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#654448 - 09/22/08 09:55 PM "THE GOODALE PHONOGRAPH (World's First Tape Recorder)"  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
Top 10 Poster
"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
Top 10 Poster

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
Tampa, Florida since 1973
The FULL Title of this is Actually "The GOODALE PHONOGRAPH: World's First MULTITRACK Tape Recorder, Ca 1910" {Subtitled, "A Tale of Stupidity"}

I've now spent over half my lifetime tracking down Rare & Unusual Mechanical Items, from Clocks to Pencil Sharpeners, Typewriters, Early Motors & Electric Fans. I have a fascination with "How DID we ever get THIS Civilized"..and a realization that MOST of it occured, mechanically & electronically, quite-recently..from the 1870's thru the early 1900's. Regretably, MOST of the "Roots" from this period of Great Invention & Acceleration into What-We've-Become has been jettisoned. When a Typewriter "wears out"..it's considered "replaceable"..ditto for most ALL early Mechanical & Electrical Things.

Back in 1988, 28 of us "Serious Fan Collectors" created the "American Fan Collectors Assn"...& there are now about 600+ Card-Carrying Fan Preservationists..about 100 of them Millionaires, I'll mention, because I'm not the ONLY person around these day who's aware of the rarity..& desirability..of preserving What Little Is LEFT of these "Ancestors of Today's Civilized Life." (For those with a Curiosity about Electric Fans..{which mirror the development of the Electric Motor..& modern Electrical Systems..as the US evolved from DC to AC Power} check out the Club's Website...<www.fancollectors.org> It's now "Antique Fan Collector's Assn" due to many a Foreign Collector having joined.)

SOME of the Collectors in the Club also collect Antique Musical Items...(Huge Coin-Operated Musical Reproducers are one of our Texas Collector's "Other Love", & he's preserved some INCREDIBLE Items, including a Violin-Playing Pub-Based Machine which spins the Instrument against a Circular Bow...& So Forth. Mention a BIG Music Box Disc-Player..he's got it!)

But, not being privy to Oil Wealth, I've had to glean What I've Collected over the years from a cadre of "Pickers"...people who knew What I Collected, found items at flea markets or garage sales..& Reported Back to Me with their "Finds"..& the Dickering would Begin. A Tampa "Local"..Keller Cochran, by name..had what was in-essence a Junkyard in his backyard, filled with many a Vehicle he'd acquired after years of working as a Mechanic for Sexton-Valenti, a ships-chandler business.

Keller'd called me for several months because he "had an old Tape Recorder" to sell me. I'd neglected to visit, because I was hoping he'd dig up some FANS to sell me. When I finally DID show up, the "Tape Recorder" was QUITE unique, and it came with a Stock Certificate (Printed in Tacoma, WA) describing the "GOODALE PHONOGRAPH CO." and had a Fill-In The Last Year's Number, "191_"..and mentioned they were raising "6-Million in Capital" somewhere in the Copy.

Now, this MIGHT well have been a Stock Swindle..BUT..There it was...WITH a Recorded 4" Blackened-Brass Pair of Reels..WITH one 3/8 Inch wide reel of RECORDED Celluloid Tape on it..and a spare take-up reel..in-essence, the EARLIEST Tape Recording..EVER.

A closer exam showed it was missing an early Bi-Polar Motor, which ran upwards from its 3-foot-tall Rectangular Oak Supporting Cabinet via a leather belt, which drove a WOODEN Gear (To Dampen Vibration, I'd guess) into a multi-geared Brass-Steel drive train which powered the Reels at the desired speed. It was all mounted on a heavy Copper-Brass Slab about 1/2 inch thick, by about 1-foot-deep X about 2-Feet wide. A nice Brass-Hinged front door allowed access to the Motor area & had plenty of storage space inside.

The original Recording Horn was of Galvanized Sheet Metal, a 2 1/2 foot-long 6..(or maybe 8)-sided Straight-Cone Affair, which channeled the sound down to a 1/2 inch hole-ended-Casting mounted (Removeably) above a 3" round thin-tin diaphragm with a Needle-Attached (which Duplicated EDISON's Method of Recording..&..probably resulted in a Patent Lawsuit that put Goodale out of business.)

But..Dr. Franklin C. Goodale DID come up with Something-Better than the VERY Breakable Cylinders that Edison was Recording-On at the time...AND...here's where it gets REAL-Interesting:

Dr. Goodale was Decades AHEAD of Chet Atkins: There were, best I recollect, at least 4, maybe-5 SEPARATE TRACKS on the TAPE for the Stylus to CUT on. (There was a Comb-Like piece to set the cutting/playback location..from 1-4..or 5) So...MULTI-track Recording was Invented in the 1910's!

Keller had kept this rig in an Aluminum Step Van in his Junkyard for over 25 years. The Playback Horn was about 2-to-2 1/2 feet wide at the Business-End,Lathe-Turned, of Mahogany (Which miraculously, like the Oak Cabinet below it..survived the Termite Population we have down here all those years!), thin-walled & nicely-crafted, with a cast iron mount that replaced the Recording Horn for Playback-Purposes. The hollow Cast-Iron had a Gracefully-Tapered-Curve like many of the early Round Wooden-Radio-Horn-Speakers used to have, built-&-banded like a fine Barrel would be.

I cleaned it all up..but never had time..or a spare "Period Motor"..to get it in Working-Order. It then sat a Year & A Half in-my-way. Merely a "Conversation Piece", it emitted little conversation among my Fellow Fan Collectors.

Around this time, Another "Picker", "Luke" Lukienenko (Of the Legendary "Lukienenko Antiques-Finding Brothers" from Elkhart, Indiana) came to visit me with a VERY Rare Motor..a "Zigler 'Candlestick' Motor"..ca 1870's. These very-early DC Motors were, in-essence, Scientific Curiosities..& to "Show them Off", elaborate Highly-Pinstriped Cast-Iron Pedestals were created that these sat on... They're much the size & shape of an Average Candlestick...hence..the Name. Black "Japanned" finish..with red, white, & yellow pinstriping..very Fancy!

They're also extremely rare & pricey...& Luke wanted $7K for his.
I'm to this day only aware of 3-4 other "Survivors" & at the time I wanted to own this Jewel, but it was WAY out of My Purchasing League. However...I did have "Something Unusual" to TRADE him..& The Deal went through..(Tho it additionally cost me Yet-Another Wooden Radio Horn, matching-Style)..and I was fairly content with the Trade. Still-was, when 6 months later I met Luke at a flea market & he said he'd got the $7K (he'd asked for the Motor) by selling the Goodale Phono. A Year Later..he said "That's not the End of the Story..it went in a Radio Collector's Magazine for $15K." 6 Months later we chanced to meet.."More Story to tell: a Swiss Collector acquired it for $30K...it's the only one ever seen!" (& I'm happy for the Schweitzer!)

Now..here comes the Stupidity Part: During the year & a half it sat in-my-way, I'd contacted the Smithsonian Museum. I know they have an EXTENSIVE Fan Collection (Housed in their BASEMENT) with many an 1880-90 era NEW-Never-Used Fan that was given to them by the Inventors at that time they were New. They have some GREAT Duplicates that Nobody ever sees. I wanted one..maybe two. They have TONS. "We don't DO trades, BUT you can DONATE it if you'd like" was Their Reply to my inquiry.

Sorry...I work for a Living/& wanted to better my Own Collection, (at no real Big Loss to Them.) ON to the Next Museum...the Edison Winter Home Museum in Winter Haven, FL.

They have..perhaps to this day..a donated Bi-Polar Motor..(NON-Edison)..I wanted for my Collection, because it's Bladeless, yet says "Fan Motor" on its nice little Cast Brass Tag on top. Ca 1897, it would have filled in a nice-pricey-gap in my Collection. (A Complete one..Motor with 16" Bladeset & Cage..went for $20K 2 years ago)...to a Millionaire, of course.

BUT...because my Goodale Phono didn't SAY "Edison" on it, the Museum wasn't interested in acquiring it. (Which struck me as idiotic, since it USED Edison's Patents to record/playback the sound.) In their defense, tho, the Staff WAS very Generous & Nice to me, explaining they were "de-accesioning some items...and would GIVE me the Motor I Wanted." The Catch? "I had to be a NON-Profit Organization."

Which I'm not. (My Sons'll have to enjoy inheriting a rather LARGE Fan Collection someday..& very LITTLE Cash.) Alas.

Luke later found & sold me a Similar Bi-Polar Motor for $1200. Just doesn't say "Fan Motor" on top. Got Blades & Cage made for it by a West Coast Expert..in another Legendary Trade..it's already "Aged" enough it looks All-Original..& I'm quite content with Both of My Bargains.

The SAD thing is...The Goodale Phonograph, Stock Certificate, and Original Recording...are ALL in Switzerland today, "private collection" I'm told, so America no longer gets to see this One-Of-A-Kind bit of Our Heritage.

Don't blame me...I TRIED to trade TWO of the more-vibrant Museums to KEEP it here (& get it out of my entryway/add a fan or two to my collection.) DO "Thank Folks" like Keller Cochran for at least having the Foresight to Capture...& Preserve.."Interesting Junk"..for The Next Generation.

End of Story. Email Me when ya find an Unusual Old Fan..or Whatever, eh?

Big Hugs,

PS: Just Googled "Goodale Phonograph" & Dr.Franklin C. Goodale ("American") got a CANADIAN Patent for it..#124554...Applied for it Dec 21, 1909.."Open to Public Inspection" Mar 22, 1910. &..that's about IT. (There's record of it passing through <www.mechantiques.com> in 1998..via a Marty Roenigk. &..that's it for Google.) No OTHER Mention..anywhere..about this Gadget.

Last edited by "TampaStan" Good; 09/22/08 11:59 PM.
#654479 - 09/23/08 01:02 AM Re: "THE GOODALE PHONOGRAPH (World's First Tape Recorder)" [Re: ]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 10,240
Kaley Willow Offline
Kaley Willow  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 10,240
Interesting...Stan.....30K...eh?....and it could have stayed here through your efforts...Thank you for the history..and background...How in the world do you keep all that information straight...Your mind must just absorb and hold everything....

I can see a Disney movie...on You and all your collections! grin

very best...

Miss Willow's Fence Row, and...Andy & Friends CD
Piano Music and Demos (Many Genres)
Children's Songs

#654569 - 09/23/08 10:18 AM Re: "THE GOODALE PHONOGRAPH (World's First Tape Recorder)" [Re: Kaley Willow]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
Top 10 Poster
"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
Top 10 Poster

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
Tampa, Florida since 1973
G'Mornin' Mz KaleyGal!

My Mind is actually pretty Sieve-Like, I enjoy digging up stuff..then forget Much of What I Learned. So..like this Story..I have to write it down..or it's a Goner! (& I allus Apologize to folks I meet..for the First Time. KNOW I gotta Embarrass-Myself an average of 3X before I'll remember a Name!)

With Early Mechanical Objects, it's Diffo...if it's Wacky-Enough, I'll prolly take it to the grave with me.

There WAS a Movie made about "The Collector"...English Guy who chloroformed Unsuspecting Babes/pirated 'em home to his Castle..& Dungeoned 'em in the Basement. Weirdest "Love-Story" Ever, Grim Ending too, alas. (THAT I've remembered prolly about 20 years...it's quite sad & memorable/GREAT Acting!) "Disney" it warn't...heh!

Me...I collected Butterflies at age 6...didn't have the heart to kill 'em by age 7...collected Coins from then 'till '65, when I discovered Dating...still collected Early U.S. Glass Marbles thru College (Most were later stolen). In 'Nam, I collected Mountainyard Artifacts..then on to Europe where I got into Antiques & Clocks & Clockmaking Tools. '73, Back in Tampa, I got into Old Fans, Typewriters, Pencilsharpeners..Plants..Trees/Bromeliads/Orchids..& Parrots.

WISH I'd had the Loot to Collect Vintage Cars..Wine..(Maybe More Women?);-)> and Ol' Tractors. Other'n the Wine, I got One-Each (& only La Femme is Operable..heh!)

I've always had a "Weakness" for The Unique..& tho I "Lost" that Phono, I've got some of the Rarest Early FANS ya ever saw..& some really-Bizarre Pencil Sharpeners & Typewriters I picked up a-huntin' for more Fans~! (&..got a 19 1/2 foot Street Clock a-running in the Shop's Front Yard that was the Zenith of my Clock Collectin' Days...still got a few nice 300 & 200 year old ones in what's left of That Collection for the Sons to Fight-Over someday..heh!)

La Femme occasionally threatens to have The Ultimate Garage Sale in our front yard...so I've cut WAY back on collectin' ANYTHING the last couple of years. (&..she makes ME dust Most EVERYTHING we got here, too...) ;-)>

Thanks for Your Kind Visit & Words, M'Sweet LadyChum!
Big Hugs backatcha!
Ol' Stan-The-Accumulator Hisself~

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