Congratulations to Martyn Dowel, Rolf Christian Holth Olsen and Robert Spencer who all correctly identified this weeks mystery object – The Auxetophone designed by the British engineer Sir Charles Parsons.
The Auxetophone was perhaps the most effective attempt, prior to the development of electrical amplification in the 1920’s, of increasing volume. Invented in 1904, it used air pressure to enhance the vibrations of a specially-designed reproducer valve. An electrically-powered blower inside the cabinet forced air through the tubing along the tone arm and through the special reproducer, enormously increasing the volume. The machine did not sell particularly well, in part due to price, and in part due to the fact that it was not well suited to home use (it was extremely loud and meant for mass public consumption).The sales literature promoted its use in “large residences,” and the market was thus largely restricted to commercial applications such as dance halls and theatres.
A ‘Grand Gramophone Concert’ was given at the Royal Albert Hall on 14th December 1906, about which The Daily Mail wrote; ‘ Many ladies were visibly affected when Madame Patti or rather the gramophone sang ‘Home Sweet Home’. The rendering recalled in a startling manner her singing at the same hall on the occasion of her farewell concert a few days ago….The most effective example of what the gramophone can do was demonstrated immediately after Miss Amy Castles had sung in person as her encore was a repetition of the song on the gramophone itself’.
Congratulations to Rolf Christian Holth Olsen who correctly identify this weeks mystery object – TheLioretograph Model 2 phonogragh –created by the Parisian watchmaker Henri Lioret in 1898.
This particular model – The Lioretograph Model 2 – came in a fitted case dating from 1899/1900. Lioret used his watchmaker’s knowledge to create a machine with a curious mixture of high-class clock work motors coupled with wire and cardboard for the acoustic mechanism.
On the front flap of the case are instructions for use in French, the rest of the case interior is finished in a green cloth. A compartment to the left of the case contains cylinders housed in cardboard boxes (6 x 2m cylinders).
The reproducer is made form cardboard with spring-tension to the mica diaphragm and a series of graduated cardboard rings inside the drum-shaped body, leading to a short celluloid conical horn.
Unlike Columbia and Edison phonographs, the Lioretograph had no feedscrew, and its celluloid and brass 2 minute cylinders were held by a split taper-pin.
We know how our Hound readers like little quirky stories – so when our eagle eyed EMI archivist saw the 200th episode of Big Bang with Adam West she remembered the pics of him held deep in the EMI vault!
The record was on Target ….which we think was licensed to EMI. We’d love to hear from our Hound readers on any Adam/Batman related stories.
Photo courtesy of BBC People’s History of Pop
Episode one sees Twiggy unearth pop treasures including a recording of John Lennon’s first-ever recorded performance with his band The Quarrymen, at a fete in Liverpool on the day he met Paul McCartney for the first time – which viewers will see Twiggy with David Hughes – Chair of EMI Group Archive Trust – listening to at the legendary Abbey Road studios.
Quarrymen tape recorder courtesy of the EMI Group Archive Trust.
We are proud to present another rare recording uncovered by our friends from the EMI Archive Trust.
118 years ago Trevor Lloyd Williams, legal eagle and first Chairman of The Gramophone Company, stepped into the newly established Maiden Lane studio to record his famous party piece of farmyard animal sounds!
Miss Christabel Pankhurst – Speech on Suffrage for Women
Christabel Pankhurst, a leading Suffragette, was one of the primary strategists of the campaign for women’s right to vote in the first decades of the twentieth century. Christabel was jailed in 1907 and 1909 and was dubbed the ‘Queen of the Mob’ by the media, as described in this contemporary press release.
Miss Christabel Pankhurst One of the leading figures in the militant movement organised to gain the suffrage for women, Miss Pankhurst was a joint founder and leader with her mother (Mrs. Pankhurst) of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which from 1910 to 1914 carried out a series of violent demonstrations of various kinds, which included the destruction of property, and even assaults upon persons. Miss Pankhurst was frequently arrested, imprisoned and liberated, under the famous “Cat and Mouse” Act, which was passed to deal with militant suffragist and it was during this time the “hunger strike” in prison was introduced by the suffragist. Since the gaining of suffrage by women, Miss Pankhurst has led the Women’s Party, which is devoted to social progress. This record was made a few hours after her release from Holloway prison, after one of her many terms of imprisonment.
Speech on Suffrage for Women
Date recorded (78) 1909
No 01016 Size 12 Label Black (single-sided)