30/04/2012
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Do you remember: The Lumar Toy Gramophone

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Lumar Toy Gramophone

The ‘Battery Operated’ Lumar Toy Gramophone player was produced by Louis Marx & Co., Ltd., of Swansea. Packaged in its own cardboard carrying case this splendid toy was made of plastic apart from the mechanism, needle and needle screw. The main body in blue, and the needle arm and turntable in cream, complement one another and add to the overall impact of the gramophone player. Apparently this machine was also available in red and cream. While the body and components are made in Gt. Britain, the box clearly states that the motor is ‘Foreign’. Available in the 1960’s, this unit is fully contained and is therefore safe from moving parts, other than the turntable. The needle arm is stored next to the player and fits into a recess at the corner of the gramophone.

Clear ‘Operating Instructions’ were included:

1. The battery compartment is located underneath turntable, which can be removed by pulling straight up.
2. Use two flashlight batteries, Size U2.
3. Place batteries in position as indicated in sketch and replace turntable.
4. BATTERIES ARE EXTRA. Because batteries deteriorate in strength when stored, we do not include them with this item. Fresh batteries should be purchased to ensure satisfactory operation.
5. Assemble tone arm by hooking pin under edge of opening so that the short pin drops into the slot provided. When not in use, tone arm should be in a position that the needle is in the 'needle rest’ near the control knob.
6. Place record on turntable. Start gramophone by turning control knob clockwise. Gramophone will not start unless control arm is lifted up and moved in toward outer edge of record. Do not place needle on record until turntable gains momentum.
7. The desired speed for good reproduction is governed by the control knob.
8. It is not necessary to use the control knob when playing successive records. Merely return the tone arm to the ‘needle rest’ position and the gramophone will stop automatically.
9. To avoid excessive wear on batteries do not leave the switch ‘on’ when the gramophone is not in use.
10. It is important that the tone arm and reproducer head be handled with extreme care to avoid damage to the delicate parts of the reproducer. The gramophone should never be lifted by the tone arm.
11. Use 5in or 6in records only.

A selection of the type of 5in and 6in records available at the time is shown. The illustrations on the record sleeves are delightful and worthy of a feature all of their own.

The Lumar Toy Gramophone is certainly a hands-on toy to be played with regularly, and this particular gramophone has been used a great deal, it is clear evidence as to its robust nature – and careful handling, of course.

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