My husband and I inherited a Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph from my late father-in-law. As a man who did not hold on to many sentimental items, this machine seems to be in very good shape, so it meant a lot to him. I want to get it restored for my husband, but not sure where to start. I also do not know if it needs restored as I do not know how to play it, or know if it will even work! I have not tried to play it, as it has a lot of dust etc inside and I did not want to do more harm than good. Suggestions on where to start? Or does anyone know what model number this would be?
Here is the information I have gathered from it.
It is an Edison Diamond Disc phonograph. The serial number plate is missing, but inside the lower portion it has a tag that says Edison No. 31 Form 2430. I pulled one of the records out and it has a lot of writing on it - Record number seems to be 6448-C-14-48 (I don't know if that is helpful)
I have attached a photo of the outside, if more are needed, I can provide them.
Post by lucius1958 on Aug 21, 2020 20:47:44 GMT -5
Hi: what you have is a model S-19 "Sheraton". The grille, however, is not original: it would have echoed the octagonal decoration above it. As it is a fairly common model, you should have little trouble finding a replacement.
Edison motors were generally built like tanks; so there's a good chance it will still run when wound up.
First, check to see if there is still any tension on the mainspring, by releasing the brake (the longer lever at the front of the turntable): if it starts spinning, let it run down nearly completely, then use the shorter lever to engage the brake. If it doesn't spin, put the brake back on, and give the crank a few turns. If the crank keeps turning without any resistance, then the mainspring is probably broken or disconnected. You will then have to send the spring barrel off for repair (replacing a DD mainspring can be a tricky job for a layman).
If it does wind up, and the motor runs quietly, without any thumps or bumps, then you will only need to give it a basic cleaning and lubricating.
Now, on to the reproducer: after nearly a century, it will most certainly need new gaskets at least. Hold the neck in one hand, and turn the collar with the other, and carefully work the reproducer free. Check to see whether the stylus bar and stylus are intact: if you have a good strong magnifier, look for any evidence of wear or chipping on the diamond stylus. As a test, put an Edison record on the turntable, replace the reproducer, move the stylus to the blank area after the end of the record, start the motor, and lower the reproducer by raising the wooden lever at the lower right corner. Let it run for a few seconds; lift the reproducer up again, stop the motor (the shorter of the two brake levers), and examine the record. If you see any scratches that were not there before, that means you will have to get a new stylus.
For a good list of restorers, you might check the "Talking Machine Forum" online [ forum.talkingmachine.info/index.php ], as this site no longer gets much traffic. If you are interested in doing some restoration work on your own, I highly recommend "The Compleat Talking Machine", by Eric L. Reiss: it is an invaluable resource for any collector.
I wish you the best with this restoration: enjoy!
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2020 21:16:55 GMT -5 by lucius1958
After following your directions, I have found that the motor is not running properly. Makes a very loud "clicking" sound. I reached out to Dyslexicgenioushurt from YouTube and he was able to help verify that it probably needs rebuilt along with the reproducer. I have shipped both off and hope to have it back in a few weeks. I will check out the forums you mentioned to learn more about the phonograph.