Back in 2011, I received a 1920 Singerphone phonograph for free from a local Freecycle group. It works well, but the condition is a little rough and frankly, it has a fairly large footprint. So when I saw this smaller phonograph last week at an estate sale marked for $60, I was excited.
The grill cloth is missing, so I'll replace that when I find some appropriate fabric.
It's an Æolian-Vocalion Series 500. I believe it was made in 1918.
The platter turns on when you turn the speed adjustment knob. It's marked "Slow 80 Fast". I'm not sure why they chose 80 since records of the time were recorded at 78 RPM.
The tone arm.
It's surprisingly easy to service the gears. You remove the 4 screws at the corners and disconnect the brake mechanism (there's a spring plate that holds the brake arm onto a pin. Lift up gently and pop the arm off of the pin).
The gears are Swiss made.
I found service dates of February 1918 and March 1924 chalked on the inside of the cabinet.
It came with a number of period records, some published by Vocalion. Have a listen to one of my favorites.
Here's a manual for these phonographs and here's an early brochure for the various models available.