The word "Phonograph", as we know it today covers just about every record player that creates music or entertainment, from a round flat grooved disc or cylinder record. Another word, Victrola, seems to instill the same thoughts when spoken. Actually, the word Phonograph is the name that Thomas Edison "coined" for his talking machine invention, and the word Victrola is the actual name for a Victor phonograph that has the horn enclosed inside of it's cabinet.
There were many hundreds of different manufacturers of phonographs, and each made dozens of different models, within their own line of machines. Personally, I do not know how many different brand names there are, and I'm continually surprised, every few weeks, with a new name that I've not heard of.
For the most part, all phonographs work the same way. They all have a large internal spring wound motor that spins a record. When a steel needle or a jeweled stylus is lowered onto the spinning record, it produces wonderful music or messages. All of this wonder is wrapped up inside of some of the most beautiful wooden cabinets ever built, complimenting every environment their placed in.
My love for phonographs started in 1970, when I discovered an old Columbia upright, with a beautiful golden oak cabinet, in the basement of a house that my wife and I had rented in Oregon. When I inquired about it, the owner told me that it did not work, and, if I wanted it, I could have it. Wow, what a thrill, I had my very own phonograph. Well. Of course, it did not work and it took me a few weeks to learn enough about it to start a repair. I still have that Columbia in my collection and it still plays very nicely.
Since my first encounter with the Columbia, I have repaired hundreds of phonographs, of all types, and shapes and I have several hundred machines, some of which are in my collection, and some of which I use for parts machines.
Today, as with my first experience, most people acquire their first phonograph by accident or by a spur of the moment impulse purchase. I get calls weekly from folks who just returned from the old "family farm", or from settling the family estate, and they now own a "old phonograph" that does not work, is missing the crank, or the "needle holder" is broken.
This initial contact is the best opportunity for me to slightly educate these folks with the value of their new acquisition, historically, esthetically, and monetarily.
My main desire is to help new phonograph owners to understand their machines and to help them to repair/restore them to working or original condition. Most of the calls, that I get for phonograph repair, are for minor repairs such as spring and reproducer problems. Other phonographs will need attention that will require the replacement of broken or missing parts. Still others, found at flea markets, garage sales, and auctions, will need considerable attention.
No matter what your phonograph needs, I can assist you with it's proper repair.