Polyphon - Disc Storage Cabinet

Production date
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Object detail

A carved wooden cabinet designed to hold discs for the polyphon. The polyphon stood on top of this cabinet. The front of the cabinet hinges out revealing eight slots which hold the discs. Grooves have been worn on the top of the cabinet, where the player rests.
CH classification FURNITURE Domestic cupboard
CH classification AUDIO-VISUAL TECHNOLOGY Audio Accessories record holder
CH classification MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Automatic polyphon
Production date
Production place
Closed: L710 x W410 x H760 mm
Open: W755 x L710 x H760 mm
Media/Materials description
Indeterminate Softwood (Woods) Steel (Metals - Ferrous) Iron (Metals - Ferrous) Brass (Metals - Non-Ferrous)
History and use
Housed beneath a Polyphon player, this cabinet was used to store the musical discs. The Polyphon could play a greater variety of songs because the discs were easier to store flat and collect than their bulkier predecessors, the musical cylinders. Cylinders were only able to play a set number of tunes on rotation. The principle of operation was the same, however, where small steel teeth were plucked to create a tune.

Made in Germany for the English market, the player and this cabinet were restored by Harold Dickinson in the 1950s and played to friends and guests outside his music room at Indooroopilly. Harold and his brother Eddie both became blind from inherited Glioma and both were educated at The Blind School in Brisbane. The two young men became cabinet makers by trade and ran their business from the house at Goldieslie Road, where Harold lived with his wife Mercy, who was also vision-impaired. The music room was integral to the couple’s life in Brisbane.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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