“During the few decades of boom of gramophone – from the late 19th Century to World War Two –, it is certainly millions of needles which were produced, and hundreds of thousands of tins. Moreover, the production of needles went on still years after the end of production of gramophones, the demand remaining pretty strong. Factory Bohin, in France, for instance, produces needles even nowadays”. Elisabeth Jobin explains with this words why there were so many gramophone needle tins models.
Collection Elisabeth Jobin:
She is a collector with a interesting website in which you can find (and buy) this pieces of art. But she isn’t alone, there are more sites that have a passion stored inside this little boxes. One example is Thetincollector.com.
Their collecting interests began in the mid 1980’s when they “became fascinated with the beauty of early lithography on tins of all types, shapes and sizes”. For many years they focussed on cigarette and tobacco tins. “Over the years we have gradually changed our focus to concentrate on investment quality tins from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that feature highly decorative images”. A few years ago they discovered “the beauty of Japanese gramophone needle tins which, many of which have not been seen by collectors or shown in the few reference books on this subject”.
Thetincollector.com sells one rare WILSON brand gramophone needle tin. This tin features American President Woodrow Wilson but was made in Tokyo, Japan. Wilson featured prominently on the international stage and had many dealings with Japan around 1914 and the following years and it’s very interesting that they made this commemorative tin bearing his name.The sale price of the last Wilson needle tin sold on eBay in 2014 was $1050.
Another website you must visit is Thegramophonecollector.com. This person is only a collector, not a dealer, and offers a lot of interesting information about wind-up acoustic gramophones with photo-sets and video clips, and about needle tins:
“The market for steel needles was vast as the majority were designed to be used only once before being replaced, so an average sized tin of 200 wouldn’t last too long. Consequently needles were produced in hugh quantities by manufacturers in Great Britain and Germany and there were popular brands which represented the makers of machines such as Columbia, Decca and HMV together with record labels such as Regal. There were also makes like Songster and Embassy which were needle brands in their own right and each of these would be available in a range of thickness (soft, medium or loud), various different designs and, quite often, different colours. For advertising purposes it was also common for dealers to have tins produced with their own name and details on the underside so, as you can imagine, the scope for variation in needle tins is huge with some collections running into 100’s or even 1000’s of examples!”