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The XIII was a model unique to the Canadian market. For many years, collectors had known that the Victor factory production logs documented an "VV-XIII" model, but until the mid-1990's (when a few turned up in the hands of collectors), it was assumed to be an error in the factory record-keeping. In recent years, several more have turned up on at phonograph auctions and sales. Like some other Canadian models, the XIII was manufactured in Camden and exported to Canada. It was a simple, low cost phonograph with minimal trim, comparable in size and features to the VV-90 in the US. Unlike the VV-90, however, the XIII cabinet featured unusual short Queen Anne legs. It was available only in a mahogany finish, and included an automatic brake and two spring motor.
The XIII was produced only during 1921, and sold for $250 CDN at that time. The exchange rate in 1921 was approximately $1US=$1.21CDN, making the XIII priced at $206.00 US (for comparative purposes). Factory records show that only 662 XIIIs were produced, making it one of the rarest Victrola models. The XIII remains somewhat of a mystery, as the cost of designing, manufacturing and exporting this unique phonograph in such low volumes does not make sense. It has been speculated that it was a "trial" product for a specialized market region (e.g. Toronto or Montreal).
The current collector database shows the earliest existent VV-XIII to be S/N 522 and the latest to be S/N 1169.
Do you own a Victrola VV-XIII? Please take a moment and enter some basic information about your machine into the collector's database by clicking here. No personal information is required.