Roll Back the Years, by Edward Moogk, National Library of Canada, 1975 states on page 63:

"Also in Toronto [during 1917?], the Cecilian Concertphone made its debut, with distribution handled by the Musical Instruments Ltd. at 247 Yonge Street..."

Betty Minaker-Pratt contributes: "Wayne Kelly's book, Downright Upright, p. 120 says that Stanley took over the Cecilain Piano Co. in 1922, but then went out of business two years later when Mason & Risch bought out their stock. " 

KW adds that the same book on page 102 states: "Cecilian Piano Company--Toronto, 1904-22.  an apparent manufacturer of player pianos only, this company had its product sold and distributed by Heinztman from 1906.  Tjhe company was bought out by Stanley Pianos in 1922."

Moogk, page 91, agrees that : "The general economic situation [of 1921-22?] was still affecting the value of the dollar, and at least one piano and talking machine firm, the Cecilian Company, was taken over by Frank Stanley, a veteran of the player-piano business."

Betty Minaker-Pratt contributes the following:

"Cecilian Piano Co. Toronto, 1904-22.  There is an advertising cover stamped 1917 for the Cecilian Co., Salesrooms 247 Yonge St./Factory 1189 Bathurst (just north of Dupont)."

The following photographs were take by Betty from John Peel's collection in Port Hope in August, 2007.

The following were supplied by Adam Miron in 2013:


This portable was for sale In Toronto in November, 2008 (photos by KW):

The following ephemera are from the collection of Bill and Betty Pratt:

Betty also contributes the following items in the Toronto Daily Star (TDS) for Celilian:

TDS Jan. 21, 1916, p. 13, Cecilian are dealers only for Sonora

TDS Dec. 1, 1916, p. 14, Cecilian are dealers for Columbia Grafonolas as well
TDS Dec. 19, 1916, p. 4, Cecilian's first ad for their own upright.
TDS Jan. 4, 1917, p. 13, This is the Cecilian ad below.
TDS Jan 29, 1920, p. 18, The term Cecilian Concertphone has been used

This is the above-mentioned advert from the Toronto Daily Star, Jan. 4, 1917:

Parts machine for sale in Toronto, Nov. 2009 (photos by Arthur Zimmerman):


Betty Pratt found reference to the 'Russell Gear and Machine Co." in Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound, Volume 1 by Frank W. Hoffmann:

"Of the earliest Australian-made gramophones...others were…and the Concertola—the motor of which was made by the Russell Gear and Machine Co. Ltd., of Toronto, Canada."

Tommy Russell  was a general manager for the iconic Canada Cycle and Motor Co. (CCM) and diversified to include Russell Motor Car Co., Russell Gear & Machine, and Canadian Acme Screw & Gear.

Advert from the Quebec Telegraph  Sep. 21, 1921, pg. 19:

Advert from Canadian Home Journal, December, 1919 p22:

Steve Valeriote sent the following pictures of his tabletop Cecilian--of which he has beautifully restored the exterior.  


Volume control:



Electric braking mechanism?

Here is Steve's machine in action!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99npGNzsvh0