Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Victrola Talking Machine

[Administrative Note: if you're thinking of commenting on recent sports events, please see the previous post.]

Check out the Nolan Fam Heirloom that I brought back to Cambridge from Pittsfield this weekend:

The Victrola Talking Machine, aka the approximately 100 year old wind-up record player that was in our basement when I grew up,

but was more recently serving as a bumper stop for my mom's car to let her know when she was all the way in the garage:

and there are 3 volumes of records too:

I love this thing.


Jeannette said...

If I was in Boston and you had hair we could be Edith and Seymour for Halloween.

The Legend ... said...

Wowwy wow wow.

If you're ever interested in stripping and restoring it I would totally be down for that side project. She's a beaut!

Dan said...

Seymour? You mean Archie? Do they have Halloween in Japan? If so, please report back in detail.

As for my girl, Vicky, I did some minor work on her last night to get her into decent shape: washing, cleaning with Murphy's oil spray, and polishing with Old English dark polish to get rid of all the grime and minor scratches and pocks and stuff. I'm considering the stripping and restoring option. Some of the wood looks like it might be rather thin; other pieces are more substantial. I'm going to look into the speed adjustment stuff online this afternoon. The instructions on that metal tab (underneath the disc that holds the records) are somewhat unclear/ineffective. I'd like to be able to play all the fox trots and waltzes and stuff at the proper speeds and have the singing sound normal. There are two different sized records.

but yeah. she's a beaut alright.

Michael5000 said...

That's a pretty damn cool sound system. It's powered by a hand crank? So you could take it on camping trips? Or put it on the cart and strut around the neighborhood blasting your tunes? Niiiice.

Regarding the previous post: did some sort of baseball thing happen, or something?

regis said...


Dan said...

yes, totally powered by hand crank. I like the cart idea. That would be stylin'.

also yes, a baseball thing.

Duffless said...

So when's the old timey dance party at your house, I'm thinking old fashioned drinks and some old timey tunes!

It's beautiful.

Dan said...


is a pretty good goddamn idea. I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I was going to suggest the same thing! Suits, suspenders, and i finally get to talk old timey in front of people!

"I don't like that........no...no, i don't like that at all!..."

"Sayyy,.....what's the big idea?!?"

I'll call people "bub"

Refer to Alyssa as my dame or tomato


That thing looks suh-weet dude!


Dan said...

don't you call her dame and tomato anyways?

The practical slacker's got some slick recording device, which we're going to use to record some of the music and possibly make some cd's and/or dvd's.

Dan said...

Another cool thing about Vicky is that she's only got two volumes: doors open and doors shut. doors open is pretty loud. doors shut is a little muted.

Dearest Cupcake said...

I want to come to the olde-timey party too! Can we drink sidecars and Bellinis? What are some of the records? I have a collection of 78rpm recordings of some French music and I think something by the Singing Nun that were passed along to me. My ca. 1986 turntable only does 45 and 33rpm.

I want more back story on the last century of it's life (pre-bumper guide).

Dan said...

I was thinking a nice Ward Eight would go well with it since they were both born in the late 1800s / early 1900s and it's a Boston drink.

Or a Bronx Cocktail (no Yankees comments please), which was apparently invented in Philadelphia (the original home of Vicky the Victrola) around the same time.

Then again, I believe Grandpa Nolan was fond of the Manhattans, which appears to be the same thing as a Ward Eight, except with vermouth instead of grenadine? Seems like a few different drinks might be acceptable.

Dan said...

Some of the records include:

- Bye Bye Blackbird (fox trot)
- Someone to Watch Over Me (fox trot)
- Ching Chong - One Step (?)
- Ole Man River (fox trot)
- O Sole Mio - tenor w/ orchestra in Italian
- Nobody Knows - Medley One Step
- La Boheme
- Honolulu Eyes - Medley Waltz

and about 40 others.

Back story? Well, we moved 92 year old Grandpa Nolan up from Philly around 1980 and this apparently came with him. I'm not sure if it was in his room for the last few years of his life, but it eventually ended up in the basement. I'm pretty sure that I was the only one who ever played it, which is why I ended up taking it without any argument with my brothers.

Duffless said...

Someone to watch over me!!


blythe said...

once i tried a sidecar. it was not so great. vodka gimlets, maybe.

marshall said...

dan, you could put it in a shopping cart and have a more arty sequel to man v. shopping cart...

Jeannette said...

Edith and Seymour. See: Ghostworld.

And as for Japan Halloweenie, yes and no.

Everyone here has heard of the holiday, and there are a few pumpkin Hello Kitty products at the supermarket, but no trick-or-treaters or jack-o-lanterns. Totally depressing.

I do plan on putting a paper bag over my head and heading to the Australian next door neighbor's house that night and seeing what I can get, but...

So a lot of time in English lessons I just fuck around with the students and give them random knowledge about smores and Mexican food, and today I asked a woman if she knew what trick-or-treating was. She did, but only from TV. And another guy thought Halloween was a religious holiday. But it is possible he didnt know the meaning of the words religious or holiday.

Dan said...

Marshall - what could be more arty than dude v cart. that was straight outta Austin!

Jeannette - oooooooooooooh. that make much more sense.

have you tried the shaba shaba yet?

Jeannette said...

Oops... Enid, not Edith. Now that makes sense.

Today a student told me she was going tlick-or-tleating, so I have no fucking idea what's with the holiday here. But if some tiny witches come to my door wednesday, im keepin em.

No shaba shaba, what's that?

The Handsome Plumber said...

Hi Dan, nice score! I bet it would sound great in Arlington. ha ha

Dan said...

Shaba shaba (sp?) is when they have a pot of steaming or boiling water in the middle of the table and you cook your own vegetables and thinly sliced raw beef - delicious.

Thanks, THP. I don't see it traveling too much at this point, but you're always welcome to swing by and check it out. (p.s. your Pats are looking pretty dominant!)