Monday, September 4, 2023

Lo-Fi Fun!

 Hey Attic Readers!

This week I have a little item that I picked up at an estate sale a while back. 

As some of you may remember, I tend to love analog music equipment. Well, this item pushes that interest to the extreme ends. I present to you, the Outing Talking Machine!

This is basically a portable gramaphone. Here's what I found out about it on Google...

It's a model Senior from about 1922-1924. Outing is considered an off brand, but it still has some collectability being a portable. (Just not as collectable as a Victor/Columbia portable of the time.) They aren't incredibly rare, Outing was one of the larger off-brand portable makers, but a little uncommon compared to a main brand.

That quote is from, by the way. They also had this sales flyer...

Let's take a little closer look at mine, shall we?

The other side of the unit, showing the crank...

Do you want to turn up the volume? Just open this door a little more. It works surprisingly well!

This is the speed adjustment, although having listened to a few of the records that came with it, I'm not sure how you can tell if it's a little fast or slow.

The "on/off" switch.

The "needles" are really more like finishing nails. You need a lot of them since, apparently, you're supposed to switch them out after each use. Why? I'm not sure, but that's what Google says...
Both of these built in bins are full of them.

My lable is in rough shape.

It took looking at the sales flyer to know that these pins once held a sturdy leather handle.

Ah, THAT'S what my lable is supposed to look like!

By the way, it seems that Outing was a furniture maker, primarily. 

So you may be wondering how it sounds. Well, imagine that scratchy, tinny, sound that old grammaphones with the big bell horns on them made. Yep, it sounds just like that. Very very low fidelity, but also very happy and fun somehow. You get one play per "wind up," which brings up another point- you don't need ANY electricity! It really is a completely portable self sustaining unit! Batteries? I don't need 'em!

By the way, there was a book of records that originally came with it and fit in the lid. It looked like this:

I have no idea what music came with it, but I guess I'll need to be on the lookout for that now. Oh darn, something else to collect!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!


  1. Mount Kisco, home of Bennett Cerf!

    What a cool piece of equipment. I love all the little details like the speed controller and needle case. I can just picture the young flapper and her favorite sheik taking it down to the lake so they can listen to Rudy Vallee in the rowboat.

    1. Yes! My wife said, "You could take this to the beach! I'm sure they took this to the beach!" Lol!


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