31 JanSaturday2015

by Ron Roscoe


The MOCAPS meeting held Saturday January 31, 2015, hosted by Ron Roscoe at his home in Northborough, MA. The meeting topic was “Phonograph Accessories”.

The group trip to Union in June 2015 still interests many members, including a stop to visit the Sanfilipo collection in Barrington, IL.

There being no more nominations for President to replace Wendy Floyd, Barry Kasindorf was voted our new President and Kirk Bauer was voted our new Vice President, an office that Barry had previously held.

Outreach: Barry checked out folks who were searching for phonograph related items on Craig’s list and contacted one to make him aware of our group. It was resolved to advertise our next meeting by asking APS to send out an email invitation to our next meeting, and to utilize Facebook pages.


1. Barry Kasindorf showed us a Rastus Dancing Doll, which is driven by any disc phonograph turntable. He also showed a GRADEON, which is an electric pickup designed to fit on a Victor or Victrola tone arm to play records electrically through a radio. It uses a special “fake tube” to replace the first audio tube in a standard five-tube superhet. But the prize of the meeting was Barry’s incredible RayFoto Radio Picture receiver. This incredible 1928 device uses a phonograph motor to drive a copper gearset mounted on a copper framework and containing a chrome plated cylinder around which sensitized paper is wrapped to be engraved electrically by a stylus. The kit also included parts to build a required oscillator which is modulated by the signal from a radio tuned to a station broadcasting the “photo”. Barry’s kit was missing a few items, including the instructions and the practice phonograph record which presumably contained the signals that would normally come from a radio. The oscillator is used to produce the high voltage required to etch the special paper that is wrapped around the cylinder. It’s the first FAX!

Finally, Barry showed us his Vac-O-Rec record vacuuming device, by VOR industries. The machine generates a vacuum which not only removes dust, but causes an LP to rotate vertically in a slot that also contains brushes to loosen dirt before the vacuum grabs it.

2. Ron Roscoe showed us:
a. An original Edison 78 rpm adaptor for playing 78’s on a Diamond Disc machine, with a Thorens sound box.
b. A NA-ALD electric pickup for mounting on an acoustical tone arm to play records through a standard five-tube superhet. This one differed from the one Barry brought in that the adaptor used to connect the output of the electrical reproducer to the radio was a thin wafer which slipped over the prongs of the first audio tube and could be left there. A pair of legs was affixed to the wafer with miniature clips to accommodate the wires from the pickup.
c. A stylus gauge calibrated in ounces!
d. An orthophonic horn driver. This device takes the output from an amplifier or radio and mounts to either a tone arm in place of the sound box, or possibly can be used to drive the orthophonic horn in a Victor 10-51 or other electrically amplified Victor with the large folded horn. There was some question as to what the intended use was. Ron Roscoe will follow up with George Eppel who restores these items, according to Ron L’Herault. [This driver is marked: “Supplied to Victor Talking Machine Co. by Radio Corporation of America” and has an oversized Orthophonic aluminum diaphragm.]
e. An éclair-shaped record cleaner from the Sonnenberg Music Co. of New Haven, Bridgeport, and Yonkers.

3. Bill Shenette brought:
a. A Ken-Tone adaptor capable of playing Pathe sapphire ball vertically cut discs thanks to a rotating “knuckle” on the adaptor, as well as standard 78’s.
b. A package of fibre needles from the B&H Fibre Manufacturing Co. of Chicago, USA, 100 for 40 cents.
c. A fibre needle cutter
d. A package of Electrophonic brand needles for electrically recorded records. 10 plays per needle!

4. Ron L’Herault had some record cleaners:
a. A Columbia round carpet covered record duster.
b. A Standard brand carpet covered record duster, rectangular shaped, like a blackboard eraser.
c. A Fenway Talking Machine Shop record duster, éclair shaped. This shop once stood at 255
Massachusetts Avenue, Boston; the building has been replaced with a modern one.

The next meeting of MOCAPS was tentatively scheduled for Sunday April 26th at Mark Vassar’s home, 159 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, in the Cambridge Historical Society building. There was a suggestion made that we create an email address. The meeting adjourned about 5:00 pm after we consumed most of Jan Whelan’s delicious homemade apple pie! Thanks Jan!