This is the Excelda portable gramophone which is a fabulous piece. It’s one of the first playback machines designed to be portable; a proto-ipod. It was Swiss made by a company called Thorens in 1930. Thorens was formed in 1883 and originally made music boxes and, like many early, clocks. They continue to make high end audio equipment today.
The 1930 machine is another one of the many gramophones in the EMI Archive Trust’s collection. they describe it thus:
“This is a Excelda portable gramophone which was marketed as a ‘pocket’ version. It was similar to folding cameras available at the time, and was often referred to as a ‘Cameraphone’. The case is tin with a brown paint crackle glaze finish. the mechanism could all be broken down into a slim case for transportation and could even play 12 inch records.”
Thank you to the EMI Archive Trust for allowing us to show these pictures. You can find out more about the EMI Archive Trust (and even arrange a time to go and visit their gramophone collection) here.
We’d love to make contact with people who have an interest in these kind of devices. Please get in touch via the comments section below.