Canadian Victor Orthophonic Victrolas
by Greg Robertson
Family photo (London, Ontario around 1930)
showing a Credenza
model Orthophonic Victrola.
My Orthophonic Victrola isn't in "Look
For the Dog". Thatís what we heard from
many of the CAPS members we spoke
with when we began seriously studying these late
Victors a few years back. Since most collections
have one or two if any Orthophonics, this has been
a mild curiosity to each of them, but as the list of
Canadian only names and model numbers grew, we
were astonished at the range of unpublished (and
yet to be discovered) Victors made here.
In the hope of uncovering more models, and with
the warmest thanks to the members who helped
along the way, here are the "new" Victors.
During the first season (1925/26) the Victor Talking
Machine Company of Canada produced models
identical to the Camden New Jersey line. Only the
plain announcement on the record label of electrical
recording early in 1925 (while in the US Victor
kept it quiet until the fall) foreshadowed the
coming parting of ways.
In 1927, models known only by numbers south of
the boarder were given names like the "Paloma",
called the VV 4-7 in the States and the popular
"Barona", known there as the VV 4-40.
Also this year appeared the first cabinet design we
know of which has no U.S. counterpart. The
"Alvara" (reg. 1927) evidently sold well. Behind
the doors is a medium sized horn with record
storage on three sides.
Similar to a VV 8-35
Similar to a VV 4-3
From 1928 comes the VV 4-70 (finally numbering
them as the US company did) which survives in
numbers suggesting it was popular. We haven't yet
seen a record sleeve illustration of this one, but the
photo shows its exuberant design. With applied
half-spindles, reeding, bosses and moldings,
pendant door pulls and a flowing grill to top it
off, this design is a favorite. Since the space
behind the doors is given entirely to the horn
(record storage below) is sounds good too.
From 1929 comes the small VV 4-30 with
its simple table-like frame, open record storage and
doorless design it was likely the economy model
in a slow sales year.
Shown are two sleeve illustrations of Canadian
models we have yet to see. They are not
identified by name or number, though the first is
like a 4-3 (consolette) dressed up for the fancy
1928 model year, and the second is just like the
American 8-35 (1928/29) except for the
curvaceous design of the feet.
If any readers can help in identifying the rest
of these by means of old ads, surviving
machines and such, this would be most