Talking Machine World, November 15, 1918, p. 33: "Cassavant Freres, the well-known organ builders of St. Hyacinthe, Que., are now manufacturing talking machines and cabinets."
My crude translaton of the French language pages in Casavant Frères, 1879-1979 by Laurent Lapointe:
[Because] of their competence in the questions of sonority and the laws of
acoustics, and experiments in [cabinetry], [Casavant]
undertook the manufacture of phonographs. To this end, in 1919, they created another limited
company [called] La Companie de Phonographes Casavant
Limitee. This enterprise was really born in the factory since the first
machines were initially made by some employees eager to
get a gramophone [cheaply](!). This practice authorized by the owners was transformed soon
into a serious project and, after a few months of studies
and experiments on various apparatuses, they began
manufacturing an instrument with which the Casavant
brothers were satisfied. At the beginning they did not seek to produce machines in
great quantity, but the reputation of the Casavant
phonograph spread rather quickly from Saint-Hyacinthe and
visitors to the organ factory did not fail to underline
its quality. These first successes the Casavant brothers to consider entering this
business and the decision was made to [increase] their
production and to incorporate the company in 1919. A building was bought and [they]
installed the necessary production equipment. After one year, 20 employees
under the direction of Joseph Touchette, the former
harmonist as a chief of the branch of South Haven,
produced 13 different models for which the demand became
so strong that it surpassed production capacity (!). Success was short-lived and the
remaining woodworking machines and the motors of La
Companie de Phonographes Casavant were bought by the organ
enterprise which put to definitive end the manufacture of
phonographs in 1927."
Pictures from a brochure courtesy of Bryan Dewalt at the National
Museum of Science and Technology, Hull, PQ:
Pictures coutesy Keith Wright at the Casavant factory, Ste. Hyacinthe, PQ:
Machine in the collection of Keith Wright (crank removed):
Arm can swing for vertical or lateral cut records:
Compared to a Victor Victrola VV-IX:
"Flea market" machine about 2003 (photos by KW):
Machine in the collection of the National Museum of Science and Technology (courtesy their website):
, November 27, 1919, p. 22.
, November 29, 1919, p. 14.
La Revue Moderne
, March 1920, back cover.
, February 18, 1921, p. 13.
Arthur Zimmerman contributes this ad from the Montreal Daily Star
, Thurs. April 1, 1929, p. 26.
KW found the following, Montreal Gazette
, Nov. 9, 1920, pg. 10.
For sale through Facebook Marketplace in 2023, Model No. 75.
For sale through Facebook Marketplace in 2023 located in Otterburn Park, Québec.