This Chinoiserie Magnaphone from March 1924, is the earliest known surviving gramophone made by Ellis Michael Ginn and his brother-in-law David Phillips. It carries an ivorine plate marked. E.Ginn, Windlesham Avenue, Brighton. It seems to be the only survivor of the Magnaphone range. If anyone has any information on any others survivors, please contact me.
Inspired by Henry Seymour's Superphone, even the parts were designed and built by Henry Seymour; the Ebonite horn, Seymour tonearm and his Concert soundbox, (offered with a Mica or Hornite diaphragm). The japanned cabinet, according to Joe Ginn, was built by a Mr Bradley. Joe Ginn also remembers this model being converted to an Expert Senior which remained in the Ginn family until after WWII. The Magnaphone Company as they were them known moved to 267, High Holborn in London.
The Magnaphone was entered in a competition organized by, The Gramophone Magazine at the Steinway Hall on June 14th, 1924. The Magnaphone won a silver medal. Ginn tried to take full advantage of the unprecedented free advertising but stumbled when a rival company called Magnophone threatened to sue, forcing Ginn in July 1924 to change the name to E.M.G. Handmade Gramophone. The rest is history.
The table below is compiled from advertisements in, The Gramophone magazine and from, "The E.M.G Story". A Magnaphone Portable was advertised in June 1924 as, "in preparation".
|Magnaphone||Seymour Type B||Thorens Triple-spring||Seymour Concert||Collier Patent Ebonite. 12¼" X 6"||Lacquer on Plywood or Chinoiserie Lacquer on Plywood||1923-1924|
|Magnaphone Model 'A'||Seymour Type B||Thorens Triple-Spring||Seymour Concert||Collier Patent Ebonite. 16" Diameter||Solid Mahogany. H-3'9" W-19½" With flat record storage cupboard||£30||1923-1924|
|Magnaphone Model 'B'||Seymour Type B||Thorens Double-Spring||Seymour Concert||Collier Patent Ebonite. 16" Diameter||Solid Mahogany. H-3'10" W-21" D-23".||£25||1923-1924|
|Magnaphone Table Grand||Seymour Type B||Thorens Double-Spring||Seymour Concert||Collier Patent Ebonite. 16" Diameter||£16||1923-1924|