Posts Tagged ‘gramophone’

A Gramophone

July 25, 2015

For some time our curator has felt we needed a gramophone. After all, we have records and no way of playing them. The opportunity to acquire one came at a fete in our neighbouring parish of West Lavington.

The gramophone really has more West Lavington provenance than Market Lavington, for it was used, for many years, at West Lavington School. People who attended the school in the post war era can remember Miss Ross bringing out the old gramophone and playing records for country dancing. Miss Ross, as we know, was a Market Lavington lass, the daughter of the head gardener at Clyffe Hall. It was enough for us to claim the gramophone as something for our museum. The sellers made sure we got it, happy that it was going to a museum.

And here it is.

Gramophone at Market Lavington Museum

Gramophone at Market Lavington Museum

That’s a front view and we can see the vast but very light horn hiding the deck, tone arm and record.

This view shows it all.


Now a piece was missing and at the moment the right angle bend that the horn fits into is not the right piece and the horn doesn’t fit that well. But it is secure and the horn amplifies the sound.

The major problem is the mainspring which only allows about half a records worth of play. Someone needs to be on hand to give a few extra turns on the winding handle during play.

It doesn’t sound too bad.

This is an HMV gramophone.


We haven’t yet worked out just which model this was or what its rough date of manufacture was. Maybe a gramophone expert can advise us.


A broken elbow was acquired for this gramophone. Jim in Easterton repaired it and the gramophone now has its own elbow.

Wonderful comment from John, recalling the gramophone used in the playground for Maypole dancing.


An ancient gramophone record

January 18, 2014

What would we do without the Williams family of Easterton? Many of our lovely exhibits, given in recent years have come from that family whose ancestors held the Manor of Easterton and also Eastcott. A recent gift has been gramophone records which it is believed the family have owned from new. Here is just one example from the collection.

An early Berliner Gramophone record now at Market Lavington Museum

An early Berliner Gramophone record now at Market Lavington Museum

This record is one of Emil Berliner’s Gramophone records. Emil Berliner invented the name gramophone for his disc system which was a rival to the Edison phonograph. His first records were really only toys and came out in the 1880s. By the 1890s Berliner had moved on to larger, 7 inch records like the one shown and in 1898 he set up a British company.

For the first three years of production, records did not have a paper label. The required information was embossed and scratched on the surface of the newly pressed disc. The record, above, tells us it is a ‘talk’ – John Morton on Trousers and that it was recorded in London. It also gives us the date of the recording.

The date of the recording - 28th August 1900 when Queen Victoria was still on the throne

The date of the recording – 28th August 1900 when Queen Victoria was still on the throne

And there we have the date for this one – 28th August 1900.

We are still trying to find out more about these records. They play on a standard ‘old’ 78 rpm gramophone, but they seem to need to revolve at a slightly lower speed. Most wind up gramophones have a controller which allows the speed to be varied.

It has to be said that Mr Morton’s talk on trousers is comedic in nature and very hard to understand. Brass band music comes out quite well.

The records themselves have spent years in a barn and need gentle cleansing.

The museum doesn’t own a gramophone itself and seeks one with appropriate local provenance. Can any local help by offering us one? Lack of space means a portable would be most suitable, but others can be considered.

Doan’s Dictionary and Almanack – 1903

September 13, 2012

Doan’s backache and kidney pills were all the rage 100 years ago. Apparently, they still exist although without any reference to kidneys. For the medically minded the active ingredient is magnesium salicylate which makes these pills non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.

We have no such medicaments at Market Lavington Museum. What we do have is a marketing item which found its way to the Gye household back in 1903. It is a small paperback book containing a calendar, a dictionary and much propaganda about the benefits of Doan’s pills.

Here’s the front cover of what was an annual publication.

Doan’s Dictionary and Almanack for 1903 can be found at Market Lavington Museum

Inside we can discover that Doan’s pills were made in a modern, hygienic  factory.

Drawing showing the up to date factory where Doan’s pills were made.

And then there is the dictionary from which we pick one entry – the gramaphone.

It’s not how we spell gramophone – but do come and hear a similar aged phonograph at the Market Lavington Museum Miscellany on September 15th

Well maybe the gramophone was spelt that way back in 1903 and maybe across the pond in the USA. But this gramophone is our sneaky advert for the Museum Miscellany, in a few days time on 15th September.

We will be listening to music played on a device of a similar age, but actually a phonograph which plays cylinders rather than discs. Be at Market Lavington Community Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 15th September to see and hear more of the history of your parish of Market Lavington and Easterton.

Dorrie Burbidge Relaxes

October 3, 2010

What a charming scene we have here. This comes from an album of photos which came from the Burbidge family. Mr Burbidge was a gardener for Miss Pleydell Bouverie who lived at The Old House. The Burbidge family occupied a cottage which was very close by – the cottage which is now Market Lavington Museum. At one time, the cottage’s address was ‘Churchyard’.

Dorrie Burbidge relaxes with cat and gramophone – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

Sadly, the photos are not captioned but we believe this is the elder of the two Burbidge daughters – Dorothy was known as Dorrie. Dorrie has found a comfortable perch in the churchyard and has set up a portable gramophone, which looks to date from the 1920s or 30s. She has even been joined by the cat who looks very relaxed about the situation.

Dorrie was born in 1906 just before the family moved to the Churchyard Cottage. She married in 1934 so perhaps the photo dates from the early 1930s.

We have many items in Market Lavington Museum, which relate to the Burbidge family.  Do visit to see more of how the family lived, happily, without mains water, electricity or drainage.