Decca "Trench Type" portable Gramophones 1914

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Decca "Trench Type" portable Gramophones 1914

Post by Gmemg » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:01 pm

Yes, it's now the centenary of the Decca "Trench Type" portable gramophone - no not the first portable gramophone but certainly the best known !

One of the first machines i wanted when i started collecting was a Genuine Great War "trench Type" gramophone i saw the one from the Imperial War Museum (actually one made later as a commemorative by a n Ex - Soldier - i thought that that would be easy as there must be loads of them about and as the Great War had then been over less than 60 years i thought i might find one in good condition ....................I waited, and waited, years went past and i bought HMVs Columbias and all sorts of other portable machines including Deccas, but always later Deccas, then about 10 years ago i bought what i thought was a "Trench Type" i showed Roger thorne and he said :

"No, it's probably 1920's"

I asked why ?

"The Spandrels don't have "Decca " and the registration number on , The Carrying handle's on the front, it's got one chain and one lid stay and the later tonearm " he then took the turntable off and there was a complete label with the date stamped in purple ink - 1922 ! roger whipped out his notebook and noted all the information down !

he showed me his "style no 1" which he believed was a "trench Type" and 1914 - it was bought from SAS by a friend of mine and then sold to me but i eventually sold it as i came to believe that it , too was 1920's

In later conversations he mentioned that Decca was Unique amongst the Gramophone companies in that they made the same "trench Type" the "Style No 1" and all the other "style No's" from 1914 onwards right up until that range was discontinued C 1926 with few variations - although as i put it to Roger i believe that Decca had these machines made in batches and so there could be variations between batches assembled by different companies under contract - he tentatively agreed but as he said - "there are no company records so we'll never know ! "

I then bought a style no 2 "Trench Type" some years ago in pretty tatty condition it had been re - motored 3 times but had oddly got it's original motor back and i've kept it even though since i have found what i believe is a genuine "trench Type" which is very similar to the other but not the same so here they are !

The LH One is, i believe the slightly earlier one

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And open - they look identical until you note some small differences


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The LH Spandrel in both models has this Logo

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the RH Spandrel with the Reg No 1914

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The unique early tonearm - a sure sign of a real "trench Type" note the sharp right angle bends NOT found on any later model


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The end of that tonearm has a "bump" before the soundbox fitting - here with the "new Crescendo" soundbox - i've never seen it's predecessor !


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the RH one showing the polished motorbaord through a cut out square in the rexine - sometimes the cut our is round ! also showing the label (and the multiple re - motorings

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The Motors - apparently identical

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The LH motor showing the strange lever mechanism which operates a stop/start on the governor

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the RH Motor - showing the slots where the lever mechanism was or could have been fitted but wasn't - yes it's single spring that may or may not be original as it is possible to remove a broken spring in it's barrel and make these motors single spring

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The Carrying handle on the LH machine is on the back of the case

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