From Roll Back The Years, by Edward Moogk, National Library of Canada, 1975:
The Pollock Manufacturing Company of Berlin, Ontario (the city patriotically changing its name to Kitchener in 1916) was manufacturing talking machines labeled 'Phonola' before June 1914 when they began importing Fonotopia, Odeon and Jumbo records. Records would later be produced under the Phonola label. In 1915 they began constructing speakers "based on the principle of the pipe organ...The series of chambers employed were in varied sizes determined by scientific calculation. The new Phonola model...[was] called the Organola....In the Fall of 1919, the General Phonograph Corporation of New York...purchased Pollock's phonograph factory in Kitchener. Arthur B. Pollock was to remain manager of the factory...In August, 1925, the Phonola Company of Canada, Elmira, began to manufacture the Grimes receiving sets for the Canadian Trade."
(images from the above publication)
Text of the above:
"The Phonola Motor is of the latest improved design "direct spiral drive with worm-gear governor." Only two wheels perform the transmission of power from the spring to the main-shaft and there to the governor. Both wormgear spindles are milled, hardened, ground and polished. The power of the spring is consumed in reproducing the record and not in the production of noise. Noise in a motor means consumption of power. The best material and workmanship are used in the manufacture of these motors. They run absolutely noiselessly, govern perfectly and if handled with care due a good piece of machinery will never get out of order."
"At the same time [April 1915], the Pollock Manufacturing Company Co. prepared to bring out a new idea in sound reproduction, the brain child of Alex A. Welker, secretary-treasurer of the company, who had made a special study of tone reproduction and acoustics. Construction of the speaker was based on the principle of the pipe organ, applied in a manner that would amplify and purify the tones produced. The series of chambers employed were in varied sizes determined by the scientific calculation. The new Phonola model was introduced in August 1915 an called Orgonola."
Two from page 109
Note: the Kitchener plant goes from A. B. Pollock in 1907 to Pollock Mfg. to Pollock-Welker in 1925; the Elmira plant goes from A. B. Pollock in 1907 to Pollock Mfg. to Phonola in 1917.
From Bob Kerstein [who seems to have missed the Phonola name]:
In 1907, Electrohome Ltd. was founded by Arthur Pollock. Electrohome evolved from a manufacturer of phonographs, radios, furniture and televisions, to a maker of high-resolution projections systems, owner of media properties - including CKCO-TV - and a holding company. In 1998, following the sale of its media assets to Baton Broadcasting, Electrohome was split into two companies: Electrohome Ltd., which continued to manufacture projection systems, and Electrohome Broadcasting Inc., a holding company for the 11.9 percent of the stock of CTV held by Electrohome.
The complete article and another about the coming demise of Electrohome are here.
In 2010 ELECTROHOME was acquired by CWD® a Niagara Falls, Ontario-based consumer electronics manufacturer.
They have website with a page in homage to the history here: http://www.electrohome.com/heritage/
When it eventually disappears, it is copied here.
There is also a page in homage to the old firm and its plants here.
A copy also resides here.
No.2) for sale September, 2006 (photos by KW):
for sale June, 2007 (photos by KW):
Sign at same sale:
("Duke") owned by Keith Wright (I like to point this out:
this machine was a gift from my wife before we were
married. It was my first machine. That means
that my subsequent collection is all HER fault.
Photos by KW.):
in Keith Wright's collection. Note that they started
off as hill-and-date records hence the 'lateral cut'
notation on one:
Ron Hodgson of Ottawa contributes the following photos regarding his machine, a "Duchess" serial # H24770 and another lateral record:
Betty Minaker Pratt contributes the following pages from Canadian Music Trades Journal Aug., 1918, pp 106-107, showing the factories.
The following is an ad cropped from the Toronto Daily Star, Jan. 11, 1919, p. 10 supplied by Betty.
|Cyril Penton of Summerside PEI, sends the
following pictures of his later wind-up Phonola as
well as the following story:
"... as I mentioned, my wife Heather and I bought it at a yard sale ... we were more interested in it as a potential piece of furniture ... the previous owner, an older gent, remarked that there was a crank that belonged to it "somewhere" in his home ... he said if he found it, where could he contact us ... Heather replied simply that she worked in the local branch of the TD bank ... no name, phone number, etc. ... about a week later she was at work ... it was quiet and no customers at the moment ... the elderly gent walked in waving the crank and called out loudly enough for all the staff to hear him "did anyone here buy a gramophone at a yard sale last Saturday?" ... Heather waved him over and he gave her the crank with a broad grin and a "knew I had it in the house somewhere!" ... little did we realize at the time what an essential part of the Phonola it was."
|Phonola may have also
supplied hardware to other manufacturers. This
soundbox is on a machine marked for Symphonola
"Chippendale" for sale through ebay July, 2008:
"Princess" for sale through Winnipeg classifieds January, 2009:
Machine labelled "The Phonola Co., of Can. Ltd., Model Special No. 5, Serial Number 61837, Registered July 11, 1907" for sale online May, 2011:
|Not to be confused with
the US Waters Conley Phonola which is shown here.