Contents of an email from CAPS member Ken Vinen:.

"I have just last November, moved to live in Aylmer and quickly got involved with the Historical Committee and the local Museum. At the museum I found an in house publication ($3.00) about J.T. Rowe (1857 - 1934) - Aylmer Organ/Phonograph Manufacturer. In it there is interesting material on the Ro-Tone-Ola Phonograph, Okeh & Gennett Records and mention of another dealer selling Columbia and McLagen machines. Prices from 67.50 to $200.00!"

KW's good friend Bruce Bolin picked up the above-mentioned publication--listed as: "Historical Pamphlet #2 - J. T. Rowe (1857- 1934)".

In it the first documented history of Rowe's business is:

"The first documented record of J. T. Rowe in Aylmer's history is recorded in the Canadian Census of 1881 where at age 22 (the age stated does not concur with the birthdate on his tombstone, which would make him 24) he was listed as "organ builder"."

For the time period we are interested in, the credits are listed as: "Staff member Jayne Needham focused on the years 1919-21." This is the only section of the pamphlet listing phonographs. The section is quoted as follows:

"It was interesting to note that at this time period [1919-21], Rowe is no longer manufacturing organs, but he is producing "THE RO-TONE-OLA PHONOGRAPH", which he proudly boasted was made in Aylmer.

"His training as a cabinetmaker was in evidence in the picture ads of his phonograph. The options offered to the public of a choice of Oak and Walnut cabinets, which ranged in price from $67.50 to $200."

"Any Aylmer Express article of March 22, 1921 carried a short mention on the front page which informed readers, "J.T. Rowe is installing hydro to run his machinery in place of a gas engine as the demand for the Ro-Tone-Ola Phonograph has been constantly increasing."

"Besides his phonographs he also offered for sale Okeh and Gennett records "all double sided 90 cents and $1 each".

"His strongest competitor in 1921 was W.R. Pierce & Co. At this time Rowe was promoting the sale of his phonograph for $95 while Pierce advertised his cabinet machine for $85. Pierce carried both Columbia and McLagen [sic] Phonographs."