Lot No. 623 (89th Auction)
Excelsior - Excelsiorwerke Cöln-Nippes (EWC), circa 1912

A rare and early dictating machine in a wooden case, a so-called "Parlograph"
Case: metal table top unit, chest shaped and lidded, electric motor, mechanical recording and reproducing device, extensive accessories: several wax cylinders, mouth piece, tube, headphones.

The "Parlograph"
The Parlograph was an early dictating machine developed by Swedish engineer and manufacturer Carl Lindström in Berlin. Lindström’s device, which he started producing in 1913, was based on Thomas Alva Edison’s Phonograph. Advertisements presented the machine as a replacement for shorthand.
The Parlograph had a wax cylinder and a mouth piece for mechanical recording and reproduction. The cylinder was powered by 110 V electrical current. The machine was sold in various European countries from 1913 on but production was disrupted by World War I. From 1916 on the Parlograph was also offered by the American Parlograph Corporation.
The author Franz Kafka immortalized the Parlograph as a bizarre instrument of torture in his short story "In der Strafkolonie" (In the Penal Colony, 1914). In a 1913 letter to his girlfriend Felice Bauer Kafka jokingly wrote: "Isn’t it a funny thought that a Parlograph in Berlin and a Phonograph in Prague are talking and having a little conversation over the telephone…"
Source:, as of 02/11/2014

Excelsior - Excelsiorwerke Cöln-Nippes (EWC)
EWC were possibly the largest cylinder phonograph manufacturer in Germany. They were based in Cologne. EWC produced phonographs not only under their own name, but also manufactured for other companies, such as UK Lambert.
Source:, as of 11/02/2014
Estimate  1,500 - 2,500 €
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