A subset of this material was published in "Antique Phonograph News" in January, 2015. It is online here: http://www.capsnews.org/apn2015-1.htm
From Roll Back The Years, by Edward Moogk, National Library of Canada, 1975:
The Manufacturing Company of Berlin, Ontario [the city patriotically changing its name to Kitchener in 1916, notes KW] was manufacturing talking machines labeled 'Phonola' before June 1914 when they began importing Fonotopia, Odeon and Jumbo records. Records would later be produced under the Phonola label. In 1915 they began constructing speakers "based on the principle of the pipe organ...The series of chambers employed were in varied sizes determined by scientific calculation. The new Phonola model...[was] called the Organola....In the Fall of 1919, the General Phonograph Corporation of New York...purchased Pollock's phonograph factory in Kitchener. Arthur B. Pollock was to remain manager of the factory...In August, 1925, the Phonola Company of Canada, Elmira, began to manufacture the Grimes receiving sets for the Canadian Trade."
(images from the above publication)
Text of the above:
"The Phonola Motor is of the latest improved design "direct spiral drive with worm-gear governor." Only two wheels perform the transmission of power from the spring to the main-shaft and there to the governor. Both wormgear spindles are milled, hardened, ground and polished. The power of the spring is consumed in reproducing the record and not in the production of noise. Noise in a motor means consumption of power. The best material and workmanship are used in the manufacture of these motors. They run absolutely noiselessly, govern perfectly and if handled with care due a good piece of machinery will never get out of order."
"At the same time [April 1915], the Pollock Manufacturing Company Co. prepared to bring out a new idea in sound reproduction, the brain child of Alex A. Welker, secretary-treasurer of the company, who had made a special study of tone reproduction and acoustics. Construction of the speaker was based on the principle of the pipe organ, applied in a manner that would amplify and purify the tones produced. The series of chambers employed were in varied sizes determined by the scientific calculation. The new Phonola model was introduced in August 1915 an called Orgonola."
Two from page 109
Note: the Kitchener plant goes from A. B. Pollock in 1907 to Pollock Mfg. to Pollock-Welker in 1925; the Elmira plant goes from A. B. Pollock in 1907 to Pollock Mfg. to Phonola in 1917.
From Bob Kerstein [who seems to have missed the Phonola name]:
In 1907, Electrohome Ltd. was founded by Arthur Pollock. Electrohome evolved from a manufacturer of phonographs, radios, furniture and televisions, to a maker of high-resolution projections systems, owner of media properties - including CKCO-TV - and a holding company. In 1998, following the sale of its media assets to Baton Broadcasting, Electrohome was split into two companies: Electrohome Ltd., which continued to manufacture projection systems, and Electrohome Broadcasting Inc., a holding company for the 11.9 percent of the stock of CTV held by Electrohome.
The complete article and another about the coming demise of Electrohome are here.
From Visionary Thinking: The Story of Canada's Electrohome, Raymond Stanton, 1997 Canadian Corporate Histories [with additions]:
Nineteen year-old Arthur Bell (A. B.) Pollock left his job as book-keeper of a dry goods store in Berlin, Ontario [the city patriotically changed its name to Kitchener in 1916] in 1896 for New York city to seek a better life. There he joined two friends from Berlin High School, one of whom was A.B.'s future brother-in-law, Charles Harry Boehmer [A.B. married Rosie Boehmer, September 2, 1902 in Waterloo, ON]. A.B. became the private secretary of Tennant Putnam, who was treasurer of the New York Yacht Club and president of the Manhattan Club. It is suggested that this allowed A.B. to come into contact with Herman Schroeder [sic], who was trying to market inside-horn gramophone-style machines. Schroeder, we’re told, was finding it difficult and expensive to market his machines in the US and when A.B. told him there were no such machines in Canada, Schroeder allegedly suggested to him that he should begin such a business. In 1906, A.B. returned to Berlin with a supply of parts (motors, tone arms and reproducers) from Schroeder. Lacking the necessary mechanical skills to make the machines, he turned to Alex Welker who, it’s reported, helped Milton and Nelson Good manufacture the LeRoy automobile in Berlin, Ontario from 1899 to 1904. By 1909, A.B. was able to give up selling insurance to concentrate on gramophone sales and formed the Pollock Manufacturing Company with himself, his brother James [presumably the “J.B.” involved in the patent case below], Boehmer, Boehmer’s brother August, and Welker as directors.
"Charles Harry Boehner and A.B. Pollock, photographed in New York about 1900" from Visionary Thinking: The Story of Canada's Electrohome, Raymond Stanton, 1997 Canadian Corporate Histories, page 10.
Click on the picture below to see the diagram from Canadian patent CA 105611 under “Hermann Schröder (United States of America)”, filed 1907-04-08.
Quick history from all of the above plus from a summary of the documents available from the University of Waterloo Library:
1907: A.B. Pollock founds the Pollock Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Kitchener (then Berlin) to make phonographs [Under the brand “Phonola”. Later, a woodworking plant in Elmira was acquired for the construction of phonograph cabinets].
1917: The Phonola Company of Canada Limited was formed to continue the phonograph-assembly and record business.
1920s: Pollock's firm begins to market electric and portable phonographs.
1925: Establish Grimes Radio Corporation Limited to produce and sell Grimes radios in Canada.
1933: The company name is changed to Dominion Electrohome Industries Ltd. and the Electrohome brand is introduced for products ranging from fans to food mixers.
1939: The outbreak of war brings contracts for everything from radio sets to wooden aircraft components.
1949: C.A. Pollock launches radio station CFCA-FM, followed in 1954 by the more successful television station CKCO.
1980s: Electrohome sells several divisions, including home-comfort products, furniture and motor manufacturing, and focuses on broadcasting and commercial video products.
1997: CKCO and the company's interest in the CTV television network are sold to Baton Broadcasting [Not quite right as the company's Kitchener and Edmonton TV and radio stations were folded into Baton Broadcasting at this time in return for cash and a stake in Baton, which had taken control of the CTV trademark.].
1999: Electrohome sells its digital projection systems business to Christie Digital.
2004: Christie Digital buys Electrohome's last manufacturing plant on Wellington Street in Kitchener.
2007: The Redmond Group of Companies signs a deal to buy the Electrohome trademarks.
In 2010 ELECTROHOME was acquired by CWD® a Niagara Falls, Ontario-based consumer electronics manufacturer.
They have website with a page in homage to the history here: http://www.electrohome.com/heritage/
When it eventually disappears, it is copied here.
There is also a page in homage to the old firm and its plants here.
Apparently in 1915 Berliner took Phonola (Pollock) to court regarding patent infringement. Pollock won the point that Berliner at that time was illegally importing and had not used the Canadian patents with 12 months. Toronto World, Nov. 11, 1915 pg 6:
No.2) for sale September, 2006 (photos by KW):
Hulk of another "Special No. 2" for sale at the Guy Lombardo Museum auction in London, ON, January, 2015 [pics by KW]:
(Two pictures of the plates were required to capture all deatils)
for sale June, 2007 (photos by KW):
Sign at same sale:
("Duke") owned by Keith Wright (I like to point this out:
this machine was a gift from my wife before we were
married. It was my first machine. That means
that my subsequent collection is all HER fault.
Photos by KW.):
in Keith Wright's collection. Note that they started
off as hill-and-date records hence the 'lateral cut'
notation on one:
Ron Hodgson of Ottawa contributes the following photos regarding his machine, a "Duchess" serial # H24770 and another lateral record:
Betty Minaker Pratt contributes the following pages from Canadian Music Trades Journal Aug., 1918, pp 106-107, showing the factories.
The following is an ad cropped from the Toronto Daily Star, Jan. 11, 1919, p. 10 supplied by Betty.
|Cyril Penton of Summerside PEI, sends the
following pictures of his later wind-up Phonola as
well as the following story:
"... as I mentioned, my wife Heather and I bought it at a yard sale ... we were more interested in it as a potential piece of furniture ... the previous owner, an older gent, remarked that there was a crank that belonged to it "somewhere" in his home ... he said if he found it, where could he contact us ... Heather replied simply that she worked in the local branch of the TD bank ... no name, phone number, etc. ... about a week later she was at work ... it was quiet and no customers at the moment ... the elderly gent walked in waving the crank and called out loudly enough for all the staff to hear him "did anyone here buy a gramophone at a yard sale last Saturday?" ... Heather waved him over and he gave her the crank with a broad grin and a "knew I had it in the house somewhere!" ... little did we realize at the time what an essential part of the Phonola it was."
|Phonola may have also
supplied hardware to other manufacturers. This
soundbox is on a machine marked for Symphonola
"Chippendale" for sale through ebay July, 2008:
"Princess" for sale through Winnipeg classifieds January, 2009:
Machine labelled "The Phonola Co., of Can. Ltd., Model Special No. 5, Serial Number 61837, Registered July 11, 1907" for sale online May, 2011:
Machine from the "company's first advertisement from 1909" for sale, Aberfoyle, May 2013. "Crown Prince" from "Pollock Manufacturing Co.". Looks like a VTLA from Victor (first Victrola). Sorry, couldn't get the record storage doors open. (Pics by KW)
On the Brantola page Betty Pratt has mentioned about Frank Stanley:
"Wayne Kelly's book, Downright Upright, p. 120 says that Stanley took over the Cecilian Piano Co. in 1922, but then went out of business two years later when Mason & Risch bought out their stock. I have an address for Stanley Piano factory at 121-135 De Grassi St., and store at 14 Temperance St., Toronto on an illustrated pamphlet.
Another letterhead from Frank Stanley Oct. 1920, says they are agents for Brunswick Phonographs and Records at 241 Yonge St. "
Plate from under the lip of the turn table.
"The company's first advertisement from 1909. Even at this early stage, the company was selling records to be played on its "talking machines". Visionary Thinking: The Story of Canada's Electrohome, Raymond Stanton, 1997 Canadian Corporate Histories, page 17.
Portable for sale at Cambridge Antiques 2013/2014 (pics KW):
|Not to be confused with
the US Waters Conley Phonola which is shown here.