Pictures, Video & Text courtesy of Carsten Fischer


Click on picture above to see this changer in operation.
 If the video does not play full length, right-mouse click "Save target as", save file on your computer, and start movie file there.


Movie Sightings

1934 FEMALE with Ruth Chatterton.

This is a hoot! Very satisfying is the scene where you see a full changer stacked with records - ready to provide uninterrupted entertainment, while she's going to ravish her male secretary ...



  Victor Automatic Orthophonic Victrola 10-50 - The First Record Changer

On March 19th, 1927, the Victor Talking Machine Company was ready to dazzle an eager buying public, flush with money from the stock market boom, with another revolutionary Victrola:

"Don't Get Up! - It Changes Its Own Records !"

With great fanfare, teaser advertisements, and the catchy slogan with the subtle reverse sexism (it's the boyfriend who wants to get up), the Victor marketers succeeded in whipping up public interest for something new and unheard-of:
A Victrola that changes its own records! No more interrupted smooching in front of the fireplace! 60 minutes of uninterrupted musical enjoyment while you are doing something else (eating dinner, for example).

The honor of the first disc record changer goes to the famous 1906 Gabel's Automatic Entertainer (the first disc jukebox): Gabel brought out a home unit in 1917- the Gabelola - that would play 10 records without interruption.

But while this is the revered ancestor of all record changers and disc jukeboxes, Victor's 1927 10-50 acoustic Victrola is the first true mass-produced record changer available to the buying public.

And buy they did ! From 1927 through 1928, over 10,000 10-50's found buyers eager for uninterrupted musical pleasure.

At a price of $600, one could buy a nice mid-size Chevrolet at that time. And the 5 foot x 5 foot cabinet in gorgeous French Renaissance Walnut was guaranteed to dominate every living room, and blast the windows out with its incredible volume if necessary.

The changer itself is an example of reliable engineering of a simple elegance: All motions are powered by a single sliding rod, that lifts the tonearm, moves it sideways and powers the lift ring.

Records are loaded on an overhanging magazine spindle, picked up by the lift ring, and on reject cycle, the lift ring will slide the record into a felt-covered drawer below the motor board. If properly adjusted, this machine works reliably and with no damage to the records. All the surfaces the record slides on are felt covered and on my machine, 1000s of records played have not resulted in a single breakage or chip.

The record changer, though the very first one, has everything we look for in a mature changer:

- Capacity up to twelve 10" or 12" records.
- Only one record is on the platter at any time to keep correct tracking angle.
- 10" or 12" record size has to be pre-selected, and cannot be played intermixed.
- Changer shuts off automatically after the last record is played.

The Victor Automatic Orthophonic Victrola 10-50 is an acoustic machine building on the orthophonic technology of the famous Credenza. The horn of the machine seems to be the largest that Victor ever built for acoustic home-use machines, 35" x 17" horn opening, and a ca. 8 foot long horn folded in itself.

To complement this range of exciting machines, Victor had more offerings available in 1927/28 to tap even deeper into the wallets of the affluent:

The Victor Electrola 10-51 - the same cabinet and horn as the 10-50, but with a tube amplifier and electric horn driver. - $1,050
The Victor Electrola 9-55 - record changer, electric record play and a superb RCA radio in a gorgeous cabinet.- $1,550
The Victor Electrola 10-70 - $1,100 - a record changer and electric amplifier playing the record through a 6" or 10" electrodynamic cone speaker. By many considered to be the best sounding Electrola of this period.

At the same time, ingenious after-market suppliers would also fit the Victor 10-50 with a juke box mechanism and an attractive glass window in the door for watching the changer work. This would allow business owners to have people pay a nickel to play the next of the 12 records in the stack. Of course, then the owner had to go and remount the records in the magazine. Advertisings claim that this profitable machine would make up to $85 per week to the enterprising owner. At a price of $600 plus the jukebox modifications, a 10-50 jukebox was by far the cheapest available on the market.

This first style changer lasted for little over one year, and by 1928, Victor brought out their second changer - more compact for smaller cabinets, cheaper to produce, and a 12" and 10" record intermix changer. Albeit, this second changer did not quite have the flawless reliability of the 10-50.

One word about the 10-50 changer today:
It is still a superb and reliable machine (and quite imposing), and it has a mighty and impressive sound.
Unfortunately, the changer has the infamous 7 pot metal parts - that by now have crumbled - and render many changers inoperable.
Fortunately, reproduction parts are available, and there is no reason why this grand Victrola should not work and provide enjoyment as it did in 1927.


Maker Victor Talking Machine Co.
Model VE 10-50
Year 1927
Owner Carsten Fischer
Repaired/Serviced by Carsten Fischer

I am always interested to hear about other machines.
If you are interested in a 10-50 operating manual, or the 10-51 operating manual (only this one has the diagrams of the change cycle shown above), send me an e-mail. For replacement parts or restoration help, I am happy to point you in the right direction.

You can reach me at:

 sgimips1"at" (replace "at" with @)

Also, do not forget to consult Robert Baumbach's book: "Look for the Dog", which has excellent information on the history of the Victrola and includes the complete service notes for the 10-50 changer.

  Again my great thanks to Chuck Azzalina for his great help in creating these pages.
Pleases check out his
other web pages with even more fascinating early audio and TV tube electronics. One level above this page, you can find more fascinating changers with video clips.


Robert Baumbach's video instructions how to load and play a Victor 10-51 Automatic Victrola (Super!!!)

Also check out Robert Baumbach's great site of Old Record Changers at: