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Capehart-Farnsworth timeline: 400 series Record changers

Ernst Erb Jürgen Stichling Bernhard Nagel 
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Forum » Radio- and technical History » Decades of broadcasting » Capehart-Farnsworth timeline: 400 series Record changers
Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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24.Sep.12 18:47

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This article should show at last the overview about the different main parts that form a series 400 model. In fact this comprises also series 300, 200 and 100, the so called DeLuxe models with turn-over mechanism. I try to show each of the important items in a separate thread. It covers 1931 to 1950, the whole lifetime of this concept.

The intention is to show at last different threads for cabinets, Escutcheons/scales/knobs, record changers, tuner chassis and amplifier chassis, loudspeakers and pick-ups. For more or other information there is the general thread Capehart Radio-Phonographs for the 1930s and 1940s.

Capehart-Farnsworth timeline:
400 series Record changers

The series started for the season 1931/32 without "season suffix" and followed with A, B, etc.

The Capehart turn-over changers all started with the patent 1,840,660 filed by Ralph R. Erbe, March 6, 1929 as serial number 344,676, patent granted January 12, 1932, assignor, by Mesne Assignments, to the Capehart Corporation, for Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Naturally also some additions or improvements were made and patented, like Joseph Arnold Darwin as assignor to the Capehart Corporation for an "Automatic Record Changing Phonograph", application July 28, 1931 as serial number 553,596, granted August 1, 1933 as patent number 1,920,360.

There were also made patents for Capehart with other methods to play both sides, for instance by Thomas W. Small, filed July 9, 1928 as serial number 291,221, patented February 17, 1931 as number 1,792,553. These patents were for Capeharts Orchestropes and/or Amperions or the "10-12", not covered here. Within the first years there can be shown about two dozen patents around the changers.


First saison: 1931/32 - no suffix

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A = 1932/33

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B = 1933/34

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C = 1934/35

405C Chippendale ; Capehart Corp.; Fort (ID = 1325406) Radio  
305CAW text


D = 1935/36

406D Adam Ch= W-877, W-867, W-868, 16-E; Capehart Corp.; Fort (ID = 1323572) Radio  
406D Adam text


E = 1936/37

Changer mechanism see here 400E series changer 16-E see here


F = 1937/38 See a full documentation on model 400F series

400F DeLuxe series & 1600F De Luxe plain cabinet general, samples & unknown; Capehart Corp.; Fort (ID = 1343528) Radio 304F Modern ; Capehart Corp.; Fort (ID = 1327109) Radio First time with true-tangent arm and crystal pickup. 304F Modern ; Capehart Corp.; Fort (ID = 1327103) Radio
  304F for details    


G = 1938/39

The first series 100 (only with 110G) was called Panamuse. From about season K, the drop type changer was introduced for (2 digit name) Panamuse and the models with the turn-over changer became the suffix "DeLuxe".

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H = 1939/40

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K = 1940/41

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M = 1941/42

The Capehart Service Notes (page 21, paragraph 26) make reference to "the new series (beginning at 20,000) are equipped with cast iron bases, magazines, and record trays." This means that those instruments may have big problems if they were not stored in dry rooms all the time.

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N = 1945-48

Guest Robert Barnett whos has a 114N and a 115P2 sent us the following information:  The 100N series changer has a single lower record support assembly (single separator knife). The 100P sereis changer has a double assembly. The maintainence manual lists both assemblies, and also includes instructions to upgrade to the double separator knife assembly.

Mercury swithces - differences between N and P:
By Robert Barnett: "The 100N series have two mercury switches mounted on one bracket and actuated by the mechanical tonearm trip.  One operates the Cycle Motor.  The other is used to keep the changer in operation to complete the cycle, should the instrument be turned off (using volume/on/off knob) during a change cycle. The Capehart 115P has an additional mercury switch, which mutes the pickup during the change cycle, eliminating the "pop" as the needle lifts up and sets down on the start and end of each record." He can't find any schematics showing the third switch and does not know when it was added. His 115P was made in 1949.

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P = 1948-50 - last series

See the differences between N and P series - above for N.

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Here for model 1002-F from about 1950/51 we find a P71 but also an other one ? Or a version?


This article was edited 28.Nov.12 21:39 by Ernst Erb .