Makafone: A Vintage DIY Phonograph Kit

Makafone: A Vintage DIY Phonograph Kit

The Makafone was a mail-order kit produced by the Modern Phonograph Supply Company starting in 1919. This ad and others like it were printed in Popular Mechanics and various trade magazines that catered to craftsmen.

As one satisfied customer puts it, “I have built my phonograph that I have purchased from you, and it is a dandy. I am well pleased.” With the recent resurgence of interest in vintage vinyl and other archaic forms of media, I’d be curious to see a completed example of the Makafone, or even the blueprints and instructions. A dandy, indeed.

Luckily, the Maker community has given us modern day analogues like the Gakken Cup Phonograph Kit and the Machinist’s Phonograph, featured in MAKE volume 15.

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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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