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 An unusual gramophone
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 10:02:17 PM on 8 August 2011.
Griffin's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 9 July 2011
 Member #: 955
 Postcount: 36

Hi everyone

I recently picked up an unsual Australian made gramophone from the early 20's. It's pretty conventional in terms of components i.e Garrard motor and Swiss tone arm and soundbox. What makes it distinctive is that is that the horn is above the turntable rather than below. It's a very nice piece of Jacobean oak furniture in the shape of a small sideboard. The horn is enclosed behind two leadlight doors. As you can imagine, the 'gramophone with the human throat' has very ordinary sound quality. Advertising of the day just needed to be colourful not truthful!

Grammophone
Grammophone


A fairly exhaustive internet search revealed very little about the Maxonola except this entertaining commercial designed to be played at a cinema. It's silent of course given the era:

http://staging.aso.gov.au/titles/ads/maxonol-gramophone/clip1/.

It's interesting that a company large enough to run cinema advertising in the early 20's would be in receivership by 1931. No doubt the depression and the advent of radio would have hastened that demise.


Cheers

Mark


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:54:07 PM on 9 August 2011.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4375

Very interesting footage - all the process workers using normal screwdrivers instead of the battery drills we now spoil ourselves with.

My grammophone ain't as fancy as that one though.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:03:15 PM on 9 August 2011.
Griffin's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 9 July 2011
 Member #: 955
 Postcount: 36

Brad

Did you see the big radio/gramophone combination in the background at the factory? What a monster!

Mark


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 12:02:25 PM on 13 August 2011.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4375

Very big unit. Things like that would have cost more than a years' wages in those times. It'd be the equivalent of buying Panasonic's big plasma telly, at 205cm (81in) it costs around $55,000.00.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 2:31:51 AM on 29 November 2011.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

That's an extremely nice machine you have there!
Maxonola seems to have had some pretty quirky cabinet designs compared to most other Aussie manufactures of the time, which makes them very desirable machines today.
They dont seem to be all that common either, so I dont think the company was around for all that long. I've only seen one Maxonola turn up on ebay over the last few years, and it was a portable model the same as is shown towards the end of the clip linked above.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 11:58:40 AM on 29 November 2011.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

After a bit of online searching, it appears Maxonola only ever advertised in 1923 & 1924 (if advertising found in the Aus newspaper archives is anything to go by).
Unfortunately I didn't find any ads that included images, but both sideboard & Jacobean models are mentioned in a few. I also spotted a 1932 ad for a house & contents auction, in the Jan.,1st edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, which lists a "Maxonola Cabinet Model Gramophone with leadlight doors and shaped front".
It may well be the same machine Smile

Im guessing most of us here already know about Trove newspaper archives, but in case you dont, here's the link.
(Hope posting this link isn't against the forum rules)

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

I've found this site to be THE BEST resource for finding information on various radios & gramophones (and just about anything else). Even some of the smallest, most obscure manufacturers often placed a brief ad somewhere in their local paper Some of the advertising I've come across is nothing short of fantastic, & in many cases you'll find original prices (& price variations) for the items were treasure, as well as beautifully illustrated original advertisements, or even photographs of trade displays at various shows/exhibitions.
Some of the smallest, most obscure manufacturers often placed a brief ad somewhere in their local newspaper too, which can sometimes help in identifying a radio with no visable model designation but the ad lists models against tube counts, or more trivial but interesting stuff like the manufacturers business address.
WELL worth checking out if you haven't already!




 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 1:48:00 PM on 29 November 2011.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

Sorry for the lengthy posts, but I just realised after watching the clip again, that I've been calling these a MaxonolA, but the spelling in the film is Maxonol...without the A.
Returning to Trove, I now find Maxonol is advertised once in 1925, about 30 times in 1926, and then a couple times in 1927!

So Griffin, do you know the story behind this, and is your machine labelled a Maxonol or Maxonola??

Your machine is obviously a cabinet variation of the Maxonol's shown in the clip, so now I'm wondering if Maxonol & Maxonola were the same or different companies.
I'm guessing they are the same with a name change, seeing as the 1923-24 Maxonola advertising doesn't cross over to the 1925-27 Maxonol ads.
It does seem kind of strange that the A was dropped if that is the case, when so many companies used the "ola" term when naming their machines.
Without the A, Maxonol sounds more like a cough medicine or rat poison lol.

If anyone can educate me on the Maxonol/a companies & machines, I'd be very interested in learning.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 10:30:03 AM on 2 December 2011.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3972

I tried to play the clip in post #1, but got an authentication login screen.

Please check.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 9:34:24 AM on 1 January 2012.
Rudolf's Gravatar
 Location: QLD
 Member since 18 September 2010
 Member #: 739
 Postcount: 22

Noticed with interest that a La Gloria, same as mine, is on top of the unit.
Rudy


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:30:17 PM on 1 January 2012.
Griffin's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 9 July 2011
 Member #: 955
 Postcount: 36

This machine is a Maxonola as the name is both on the case and the sound box. It's only marginal performer as a gramophone but a really interesting piece of furniture. I need to fit a new gooseneck fitting as the one it’s got is broken and tied up with string. It seems to be very generic in terms of its mechanicals although the Garrard spring motor is a cut above the el cheapo Swiss motors typically found in odd-ball machines. From what I can tell from trolling through old Trove newspapers, the Maxonola was sold as a ‘sideboard gramophone’ in the mid 20’s. The manufacturer was an Italian furniture maker called Diamanti who had his factory on Parramatta Road Annandale from 1918 to 1925. Perhaps the name was changed to Maxonol after this. An interesting piece that I’m using it as a bedside cabinet. Works well in that capacity although I will probably restore the cabinet one day. I note there was another similar machine in mahogany for sale on Gumtree in Newcastle recently.

The La Gloria on top is also a nice piece. I also have one in blue. You can tell that it is an Airzone case with a centre knob placed where the logo should go.

Cheers
Mark


 
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