Canadian Gram-o-phones

From Edward Moogk's Roll Back The Years (National Library of Canada, 1975) on p.19:

"Emile Berliner patented his gramophone in Canada for two reasons:  he was anxious to establish a base for the protection of his patents, the rights to which he had surrendered in all other countries, and he wanted to prepare a selection of records for the French-Canadian market."

From Mark Caruana's
The Berliner Gramophone an Illustrated History (Domenic DiBernardo, 2005):
-after a series of court battles Berliner, the inventor of the disc record gramophone, struck a deal with Eldridge Johnson to take ownership of the disc machine patents
-on October 3, 1901, The Victor Talking Machine Company was founded
-Berliner held shares in Victor and a number of his machines would continue to be sold in the United States but they were now
products of Victor, controlled by Johnson

Contemporary death notice with biographical details:

The following section gives a quick overview of some of the patents courtesy of the United States Patent Office

November 8, 1887

Berliner patents engraving the recording.

"With a view of overcoming this defect it has been attempted to engrave instead of indent a record of the vibrations of the diaphragm by employing a stylus shaped and operating like a chisel upon a suitably-prepared surface."

October 29, 1895

[#548,623] Berliner describes record duplication.

"My method is to coat [this word has been written over the printed-word 'cast'] the previously-cleaned zinc-record disk in a cyanide-of-copper or cyanide-of-brass solution, electrolytically, by which a very thin film of copper or brass adheres to the zinc. After being thus prepared, the coated zinc disk is placed into a sulphate- of-copper bath and copper deposited on it electrolytically. The deposit when thick enough is then detached and forms an accurate matrix, showing the sound-record of the zinc disk in reverse. This matrix can then be impressed into suitable material and thereby produce exact duplicates of the original record-sheet."

"I have found hard rubber and celluloid to be excellent materials from which to make such duplicates."

July 28, 1896

Berliner changes from cylinder records to disc and engraves upside-down.

"In the original-form of my gramophone I employed a curved (cylindrical) surface upon which the noniresisting medium used for recording was supported. This had the disadvantage that for the purpose of copying the record' by the photo-engraving process such surface had to be first straightened and the flat copy obtained from the, same had to be bent again to the original cylindrical form of. the record-surface.   This involved delicate and tedious manipulations, which I avoid in my present invention by inscribing the record of sounds upon a flat plate, and I further improve the process by arranging that flat plate horizontally, or nearly so, and by inscribing the record upon the under surf ace of the same, whereby the material removed by the recording-stylus drops away from the plate and leaves the undulatory groove of even depth, clean, and well defined, whereas by the old method the material removed by the stylus accumulated in and about the adjacent grooves."


November 14, 1899

Berliner's diagrams sections of what will become the 'Trademark' machine.

"I have heretofore provided means for feeding the reproducer sound-box in a radial line across the record-tablet by the action of the record-groove as a feed-screw upon the stylus, as shown in my Letters Patent No. 564,556, dated July 28, 1896, [...] ; and it is the object of the present invention to achieve the same purpose by a construction that is free of the inconvenience inherent in those heretofore used, as suggested, for the same purpose. For this pur-pose I so mount the sound-box carrier that it is free to be propelled across the record-tablet in a straight line by the engagement of the reproducer-stylus with the record-groove, and at the same time it is-free to be moved  in a direction perpendicular or approximately perpendicular to the surface of the recordtablet; but both movements are always in the same perpendicular plane relative to the surface of the record-tablet. "


December 17, 1901

Berliner describes how to create the 'lead-in' groove and the pictures definitely show the Trademark-like arm, reproducer and horn elbow.

Advert from Montreal Gazette, Nov. 2, 1908 p. 5.

Toronto World
, Oc. 30, 1915 p. 6.  Berliner wins libel suit accusing him of 'strong arm' sales tactics.

The below pictures (unless otherwise stated) and information are courtesy of 'The Berliner Gramophone an Illustrated History' with permission of the author, Mark Caruana, and publisher, Domenic DiBernardo.

The following pictures are from the Domenic DiBernardo Collection and are all copyright.  He has a website at

Model 'A'
-introduced in 1900 at a price of $15
-early versions--serial numbers up to the low 2600s--have a coloured decal with serial number stamped below
-later versions have the emblematic stamped aluminum plate

Plate from KWs later model 'A'

Model 'B'
-early version with nickel trim under turn table

Model 'C'
-largest machine marketed by Berliner in Canada
-aptly name 'Grand' with oak version selling for a comparatively-high $45
-came in mahogany

-or oak

Model 'D'
-similar to an 'A' with the cabinet enlarged to hold the motor

Model 'E'
-early version predictably called the pyramid

-late version sold as the 'Bijou' for $22

Scans from a 1902 Berliner catalog showing the 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'E' machines (plus available parts etc.) can be found here.

Model 'F'
-similar to an 'E' but with 8-inch turn table and no tone arm

Model 'G'
-came in ornate oak

-or a plainer mahogany

Model 'GT'
-similar to a 'G' with the 'T' likely indicating rear-mounted tapering tone arm similar to Victor
-also has id plate resembling that of Victor's 'Nipper' plate

Model 'H'
-late addition when rear-mounts were available with holes pre-drilled to allow rear-mount upgrade

Model 'J'
-two versions
-one with 10-inch turn table, rear mount and plain case

-or 12-inch turn table and ornate case, rear mount

-or front mount

Model 'K'

Model 'LT'
-essentially a rear-mounted 'F'

Model 'P'
-similar to Victor 'P'

Berliner record, collection KW:

For more information regarding Berliner records, please see the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society article by Steven C. Barr at:

Later machine labelled as 'Victor' from Berliner's Montreal facilities.  VV III does not exist in American Victor lineup (picture from the front shows a recording attachment--pictures by Cheryl Wright):

Needle tins and trays:





Below photo by Cheryl Wright:


KW later paper needle pack:

KW example of later common Canadian needle tin: