Victor 1 Serial Number 42693
Build Date: Early 1908
Originality: 2 Very nice older restoration. Horn is original.
Overall Condition: 3- Exceptionally nice cabinet. Original horn has the usual dings and scratches, some "minor crushing" at the end of the bell
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The Victor 1 was the basic entry-level model of its day, selling for just $22.00 when new, which equates to about $600.00 in today's money. This machine was purchased at an estate sale near Peoria Illinois, so we assume that the horn and cabinet were together when purchased new in 1908. This is a very appealing small machine, typical of what a middle-class buyer would have purchased over 100 years ago. The cabinet and mechanics are totally original; all we did was rebuild the motor and soundbox and clean-up the cabinet. The cabinet has an exceptional appearance; however, as is common, the solid oak motorboard has a hairline expansion crack across it. This is not obvious, and does not in any way impair the performance or appearance, since the motorboard is well braced-together by the motor supports, and the turntable covers most of entire crack. The finish is really nice. The horn shows the typical dings and scratches from being stored and "bonked-around" over the years. It has some minor damage (crushing) around the rim, but this does not in any way detract from the overall appearance. Since it is the original horn with the machine, it would be a crime to replace it with a reproduction. It has the original paint and decal, and the brass is still showing decent shine (without polishing it out!). This phonograph has a single-spring motor, which must be wound after every record is played, but it has plenty of power to complete even the longest 12" records without slowing. If you are looking for an authentic external-horn phonograph that does not take-up a lot of space, this would be an outstanding choice. It has surprising performance for such a small machine and will fill any room with music. The Victor I used a very basic "no-frills" design, and some of the components are somewhat crude in construction and assembly by today's standards, but this was what the buyer got when purchasing a low-priced model back in 1908. The hardware is all correct with original nickel plate. While most original and presentable external-horn models sell for well over $2500.00, we have priced this model affordably. It certainly stands strong as an authentic and original phonograph over 100 years old, and will be quite a conversation piece in any home.