Thursday, November 15, 2012
Title: iPODoFONE #1
Date of Creation: Nov. 1912-2012
Size: Height 33", Width 11", Depth 11.25"
Materials: White Oak, Walnut, Copper, Brass, Glass Lens, Telegraph Key, 1904 Edison Record, Power Switch, Thermal Plastic Speaker Bell, Porcelain Insulator, Rubber Victrola Feet, cloth insulated wire, vintage rubber appliance plug, iPod and auxiliary speaker and charging port, + 100 hours....more or less.
Sometimes, I just need to switch gears and go off on a tangent... surely this qualifies as a tangent. Last Summer I came upon this early Atwater Kent radio speaker at the local flea market. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but it had lovely proportions and unrealized potential. I few weeks later, my wife was talking on her iPhone with "speaker" on....I was amazed at the amount of sound that came from that tiny hole...then it clicked, I held the antique speaker up to the tiny hole and shazam!!!, the sound exploded 10 fold! After some experimenting I decided to create a charging dock and amplifier for an iPod....how clever was that! A bit clever perhaps, but not unique. A quick search on the Internet showed me that many others had this same idea.
This creation is certainly in the Steampunk genre but with less emphasis on superfluous gears or staircases to nowhere. I designed this in the Arts & Crafts style circa 1900-1920, as if it were made by Roycroft Studios or Gustav Stickley....with a little help from their friend Nacola Tesla and Jules Verne....but careful not to show the design to Thomas Edison, (reputed intellectual property thief).
As I write this, I am listening to it play. The sound is full and rich. I can't be in the same room with it unless the volume is less than half or else it just blows my hair back. On the front of the box is a thick magnifying lens, behind that an amber Fresnel lens and behind that a flicker bulb, giving it motion and light.
My thanks go out to my old friend Bob. Bob is my hermit friend that always has a good suggestion when I'm stumped for an answer. I wanted a professional looking brass label for this contraption....something that had the quality of early machine age ingenuity. Bob suggested I acid etch a label...thank you Bob!
As I look over my growing collection of early gears, insulators, flotsam and jetsam of early hardware, I realize my daughter is right, I truly am an eccentric.