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.


Many thanks to Gib Epling of West-Tech Services for providing pictures and video of this fascinating changer.


  The Electromatic Swinging Magazine Changer

The 1930s were the dark age of the record changer: The general lack of money due to the great depression, but also a shift away from records towards the radio led cost saving and design simplification for record changers that eventually led to the prevailing drop changer design by the mid-1930s.

As an illustration on how bad things were, Victor record sales from a high of 38 Million in 1927 had dropped to an all-time low of 3.1 million in 1931.

Electromatic of Chicago seems to have been an independent company or associated with the Majestic Radio Company. The Swinging Magazine Changer was produced from 1931 to at least 1934. It was mostly used in Majestic Radio consoles, but also turns up (rarely) in Scott radios. The example above is a rare portable model of the changer with the original horseshoe magnetic pick-up.

The Electromatic changer uses a swinging magazine, whereby the bottom record is pulled out by the turntable spindle and gently deposited on the turntable. It is much gentler than contemporary drop changers, as no damaging separator knives are involved, and the record slides down more than that it drops.

An additional indication of design simplification is that the Electromatic changer will not stop after the last record, but just repeat until shut off.

This design is very similar to the 1931 RCA RE-73 (the Victor III changer), with the difference that the RCA would lift and re-deposit the record back into the magazine. Both changers could only play 10" records in automatic mode (below is a picture of an RCA RAE-84 Model.)

While drop changers had been around as early as 1928 (a Sparton proprietary design with throw-off finger), it took the depression and the need for cheaper and space saving designs to bring about the drop changer as the main modus for record changers.


Maker Electromatic - Majestic
Model unknown
Year 1931 - 1934
Owner Gib Epling
Repaired/Serviced by Gib Epling

I am always interested to hear about other machines.

You can reach me at:

 sgimips1 "at" (replace "at" with @)

Many thanks to Gib Epling for providing photos and the video of his machine, and Fred Rice for providing detail information.

Please check out Gib's
West-Tech Services
Gib provides expert repair and rebuilding services for all record players and changers.

Also many thanks to Robert Baumbach for editing and preparing the video.

  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.


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