Tin Foil

Back to the other American Machines


tinfoil.JPG (60356 bytes)

This is an unknown original tin foil cylinder phonograph.  Found in the Quebec province, it is difficult to know from where it comes exactly (see below).  It is a large machine: base 17"x7" (43 cm x 19 cm) and mandrel 6" (15 cm) long by 6" of diameter.  The black part of the mouth piece and the small horn were not found with the machine.

The previous owner of German origin living near Montreal was a relative of the Berliner family as he told me. At the question: "Who made it?", the answer arrived like a smash in tennis: "Berliner made it" at my great astonishement.  As he had a lot of other Berliner stuff: hand-driven Berliner, Berliner Trade-Mark and also Berliner telephones, it seems plausible that when he opened his Communication Museum in Sutton, near Montreal, that a member of the Berliner family (certainly one of his sons) would have given to him several apparatus belonging to them to help him in the success of his new venture.  It is also plausible to think that, before trying to get round the Edison vertical recording patent, Berliner would have tried what was available at this time: the tinfoil phonograph by making one for himself.  This tinfoil would have taken the direction of Montreal in 1899 when Berliner moved from the States to Canada.

Any information on this machine would be appreciated.  Please, contact Me

Back to the other American Machines