We get a lot of the similar questions
from time to time. So, below we've tried to answer some of those
Frequently Asked Questions. Just click on any question below for
what we hope is a helpful answer.
- Where are you located and can I stop by your shop?
- How much is my phonograph worth?
- How old is my phonograph?
- Where can I get information on my machine?
- How do I identify my phonograph and what is the
- Do you restore phonographs?
- Do you make house calls?
- How much does it cost to restore my phonograph?
- Do you carry parts?
- Do you buy phonographs?
- How do I order?
- Do you carry needles?
Frequently Asked Question # 1.
Where are you located and can I stop by your
We are located in Arlington, Virginia but sorry, we don't have
a shop. If you find something on our website and would like to
come see it up close, please
send us an email and we'll be happy schedule a time for
you to see a particular item.
Our address is:
Rose & Gracey's Antiques
5806 1st Street S.
Arlington, VA 22204
Frequently Asked Question # 2.
How much is my phonograph worth?
We tend to get this question more than any other and it's probably
the most difficult question to answer. There are a lot of variables
to consider when estimating the value of a phonograph. The variables
are rarity, cabinet condition, and motor and reproducer condition
Rarity is determined by the number of machines originally produced.
Condition of the cabinet is determined by the number of missing
or raised veneers, any aligatoring of the varnish or lacquer finish,
or has the cabinet been refinished.
The motor condition is determined by motor noise and proper speed
regulation. Reproducer (sound box) condition is determined by
sound quality and if there are any pot metal cracks. With a good
needle and a quality record, the sound quality should be terrific.
The best answer we have for you when determining the value of
your machine is to take your machine or a picture of it to a QUALIFIED
ANTIQUE APPRAISER (preferable to one who knows something about
If you have no luck in locating a qualified antique appraiser
in your area, we offer official appraisals but we do charge an
appraisal fee. We'll need to know the phonograph make, model,
a photo of your machine and what the appraisal is for i.e.: insurance.
Frequently Asked Question # 3.
How old is my phonograph?
If you have a Victor Talking Machine or Victor Victrola, this
is a very easy question because the information is usually on
your machine. On a Victor, you will hopefully find a paper label
either on the back, bottom or inside the record cabinet. In the
lower left hand corner of the label you'll find a date. This date
is usually within a year or two of the true production date. If
no date is found, we carry the "Look for the Dog" book
which will help you identify and date your Victor machine.
If you have an Edison or Columbia phonograph it's a little more
difficult. We carry three books that will help you identify and
date these machines. There is a book on Edison Cylinder Phonographs,
one on Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs, and one on Columbia Disc
Phonographs. All of these books are very detailed and will help
you identify and date any Edison Diamond Disc, Edison Cylinder,
or Columbia Disc model.
Visit our Phonograph Books page for
complete details on the phonograph books we carry.
Frequently Asked Question # 4.
Where can I get information on my machine?
We carry a number of terrific books dedicated antique phonographs.
The books we carry are on Victor Talking Machines, Edison Phonographs,
Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs, Columbia Graphophones, and Columbia
Disc Graphophones and Grafonolas. You might want to take a look
at our Phonograph Books page for complete
Frequently Asked Question # 5.
How do I identify my phonograph and what is
the model number?
Many phonograph makers made it easy to identify their machines.
There is almost always a metal ID plate or a paper label somewhere
on the machine. Victor for instance had both a a metal ID plate
and a paper label. Victor also used roman numerals until 1924
to identify their machines. For instance, a metal plate with the
letters Vic III means the model is a Victor III or Victor "the
Third." If the letters are VV-XI the machine is a Victor
Victrola XI or Victor Victrola Eleven.
Edison used a series of names and letters to identify his machines.
For instance, Edison made a Home, a Standard, a Fireside... but
there are also letters that provide a particular time frame and
style. An example might be an Edison Home model D this
tells you that the machine is relatively long case phonograph
capable of playing 2 and 4 minute cylinders (with the proper reproducer)
and it has no endgate on the mandrel. Later Diamond Disc machines
are usually identified with a letter and a number such as C250.
Columbia is the most difficult of the big three to identify.
The early cylinder machines sometimes had metal plates with letters
to identify the model, but the later models rarely have identifing
labels or metal plates. The only true way to identify a Columbia
is by using either the Columbia
Phonograph Companion Volume I (for Cylinder Graphophones)
or the Columbia
Phonograph Companion Volume II (for Disc Graphophones).
We carry a couple of books that will help you identify and
date machines. There is a book on Victor
Talking Machines and one on Columbia
Cylinder Phonographs. These books are very detailed and
will help you identify and date any Victor Talking Machine or Columbia Cylinder model.
Frequently Asked Question # 6.
Do you restore phonographs?
Yes, we restore Victor, Edison, and most Columbia phonographs.
If you're interested in having your machine restored, please visit
our Restoration Information page
Frequently Asked Question # 7.
Do you make house calls?
No. Unfortunately we don't make house calls. We can tell you
how to remove the motor so you can bring it to us or send it to
us for most phonograph repairs.
Frequently Asked Question # 8.
How much does it cost to restore my phonograph?
Phonograph restorations vary depending upon make and model and
what needs to be restored. We offer several restoration options
by the different machine components. The components are motors,
sound, and cabinet.
Motor Restorations are completed by disassembling the
motor and removal of 80 or more years of dried grease, dirt and
damaging grit that eventually destroy the mechanical components.
Worn, rusted, corroded or pitted parts are replaced. And finally
the motor is re-greased and reassembled using the same style lubricants
and tools as when the machine was originally built.
Sound Reproducing Component Restorations are completed
by removing dried and cracked gaskets, micas and, if necessary,
back flanges. Gaskets, micas as well as broken or otherwise deteriorated
parts are replaced insuring the best possible sound reproduction.
Cabinet Restorations are completed in one of two ways.
When practical, original cabinet finishes are cleaned and polished
or re-amalgamated to restore natural beauty. If total refinishing
is required to restore the cabinet to its original beauty, the
same materials (flake shellacs, varnishes, and stains) and methodologies
are employed as when the machine originally rolled off the factory
If you're considering having part or all of your machine restored,
please contact us for an estimate. We will need your machines
make and model number as well as a full description of any machine
flaws like a broken spring or missing veneer.
If you're considering restoring it yourself or having someone
else restore it, we recommend that you consider purchasing "The
Compleat Talking Machine" (a phonograph restorers bible).
Frequently Asked Question # 9.
Do you carry parts?
Occassional we have parts and those parts are usually listed
in our Parts page. If you don't see the
part you're looking for on our Parts page, contact
us. Many parts however, are very difficult if not impossible
to find. We have the same problem locating parts for many of our
Frequently Asked Question # 10.
Do you buy phonographs?
Sometimes we do. If you're interested in selling your machine,
us with as much information as possible (especially your asking
price and a good description of the machine) and pictures are
a plus. If we're interested, we'll contact you.
Frequently Asked Question # 11.
How do I order?
Please visit our Ordering and Shipping Information
page for ordering information. We're also working on a way to
submit an order form via email and it should be ready soon. Until
then, you're welcome to email
Visit our order page for additional information.
Frequently Asked Question # 12.
Do you carry needles?
Oh yes, we carry needles in both Loud and Soft Tone Volumes.
Visit our Supplies page for