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The "St Dunstan's" Portable for the Blind

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:50 pm
by Gmemg
Talking books for the Blind are a relatively new invention - 1935 in fact - The RNIB commissioned Decca to make the machines which were made to play at very slow speeds , something a Clockwork Motor has great trouble doing at a constant speed, it would appear that an electric motor was out of the question as most of the Recipients of these machines wouldn't have had Electricity laid on to their homes so Decca Supplied a Garrard 10b " Spring Motor but altered the governors and thus a 12" record will last 25 mins per side at 16rpm but it will play at 33rpm and 78rpm !

The records are made from SOFT Shellac - with very little Carborundum in so the sound quality is excellent BUT they must NOT be played with a Heavy soundbox and Certainly not with a Fibre needle

Another difference is that the soundbox is TINY it's just over 1" across yet is a perfectly Miniature Metal Diaphragm model, the horn is actually a Copper "huunting" horn Bent to fit the case with a 3" opening at the front - there is a Knob which diverts the sound to earphones - why ? well it was designed so that the machine could be placed next to a bed or chair and thus the listener could hear it but it would not disturb a whole room

History from the RNIB Website

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The Machine - the flap in the lid is for the Hearing Tubes

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the Outside

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The Tiny Soundbox

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The machine from the side - showing the Knob at the RH side

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The attachment for the hearing Tubes

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The Decca Label on the Motorboard

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and the Horn - as you can see a "hunting " horn usually found in a Pub near some Horsebrasses here curved around the case !

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A "talking Book record" (label Side)

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"braille" Side


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And the demonstration on u - Tube


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 2e73khKKK0