The Victor-Victrola Page
Links and References
A great resource for viewing a large variety of Victor Products, along with details on The Victor Talking Machine Company's history is the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover, Delaware.
The Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware is another great research museum, containing many of Victor's early documents along with photographs and production information.
The following books are highly recommended for those individuals interested in further information:
Robert W. Baumbach: The Victor Data Book. Published by Mulholland Press, Los Angeles, California. Here's the ultimate resource for Victor Talking Machine collectors and hobbyists. Covers every production detail of the external horn, internal horn and Orthophonic phonographs and radio-phonograph combinations produced by Victor. Over 300 pages of data, photos and explanations. Can be purchased directly from Mulholland Press, or from Amazon and other book-selling outlets.
Robert W. Baumbach: Look for the Dog: The Victor Talking Machine Companion Published by Mulholland Press, Los Angeles, California. This outstanding book is the "bible" for collectors of Victor products, and includes detailed listings of each model, dates produced, prices, and a great deal of historical information. An excellent and well written guide for the collector or enthusiast. All my copies are worn to a frazzle from constant use. Highly recommended. Can be purchased directly from Mulholland Press, or from Amazon and other book-selling outlets.
James N. Weber: The Talking Machine: The Advertising History of the Berliner Gramophone and Victor Talking Machine Published by Adio, Inc., Midland, Ontario, Canada. This is a compilation of vintage advertisements and promotional literature issued by Victor (and a few others) throughout the years, and provides an excellent cross-section of the Victor product line, as well as providing the enthusiast an opportunity to understand the mindset of Victor's management as these products were being promoted. Some rare machines are presented as well.
Eric L. Reiss: The Compleat Talking Machine Published by Sonoran Publishing, Chandler, Arizona. Currently out of print, but copies are still available from some booksellers. This is a comprehensive restoration guide for all antique phonographs (not just Victor products), and should be considered "essential reading" for all collectors and enthusiasts. Excellent non-technical overviews of phonograph operation are provided, along with some wonderful tips for repair and restoration. This is a book no hobbyist should be without. This book is currently out-of-print, but good used copies come available frequently on Ebay and elsewhere.
Walter L. Welch and Leah Brodbeck Stenzel Burt: From Tinfoil to Stereo Published by the University Press of Florida (1994 edition). This text has been revised (and shortened) from its 1959 original, and some of the information on later Victor products (especially the Orthophonics) has been eliminated in the newer edition. There are numerous errors and oversights, and often an editorial bent against Victor. Regardless, this remains a good book on the early years of the phonograph, with a strong emphasis on Edison products. Much information is provided on the legal battles between the major phonograph manufacturers.
Vibration and Acoustics:
There are scores of outstanding technical books available on the topic of vibration and acoustics, most of which are highly theoretical and dwell extensively on mathematics and derivations. However, I have found several texts which are well suited for the hobbyist. They are readable and quite comprehensive.
Cyril M. Harris: Handbook of Acoustical Measurements and Noise Control Published by McGraw Hill, Inc. The Handbook is essentially an engineer's reference manual on acoustics, but it is written in a style that is easily understood by the serious hobbyist who has had some mathematical background. Excellent introductory material is provided on waveforms, signals and basic definitions. Strongly recommended.
J.R. Hassall, K. Zaveri: Acoustic Noise Measurements Published by Bruel and Kjaer, Denmark This text is intended as a guide for making accurate noise measurements. It does provide an excellent overview of acoustics, but some sections require an understanding of complex algebra and calculus. Outstanding diagrams and verbal descriptions are provided on acoustic principals and signal analysis.
Kinsler, Coppens, Frey, Sanders: Fundamentals of Acoustics Published by John Wiley and Sons, New York. A highly technical book which provides an outstanding overview of impedance matching and exponential horn theory for engineers and scientists.
Here are a few links to other phonograph-related sites. In 2005, there were at least 25 good websites on the subject of Antique Phonographs; however most have slowly faded away. Many others have not been updated for a long time, and are likely not being maintained. There was also a "Phonograph Ring" which tied-together all relevant phonograph and record sites, which is no longer existent.
The following sites are worth checking-out.
The Antique Phonograph Society APS is the best phonograph-related organization in the world, with an excellent monthly full-color publication. Members may access a massive online database of articles and information for research, or simply to read about the history of recorded sound. An annual show is held every summer in California, along with a great banquet. Anyone interested in Victor (or other brand) phonographs should became a member.
The Canadian Antique Phonograph Society CAPS is Canada's primary antique phonograph organization, with frequent meetings/presentations, as well as a monthly publication. Many highly knowledgeable members are more than willing to assist the new collector.
The Talking Machine Forum The "Forum" is a good place to post questions, or to search for answers on all brands of phonographs. Be aware that it is an public information resource, to which anyone can post information, and that answers to questions may not be accurate or complete. As with any blogging website, it can also become chatty and overly opinionated.
Tinfoil A very useful resource focusing on early audio cylinders and phonograph records
Nauck's Vintage Records A great place to check-out rare records and to glean information on the hobby of 78 RPM record collecting.
Tim's Phonographs and Old Records Lots of good information, but some of the links have not been updated in recent years.
Rev 4 7-28-20