We have a winner for the What’s That Wednesday contest. The object in question is a brake for the turntable on a 103-year-old Victrola gramophone.
After some serious consideration, I decided to award two people because they each guessed so close to perfect, just a little bit off on the function of the piece.
Mo, via Babs Beetle, nailed the gramophone part and so that gets her the win. However, she said the metal piece is “the switch that makes it spin.” Although the piece does affect spin, it’s not what makes it spin. The hand crank on the side of the unit does that.
Jen of Redhead Ranting further guessed that “it’s the speed control on a gramophone.” There is a “speed regulator” dial on the device, but the brake obviously controls speed (to stop spinning while changing records), so I’m giving second prize to Jen.
Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be in touch with you both soon.
Here are more pictures of the Victrola. It belongs to my brother-in-law’s family and it was such a treat to hear old records being played on it. We all find it incredible that it’s in such good condition for its age. You can see how well it’s been loved!
Manufacturer’s stamp (inside the lid):
Again, here is the What’s That object (the turntable brake):
Here is the arm that holds the record needle:
Receptacles for needles:
The speed regulator dial:
Here is the piece in its entirety. Records stand on edge at the left. There are angled slats inside the right half of the unit. The doors in front of them act as crude but effective volume control. The hand crank is barely visible, also on the right:
Here’s a one-minute video so you can hear it in action!