Post by chrisrimple on Mar 14, 2021 13:06:17 GMT -5
Owned by my grandparents, and possibly my great grandfather before. Seems to be fully functional. Includes 25-30 cylinders, all appear to be in good shape, and I plan to donate them to the UCSB digital library if I have anything that they're missing. Can anyone help me identify the approximate year of construction for the player? Thanks!
It's an Edison Amberola VIII (8 in Roman numerals) introduced in October 1913 and all stocks were destroyed in the Edison factory fire of December 1914. Yours is one of the slightly earlier models as, sometime during 1914, the black bed plate was extended towards the front of the machine obviating the need for the metal grill.
It was superseded by the Edison Amberola 50 in 1915
I'll leave your two questions for Forum members who are based in the US to answer.
However, an Amberola VIII is not a particularly desirable machine although they do perform very well if one can get the motor to run steadily, so I would think it would be worth a lot less than $1,000. Here in the UK, when they do turn up, if they are in good playable condition, they go for about £350-£450 GBP, somewhere in the region of $450-$600 USD.
Post by lucius1958 on Mar 23, 2021 20:43:54 GMT -5
If your Amberola VIII is in working condition, you might save money by doing the basic cleaning & restoration yourself.
There's an excellent guidebook, "The Compleat Talking Machine", by Eric L. Reiss, which is an indispensable resource for any collector.
IIRC, the VIII used a Fireside mechanism, which is fairly simple to work on. You might, though, want to send the reproducer to Wyatt Markus for rebuilding: he does wonderful work at a reasonable price, and will have it sounding like new - perhaps even better than new.