Directions from a wind-up Victor Talking Machine brand phonograph model produced from around 1908 to the early 1920s.

  • Carefully unpack all the parts and--
  • 1st. Screw the horn bracket to the motor case.
  • 2d. Insert horn in elbow until pin goes into angular slot and turn elbow to right until firm on horn.
  • 3d. Loosen screw "A" about three turns until plate "B" is quite loose and insert elbow of horn underneath plate, then tighten screw "A."
  • 4th. Unscrew the needle-clamp screw, in soundbox, insert the blunt end of the needle as far as it will go into the socket and tighten screw firmly, then raise the soundbox so that it will rest on the tapering arm.
  • 5th. Place a record on the turntable.
  • 6th. Wind up the machine with the winding crank.
  • 7th. Release the brake which will allow the turntable to revolve. The speed of the turntable can be controlled by adjusting the speed regulator. A speed of about 76 revolutions per minute will be found to give the best results for most selections.
  • 8th. While the machine is running, place the soundbox so that the needle will enter the sound wave on the extreme outer edge of the record on the winding handle side of the machine.
  • A NEW NEEDLE should be used EVERY TIME a record is played.

Victor Talking Machine Company. Instruction Card. Philadelphia, c. 1908. (Smithsonian Institution. Division of the History of Technology.); reprinted in: Ierley, Merritt. Wondrous Contrivances: Technology at the Threshold. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2002.

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