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History of the manufacturer  

Sonora Phonograph Co., Inc.; New York, N.Y.

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Name: Sonora Phonograph Co., Inc.; New York, N.Y.    (USA)  
Abbreviation: sonora-pho
Products: Model types Others

Sonora Phonograph Co., Inc.; New York, N.Y.: Predecessor: Sonora Chime Company started making two-movement chime clocks around 1900. Sonora Chime Company at 5 Cedar St., New York City, patented its system of chiming bells to be put into its clocks beginning 1908. Seth Thomas aquired the patent rights in 1908. The Sonora Chime Company was reincorporated in February of 1913 as the Sonora Phonograph Company by its founder, George Brightson. It was located at 78 Reade St., New York City.

Sonora was a large phonograph manufacturer. Around 1924 the model line was extended to radios, which were not produced in its own plants, but bought from Ware, Wireless Specialty, Splitdorf, or American Bosch. The successor of "Sonora Phonograph" is Sonora Radio & Telev., Corp.; 325 North Hoyne Avenue, Chicago.

Founded: 1913
Closed: 1930

Quote from the Public Libraries of Saginaw, written by Anna Mae Maday: "The Sonora Phonograph Company operated in Saginaw between 1919 and 1930, but cabinets for the New York company had been made in Saginaw for a number of years. Sonora used the "bulge-line" cabinet patented in 1911 by Jon Herzog in making their phonographs.

John Herzog was born in Frankenmuth in 1867. As a young man he worked in furniture factories in Saginaw and Grand Rapids before going to Europe for further experience. With financial backing he established the Herzog Art Furniture Company on South Michigan Avenue. In 1923 the Sonora Phonograph Company of New York officially merged with Herzog Art Furniture of Saginaw.

At the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco the Sonora phonograph was awarded a gold medal for its quality. Radios became popular in the 1920's, and the company turned to the manufacture of radio cabinets. In 1929 the New York investors obtained complete control, and then went bankrupt in 1930. Sonora workers believed that if Jon Herzog had been in charge, the company would have survived the depression.

Sonora Phonograph slogans were: "The Instrument of Quality" and "Clear as a Bell'. In summer 1927 the company's headquarters moved to Saginaw. Sonora had a branch in Oakland, California, that later became Magnavox.

In the middle of 1928 Sonora changed its name to Acoustic Products Co.
On July 10th, 1929,the new company acquired the Federal Radio Corp. of Buffalo, New York for US$ 225000.
In September 1929 the company reverted to its original Sonora name. Following receivership, the assets were sold in 1930.

Richard Arnold writes in "Antique Radio Classified" :"An earlier attempt by the Sonora Phonograph Company in 1909 to sell horns and hornless machines made by a Swiss company named Paillard had run into legal problems and went nowhere. Paillard at the time was also a major manufacturer of music boxes. A company named Presto Products produced the Sonora Phonographs. Sonora also bought thousands of its phonograph motors from a Swiss company named Bawdy.

Sonora was one of the companies that were allowed to exist by the big three (Victor, Edison and Columbia) to avoid threats of a trust suit. Because Sonora had paid a lot of money in royalties on patents held by the big three on a per unit basis, it could only compete with them on their high-end machines... "The company emerged from bankruptcy on March 10th, 1938, under articles of incorporation as the Sonora Radio and Television Corporation. The new company's corporate offices were located in room 14198 of the very large Merchandise Mart building in Chicago, Illinois".

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  24 Sonoradio Model 242 UV199  Neurodyne-reflex receiver covering Broadcast from 220 to 550 meters. The unit is equipp... 
USA  24 Ware Neut. 241   Three dials (primary tuning control knobs) 
USA  24 Ware Neut. Type T   Two dials (primary tuning control knobs) 
USA  29 2M   Phonograph motor; different supply voltages : 110 or 220 V AC or 32 V DC. 
USA  29 2RP 25 Cycle   Push-pull af output stage. 
USA  29 3R   Push-pull af output stage. 
USA  29 4R   Push-pull af output stage. 
USA  29 5R   Arcturus tubes; push-pull af output stage. 
USA  30 6 tube    
USA  30 64 24  Primary tuning control knob for a 4-gang condenser; push-pull af output stage. 
USA  31 70 35  3-gang condenser. 
USA  30 74 24  Primary tuning control knob for a 3-gang condenser. 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

unknown eBay picture of an addtbn_sonora_phonograph_advertisement_ebay.jpg
Advert ~1921tbn_us_sonoraphonograpgh_advert1921.jpg
Sonora advert 1918tbn_us_sonora_phonograph_co._advert1918.jpg
Sonora Radio Logotbn_sonora_radio_logo.jpg


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