c.1955 See A Song Zeotrope Phonograph In Original Box

c.1955 See A Song Zeotrope Phonograph In Original Box

As a collector of antique toys and antique phonographs I couldn't resist this very unusual toy. This is the No.4500T "See-A-Song" zoetrope phonograph manufactured by the Wal-Feld Co., Inc, Valley Field, NY. The toy is in strong excellent+ to near mint condition and is complete with all accessories and original box. Best of all everything works!

The novel toy combines an electrified "zoetrope" and "phonograph". Both are placed on a single lithographed tinplate base. A zoetrope was the first concept for a motion picture machine. It uses a black rotating celluloid drum that has a series of vertical slits. A continuous series of horizontal images printed on a cone-shaped paper cylinder with the same number of strips is placed inside the drum. An elongated light bulb, original to the toy, is housed under a translucent plastic bell. The cone, or cylinder of images is placed on top of the bell.

A switch on the right (underneath the phonograph tone arm) turns it on. The light turns on. Both the drum and cone start to rotate. The phonograph platter also starts to turn. As the drum spins the slits act as shutters to show the images underlying rapidly one at a time, but blending into a smooth continuous flow. Small differences in the image create the illusion of motion. The circumference of the cylinder limits the number of images so that the motion picture lasts only a second or two, but its continuous rotation makes it seem much longer.

The images are printed on paper cylinders. Six different cylinders come with the machine. Four different series of images are printed horizontally around each cone.

The phonograph provides sound to accompany the rotating image at a constant 78rpm. It operates independent from the zoetrope. It uses a standard reproducer made of pressed steel with musical notes on the exterior. The reproducer tone arm is die cast metal painted metallic blue. A small light blue plastic cup in the lower right corner of the machine provides a resting point for the reproducer.

Five different Golden Records come with the toy including the original theme from the Terrytoons, Mighty Mouse TV show (Andy Kaufman's favorite) and Rin Tin Tin. Also included are some Christmas tunes as well as some popular kiddie melodies. All of them were made by Mitch Miller and the Sandpipers.

The base is all tin litho and is illustrated with popular children's themes including the Wizard of Oz, Mother Goose, Alice in Wonderland, and holidays. It uses its original wire plug and connects to a standard wall outlet.

The toy comes with its original box which has an internal carrier with insert that lifts out the unit without tearing the box. It has an inner liner cardboard "roof" to protect it from up and down movement while in transit. It still has its original guarantee and blank registration card.

Size: 25" x 12" x 10". Weight: approx. 12 pounds

Date Sold: Apr. 2011

Price Sold: $ 521


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Subject: c.1955 See A Song Zeotrope Phonograph In Original Box

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