Exhibit in detail: Phonograph "Graphophone HG Home Grand"

A good phonograph, playing very good music, never yet caused a riot. The man who owns it frequently is requested by the neighbors to leave the windows open, so they can participate in the noise, and nobody ever going gunning for them. The phonograph habit grows on him, and after a while he’d rather hear a song from the machine than the original human singer.

Walt Mason. “The famous Poet-Philosopher”; Talking machine World, May 1911


On December 10, 2021, another item collection item from the collection section “Recording and Playback Devices” got the status "Science and Technology High-level Achievement”* -- the Graphophone HG Home Grand Phonograph. It was made in 1890 in the USA, New York, by the American Graphophone Company, Hawthorne & Sheble Manufacturing Company. The item is well preserved. 

The section "Recording and Playback Devices” features a variety of phonographs, gramophones, gramophones and juke boxes. It should be noted that a phonograph was the first device for recording and reproducing sound. It is believed that the American Thomas Edison (who presented it in November 1877) invented the device**. The sound in the phonograph was encoded on the record in the form of a track; its depth is proportional to the sound volume. The sound track is placed in in spiral order on a detachable rotating barrel. While playback, a stylus moving along the groove transmits vibrations to an elastic diaphragm that emits sound. Gramophone and victrola were the next step of sound recording development.

The phonograph "Graphophon HG Home Grand" by American Graphophone Company is made in the form of a secretaire, with phonograph mounted on its working surface. The secretaire case is made from oak wood and finished with light varnish. The case bottom part is a pedestal on the wheels with six pullout drawers for storing barrels. Panels with carved narrow panel strips decorate lateral sides. Carved onlays, featuring images of burning torches surrounded by laurel wreath with ribbons and thin frame with curls in the corners are on the panels.

The drawers’ front sides are ornamented with carved shell-shaped handles, surrounded by thin onlay frames. Phonograph barrels are slipped on six cylindrical shoulders, fixed in six drawers. Top panel with ornately shaped leading edge is working space. Frieze decorated with carved foliage pattern is below the top panel. The shelf with two narrow drawers and round knobs is on the top panel. Retractable swivel cover in the shape of a drum sector is mounted in the shelf. The phonograph mechanism is mounted on steel nickel-plated panel.

Cast support with spindle, on which the phonograph barrel is mounted, is on the top panel surface. Hollow rod, along which the carriage with sound box moves, is fixed in front of the spindle. The drive-screw geared to the spindle shaft is inside the rod. The sound box is comprised of specular stone diaphragm, in the center of which the end of the tone arm with the reproducing needle is fixed. The mechanism is belt driven. Motor with two springs and centrifugal control in wooden casing is located on the mounting plate bottom side. Winding crank fits into aperture on the case right lateral side. Corrugated speed control crank and the activating lever are in front of the motor on the top panel. The mechanism cast stand is covered with black varnish and adorned with colored image of branches and leaves. Goldish inscription “GRAPHOPHONE” is on the front side. Sound reproduction is carried out through aluminum horn "No. 4". Aluminum horn, brass horn, bracket, winding crank, secretaire key, and two flexible tubes in braided cable with bells are in the set. Music media: wax phonograph barrel 12.6 cm diameter. 

* In Russian legislation, references to Science and Technology High-level Achievements are found in the constitutional charter of the Russian Federation on the protection of cultural and nature heritage No. 73-FZ of 2002 (see article No. 3). The generally accepted definition states, "A Science and Technology High-level Achievement is a material object associated (directly or indirectly) with the pasted off benchmarks of science and technology, requiring, in accordance with its social or scientific significance, preservation and use in the general system of culture" (Bubnov I.E. Science and Technology High-level Achievements: some practical and theoretic issues". Natural history and technology issues", 1981, No. 1, p. 66

** A phonograph prototype -- the "paleophone" appeared six months earlier as a result of experiments with the technique of photoprint on a chrome plate by the French poet and inventor Charles Cros, who did not register a patent for his invention, therefore Edison is still considered a phonograph creator to this day.