The Edison Triumph Phonograph is a thing of beauty. The case is of fine golden oak and the lettering on the decal swirls and flows across the front. The Triumph was the mid-range machine – sturdy, well built, with a Triple-Spring motor that can run for half an hour. This was unprecedented at the time and ensured good sales. It was first marketed in 1900 and the Triumph range was in production until 1913. The one in our collection is from around 1904.
Thomas Edison, 1847-1931, developed the first phonograph in 1877. He was a prolific inventor who put the profits from the sale of his telegraphy machine into an industrial complex dedicated to the production of his inventions. He is said to have pioneered the assembly line approach with his business and thus was able to utilise the time and energy of his workers most efficiently.
Whilst it may not fit into your pocket, it is portable. The wax cylinders it plays ran for two or four minutes, approximately the length of a song. It could be said to be the 1904 equivalent of a boom box. The Edison Triumph is a spectacular example of the sound engineering of its day.
Edited version of a post which appeared in our original blog in February 2011.