonograph

Meet the Characters: Vintage Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph

At Past and Present Home Gallery, we are known as the antique store with character and we love introducing you to our character pieces that are full of interesting history, such as the Antique Minnesota Seed Counter. This week we would like you to meet a character that may be more recognizable to you than a shop counter, but it has just as interesting a story: the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph.

Vintage Diamond Disc Phonograph

Thomas Edison invented more than the incandescent light bulb. He has 1,093 United States patents credited to him including extensive work on telegraph machines, a propelling device for electric cars, and the moving picture camera. Along with all of these amazing inventions is Edison’s work on the phonograph, the machine that can record and play back sound.

Edison’s phonograph was first introduced in 1877 and sounds were recorded onto a cylinder made of tinfoil. By 1905, the cylinder player had reached its peak in production and new technology started to emerge using flat discs instead of cylinders. The change was brought on by the need for longer playing times and better sound. While the Edison Company was the best at producing cylinders and their players, new companies began to out shine the Edison Company with their new disc players. Aware of the changing market, the Edison associates began developing their own disc technology in secret. Dr. Jonas Alysworth, Edison’s top chemist, created a new plastic material for the discs and when Edison found out about the secret project he jumped on board. The goal was to create a system that was superior in recording length, in sound, and in durability. The result was the Edison Disc Phonograph and its corresponding Diamond Discs. This new system was unveiled to the public in 1911 and available for sale by late 1912.

The Diamond Disc Phonograph currently hosted at Past and Present Home Gallery is a model a S19. This model was first introduced in 1919 and is housed in a 1st series Sheraton cabinet with original factory label.

Come and see this beautiful machine in person along with our other antique and vintage machines including an antique Edison cylinder player! There are even more character pieces throughout our store especially in the Man Cave and Dive Den.

Can’t wait to see you at Past and Present Home Gallery, the antique store with character!