Columbia Eagle 1897

Columbia Eagle 1897

Columbia Eagle 1897

graphophone Model B, from NMAH graphophone Model B, from NMAH graphophone Model B, from NMAH graphophone Model B, from NMAH

The graphophone "Eagle" was introduced in 1897 at the low price of $10 without case, or $12 with case. It was the first consumer model to use the double-spring motor of Thomas H. MacDonald, patent 680,794 filed Sept. 16, 1897, and granted Aug. 20, 1901. A similar model Q was introduced in November 1897 for only $5, and a glass-enclosed coin-operated table model was introduced in 1898 for $20. Edison began to sell a competing phonograph in 1899 as the "Gem" model for $7.50.
On the model B pictured above (NMAH #312,019), the 1st metal plate reads: " The Graphophone patented May 4, 1886; Dec. 27, 1887; April 3, 1888; June 10, 1890; Oct. 16, 1894; Mar. 30, 1897; manufactured by the American Graphophone Company, Type B, No. 92896, New York, N. Y." and the bottom metal plate reads: "Columbia Phonograph Co. sole sales agent for American Graphophone Company. New York"


  • Koenigsberg, Allen. The Patent History of the Phonograph,1877-1912.Brooklyn, NY: APM Press, 1990.

- 1999 by Steven E. Schoenherr. All rights reserved.
The photos on these pages are used with permission of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. They may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission of the NMAH.

digital photos taken June 21, 1999 by Schoenherr | Return to Recording Technology History Notes | this page revised July 25, 1999
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