Victor 1 Serial Number 53139
Build Date: Early 1909
Originality: 3 Outstanding museum-grade restoration
Overall Condition: 2- Gorgeous little machine. Nearly "as new" condition
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
See it in action on YouTube! Click here.
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 is a very attractive small machine, typical of what a budget-minded buyer would have purchased over 100 years ago. This example was restored to a museum level about 7 years ago, and we subsequently purchased it from the collector's estate in 2018. The horn was repainted and hand-detailed, and a new correct finish applied. It does show very minor wear since restoration; however it looks very nearly as good as it did when it came from the factory 110 years ago. The cost of the labor and materials alone for the restoration would exceed the current selling price. The nickel hardware is original, and still retains a strong shine. It is a great attention-getter. The only noticeable points worth mentioning is some minor pitting on the tonearm, and some very minor dings on the horn bell, but these issues are so small that they would probably have to be pointed-out for anyone to even notice. This small phonograph has a single-spring motor, which must be wound after every record is played. These very basic early phonographs do not provide the best sound quality, but this machine does work well and plays loudly. It is surprising in audio performance considering the rather basic components. Consequently, this phonograph is not recommended for the buyer who wants to continuously play records for serious listening. However, it is very well suited for the occasional user who wishes to use it to show and demonstrate the performance of early phonographs. Plus, the small size is perfect for an end-table, the top of a piano, or on a shelf. It shows magnificently! 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 will fill any room with music. This was exactly what the buyer got when purchasing a low-priced model back in 1909. The hardware is all correct down to the nuts and washers. Soundbox and motor are completely rebuilt. The pictures tell the story, it is truly a great restoration (note that the nickel hardware reflects onto the black horn due to the camera flash). We have priced this model very affordably for an authentic early Victor. It is absolutely gorgeous, and will be quite a conversation piece in any home.