Gold Medal



Canadian Furniture World and the Undertaker, September 1918, p. 44: "The Gold Medal Furniture Mfg. Co. Ltd., have recently placed the Gold Medal Phonograph "the instrument of distinction'' on the market and are receiving many laudatory comments on the four models which they are showing. For upwards of 28 years this firm has been manufacturing high-grade furniture and for some years past have been in close connection with some of the largest phonograph companies doing business in Canada, for which they have made and assembled talking machines, so that they are in an excellent position to turn out a machine of merit in every respect. Their plant at Uxbridge, Ont., with factory and buildings covering an area of five acres, is equipped with up-to-date woodworking machinery and has a reputation for high-grade cabinet work. The high standard that has always marked Gold Medal furniture will be maintained in Gold Medal phonographs. An artistic catalogue descriptive of their machines has been prepared and will gladly be sent to any dealer."

Talking Machine World, August 15, 1922, p. 137: "New Ontario incorporations include Gold Medal Radio Corp., Uxbridge, Ont., capitalized at $300,000."

Talking Machine World, November 15, 1922, p. 156: "The Gold Medal Radio -Phonograph Corp., Ltd., is adding to its lines electric talking machines and combination radio-receiving and phonograph sets. They also have control of a new silent, enclosed and self-lubricating motor which, they consider, is partly responsible for largely increased sales of Gold Medal phonographs."

Norman Brooks of Nova Scotia (of Cremonaphone fame) sent in the following in Feb. 2010:

I found the following online, using Google news archive search. The excerpt is taken from 'newsdurhamregion.com' Nov 30 2001. There is also a picture of the factory in the book Downright Upright A History of the Canadian Piano Industry.

'Though the land is vacant now, in the first half of the twentieth century, the site was the home of a number of industrial businesses. In 1908, Palmer Piano Co. built a factory there but the company lasted less than a year before Toronto's Gold Medal Furniture moved into the building. Gold Medal started making radios and gramaphones in the 1920s and lasted until 1926. From then on, records of the new owners become "a little fuzzy," said Allan McGillivray of the Uxbridge-Scott Museum and Archives. Eventually, the factory, which was large enough to have its own water tower, burned down in 1944, a woolen mill being its last occupant. Today, apparent concrete and stone debris from the factory are hidden among the trees and brush.'

Betty Pratt sent in Nov. 2009 (in response to some one's question regarding a radio): "During research on Standfield Macpherson we found Reginald Standfield became factory manager of Gold Medal in Uxbridge from 1923-26 before he went on to work out West for Hudson's Bay Co. I have the Patent Office Record of March 22, 1921 when they registered the words Gold Medal."



Machine pictures from Norman Brooks:




A table model Gold Medal phonograph for sale on Facebook Marketplace in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in 2023.




From "Tales From the Uxbridge Valley", by Allan McGillivray, 2000 The Uxbridge Millennium Committee, page 102-103:

"After a fire at the Uxbridge Piano and Organ Company in 1907, the Palmer Piano Company built a huge factory by the railway just south of where the Co-op store is located today, but they only lasted a short time and were followed into the factory in 19012 by the Gold Medal Furniture Company, which soon had a staff of ninety. In 1922, it became the Gold Medal Radio & Phonograph Company, making Quadradyne Radios and Gold Medal Phonographs until 1926."

Possibly the same picture fromDownright Upright A History of the Canadian Piano Industry on page 90 with the caption: "The Palmer Co. built this larger factory c. 1908. The company only lasted a year in Uxbridge. The building became the Gold Medal Furniture Co. factory until it was destroyed by fire."




Canadian Furniture World and the Undertaker, October 1918, p. 11.



Ottawa Citizen, September 11, 1919, p. 19, reporting on the exhibition of Gold Medal phonographs at the Canadian National Exhibition.



Ottawa Journal, May 3, 1921, p. 4.



Canadian Music Trades Journal, September 1923, p. 54, collection Bill and Betty Pratt.



Betty Pratt found Gold Medal adverts in the Toronto Star 1924 to 1925. Below is a detail (edit by KW) of the best ad, it is from Nov. 7, 1924:




1924 (?) advert, origin unknown--possibly Ottawa paper. Grill motif very similar to what's left of that on real machine below.




The following belong to the Uxbridge Historical Centre (Uxbridge-Scott Museum and Archives) and are used with the kind permission of : Rachel Sutherland, Assistant Curator, Uxbridge Historical Centre, P.O. Box 1301, Uxbridge ON L9P 1N5



For contact:
Uxbridge Historical Centre (Uxbridge-Scott Museum & Archives)
All rights reserved.

Name of Object: Phonograph
Object Type: Gold Medal
Classification: phonograph
Category: Tools & Equipment for Communication
Sub-category: Sound Communication T&E
Discipline: Local History
Accession Number: 997.280.1
Earliest Production Date: 1922
Latest Production Date: 1926

Description: The phonograph is contained in a wooden cabinet on legs with storage space in a lower cabinet to store records. The phonograph cabinet is mounted on wheels so it can be moved easily. The cabinet lid lifts to reveal a turntable which is one foot in diameter. The phonograph needle is mounted on a brass arm. There is a hand crank on the side of the cabinet that winds a spring in the phonograph to rotate the turntable to play records. The phonograph plays 78 r.p.m. records and the record on the turntable is 'Maple Leaf Two-Step' produced by Sparton of Canada Limited, London, Canada..

Narrative: This phonograph was made by the "Gold Medal Radio-Phonograph Corporation" in Uxbridge. In 1912, the Gold Medal Furniture Company took over the factory built by the Palmer Piano Company located by the railway just south of Brock Street and Victoria Drive in Uxbridge. They soon had a staff of ninety. In 1922, it became the Gold Medal Radio and Phonograph Company, making Quadrodyne Radios and Gold Medal Phonographs until 1926. [From McGillivray, A. Tales from the Uxbridge Valley. The Uxbridge Millennium Committee, 2009.].

Height: 34.00
Width: 19.00
Unit-Linear: inches

Inscription: A metal plaque on the top right hand side of the turntable base reads "Gold Medal Phonograph, The Instrument of Distinction, Manufactured by Gold Medal Furniture Mfg. Co Ltd., Uxbridge, Ontario

Institution: Uxbridge Historical Centre (Uxbridge-Scott Museum & Archives)
Institution City: Uxbridge
Institution Province: Ontario

I was able to visit the Historical Centre and with Rachel's permission, I now add the following pictures of the above machine:




A Gold Medal console model phonograph, without the mechanism, listed in Toronto in 2024.




There is a clip on Youtube listed as: "Published on Apr 8, 2012. The Gold Medal Radio Phonograph Corporation Limited manufactured radios, phonographs and wood cabinets from 1922-1926 in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. The company was owned and operated by the McMurtry family of Toronto."

The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o43rps08ggM
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