nov 1, 1905 - Victor Victrola
Around 1905, Victor began to experiment with a novel idea to make the phonograph more acceptable and convenient. The horn was folded downward into a large floor standing cabinet, so that the horn opening was below the turntable. Two doors were used to cover the opening. This concept had an added advantage in that the doors acted as a crude but effective "volume control"; when they were open, the sound was loud, when they were closed, the volume was reduced. The first internal horn phonograph, initially designated as The Victor-Victrola, was marketed in 1906. Since Victor did not have sufficient manufacturing facilities to produce the large cabinet, the Pooley Furniture Company of Philadelphia was contracted as a cabinet supplier. The machine was intended for sale for wealthy customers, as the initial sale price was a two hundred dollars. Despite the cost, the machine sold briskly, and Victor knew it had an immediate success on its hands. The original flat-top Victrola design had several deficiencies, the most problematic being the need for the user to awkwardly "reach way down" into the deep cabinet opening in order to change a record or lift the needle. In less than a year, this was resolved through the use of a domed lid, which allowed the turntable and tone arm to sit nearly flush on top of the cabinet. Only several thousand flat-top Pooley Victrolas were produced, making them highly sought-after by collectors today.
Added to timeline:
Unit 5: Music Technology in Context.