I have always admired the gramophones invented and developed by Ellis Michael Ginn. The machines that were made and sold, from 1923, using his initials were all hand-made and were the very best for producing quality sound from 78 rpm records.
Apparently (Wikipedia), only about 70 examples of these gramophones have survived and over 25 years of buying and selling I have encountered only four! The main feature, on the most spectacular examples of an EMG, is the large horn, made from papier mache. The design and fabric of these horns together with very good quality sound-boxes gives really excellent quality of reproduction.
This gramophone was offered to me recently and was in very poor condition. It had been owned, from new, by an elderly lady who called it “Flossie” ! She carried it everywhere, even on train journeys and this took its toll. The horn had collapsed (This often happens to some extent) and the sound-box lacked a needle-bar. I have always hoped for an EMG that I could keep for myself, so decided to restore this as well as possible.
I managed to straighten the horn by using a steamer then allowing it to dry thoroughly before reinforcing the vulnerable section with and internal sleeve of fibre-glass. Not ideal for the purists, I’m sure, but it worked well. The sound-box was an easier job as the construction of the “Meltrope” type two spring box is quite simple and I was able to made an effective needle-bar, remembering that the two suspension springs are cushioned with leather pads.
All in all I am pleased with the result and now am proud to have joined the relatively small elite who can claim to have a genuine(!) EMG gramophone. I have decided to keep the name as “Flossie”.