The Columbia Graphophone and Grafonola -- A Beginner's Guide.
Part Two. Model Identification -- Front Mounts


See also: Columbia Graphophone Identification -- Rear Mounts
See also: Columbia Graphophone Identification -- Cylinder Graphophones

Copyright 2007 Lynn Bilton

NOTE: As I mentioned in the introductory section, I don't have a complete set of images, or at least good images, to give you. If I am aware of a machine of which I do not have a picture I have mentioned it in the relevant listings. Some machines are also seen in several, often subtle, variations which I don't cover here. The goal is to make a basic identification of your machine. My listing is not comprehensive, but should cover 98 per cent of what you are likely to find.

Almost all machines of Columbia origin which were sold as a Graphophone had some type of Columbia decal on them. If your machine has original finish, but does not have a Columbia decal, it may have been marketed as a house brand. I show you some common examples of this in the listings.

Front mounting, the earliest system of springing the horn, placed the entire weight of the horn on the stylus. With rear mounting, the horn was clipped to an independent bracket, and only the weight of the tone arm was applied to the record. For more information about Columbia front mount variations, check out an article we posted several years ago, the Front Mount Columbia ID Guide.


Columbia AU. With half inch diameter spindle, this machine was also sold as an openwords Standard X.



Columbia AH, early style



Columbia AH, later style.



Columbia AJ, early style with vertical crank.



Columbia AJ, later style.



Columbia AK, early style, ribbed case.



Columbia AK, later style.



Columbia AY, AR. Two spring motor for the AY, three spring motor for the AR.



Columbia BA. Referred to as a BA in factory memoranda, this machine was never marketed as a Columbia, but rather sold as a house brand.


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