ZON-O-PHONE Registry Project
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Our aim here is to create a comprehensive overview of the Machines & Records of the Zonophone Company.
The challenge we had was: How to have a system where each model can be listed with a way to enter data about that model, but where other people with more info could add their info. Also where owners of similar machines could register the serial numbers of their machines so everyone who was interested could see how many of that particular model survive. Also if possible, some price guidance. And also a system that allowed confidentiality if people wished.
Even over 100 years after the rise and fall, there is still no 100% clarity to exactly all the types of Zonophones that were produced. Though the USA model range is clear, the European models are not clearly cataloged.
With the desire to try to create some rational overview, as well as to create some kind of 'Registry' where owners of different machines can post details of their Zonophone and so share knowledge about these early machines, and try to determine some kind of a survival rate. With more transparency through this approach we can build a community of owners to promote the preservation & acquisition of these machines.
After a long search for a suitable software to fulfill our percieved needs (and desire for a high level of confidentiality) we found an online system that thought the same way we do. Thus for our project we will be co-operating with the "Repository of Manufactured Items". They are not only doing Berliner & Zonophone but also the whole field of recorded music and music machines, as well as practically everything else.
So it makes a lot of sense that we use their infrastructure as it serves our purpose and has an added value to many others as well.
You can find ROMFI here
(list all Categories) > Music Reproduction > Phonograph-Disk > ....and then select a manufacturer, eg. Zonophone, Berliner, Victor etc.
To post items you need to register, but its free. If you have a Gramophone / phonograph type thats not listed you need to send the item to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also digitize catalogs as the basis for a reference, so they say that scanned original catalogs are also accepted.
Quick Tutorial (taken from the ROMFI handbook)
AN ITEM INTO THE REGISTRY (& "MY COLLECTION")
(& "MY COLLECTION")
feature has a multiple purpose.
How does one submit an item that one has?
has to be a main PRODUCT page about that item. If you have an item and
do not find a main PRODUCT page dealing with that item, then you can,
as the first step, submit the CATEGORY definition into ROMFI, and then
a main PRODUCT page. (You can read about this in the other menu topics)
On each Product page one sees the following buttons:
Date Acquired(*): A way for you to record when you bought the item, as well as a value adding feature for the ROMFI aggregated price analysis so that it can be studied how the prices of items develops over time.
(*) These fields can only be seen by you in your private "My Collection" feature
Once you have completed entering the data press ADD and your item data is stored in ROMFI. The submission will not be immediately online as it will first be vetted (against spam & spuriousness). This usually occurs within 48 hours.