Good day to all you enthusiasts! I need help. I am in love with giving things a new lease on life. About 5 years ago I bought an Edison Table model - in a sorry state. I had the best intentions to restore her to her former glory. But I became very ill and she was shoved in the shed to be out of the way and eye. Yesterday I found her again, to my delight and my husbands despair 😐. As he walked away with a grumble, I moved her arm-thing-a-ma-bob... and moaned! I nearly jumped through the roof! She was ALIVE! And that without a crank or much effort. Bewondering I looked for the crank. It was at the bottom of the box, nestled behind the horn in the left dusty corner. Simultaneously We sighed inwardly. I am adamant that she will work again! I agree she looks (like I feel) worst for wear... but I firmly belief there is still lots of giving in this old lady! Where do I start?is there a go to place where I can get advice on what to do? Who can help me with advice and help to give this darling her voice back? She is eager to belch out the chorus of Mendel’s Hallelujah... the disc that accompanied her... I’m looking forward to this journey and thank you in advance!
You would make a good start by buying a copy of "The Compleat Talking Machine" (that's how it's spelled), by Eric L. Reiss. This is pretty much the bible for new collectors and restorers. Also, get in touch with the Talking Machine Forum, where there are plenty of knowledgeable and helpful collectors. (This board is admittedly fairly quiet nowadays; and I find it practical to direct newcomers to the more active site).
Anyway, Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs (which I assume yours is) were pretty sturdily built mechanisms, and can be restored without too much trouble. The only tricky parts are usually the mainspring(s) and the reproducer; fortunately, there are professionals out there who can service these at a reasonable price.