These are examples of Extension Speakers & other stuff

Claritone Horn Loudspeaker

 This splendid high impedance speaker, adorned with the "BBC" logo, was made in 1924 and could be used to let the whole family hear the crystal set. This model was made by ATM, later to become the Automatic Telephone and Electric Company (ATE), which was taken over by Plessey in the early 60's. Many years later the factory in Liverpool became "GPT" when GEC and Plessey merged their telephone interests before the Plessey name was dropped when the family business was sold. I understand the Plessey name is not dead but now belongs to a South African company who once represented the main British parent company in that part of the world.

How would one drive a loudspeaker from a crystal set? If the transmitting station was nearby the rectified output from the crystal may have been strong enough but there were two other options. One could of course add an amplifying valve but there was another way, which predates the thermionic route. A sensitive carbon microphone could be placed in close proximity to a headphone. This could drive a second earpiece, which in turn could be placed close to another carbon microphone. The output of this would have been strong enough to drive a loudspeaker. In this way the crystal set did not use valves and as such attracted a lot less duty and royalty payments. Marconi reckoned on making money by charging royalties "per valve" and the magnetic amplifier cheated him out of his pieces of silver.

BTH Horn Loudspeaker

 This speaker, a model "C2" made by British Thomson-Houston, was introduced in 1923 but was sold throughout the twenties. The base, which is not in particularly good condition is made of "vulcanite", which is a red ebonite. Basically this is a hard rubber/sulphur compound, pre-dating bakelite and of course plastic. Vulcanite, like many of the early compounds from the 20's and 30's deteriorates after many years, becoming brittle and developing stress cracks. Another compound made in the same era, known by many names, including "monkey metal" also cracks and crumbles and when used for items like gearwheels often renders an old radio irrepairable.

A million of this model were sold... and its price 5 guineas. In the 20's this represented a substantial outlay if you consider that a weekly wage was probably not much more than that.

Marconiphone "Model 140" Loudspeaker



 Above is a loudspeaker from the late 20's. In those days radio listeners were supposed to be quite practical people. In order to use this speaker one has first to unscrew the rear panel and read the instructions which are glued to the inside of the cabinet. Inside are the means of connecting the speaker terminals to settings on a transformer to suit your particular wireless.

Stentorian Junior Loudspeaker

I guess this speaker was made in 1936 as it proclaims to be the "1937" model.

The Ormond Loudspeaker

This speaker dates from 1929 and must be one of the last moving iron types made before the better moving coil type, still used today, became common.

The cone is made from stiff card and the case is made of oak.

"Expert" needle sharpener


 These are special scissors used for restoring a point on a gramophone needle. The lady that gave them to me said they were around 60 years old and were used by her family in South Africa. I understand that this type of needle was used only once before resharpening was advisable. Being made from something like bamboo they were much kinder to the playing surface of records than the steel needles that followed. The needle was poked through the triangular hole seen on the right until it protruded from the other side then the scissors were closed and a sharp blade snipped off the used end.

Capitol Model RS101A



 I picked up this stereo record player from a junk dealer at the local car boot sale for £5. It weighs a ton and appears to be complete but has a three wire mains lead with uncoded wires. All are brown and there isn't a plug fitted. From my experience with car radios brought in by customers this is a recipe for disaster. Usually I get the remark that "it hasn't been used would I test it for them". Afterwards under pressure they usually admit to having connected a car battery across every possible combination of wires. During this process the audio output chips are usually destroyed. They often own up when I show them one with a hole burnt through the case of the chip. One in recently had a bent nail squashed into the fuse holder to ensure total destruction.

Damage included a short-circuit reverse connection protection diode, melted track between the connector and the main circuitry, and of course blown up audio output chips.

However..back to the record player. It was made by EMI and sold under various guises including "Capitol", "Emisonic" and "HMV". This model uses a Garrard TA MkII 4-speed deck fitted with a GP71 cartridge. The amplifier uses a total of 7 valves; an EF86 and a pair of ECL83s in push pull for each channel together with a GZ30 rectifier. From the general condition it looks as if it has been used as a football.

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