Herzog Sonora Cabinet Maker Phonographs

Sonora Phonograph Co., Inc.; New York, N.Y.

Sonora Chime Company started making two-movement chime clocks around 1900. Sonora patented its system of chiming bells to be put into its clocks.

1907, William Hoschke of New York, NY. Taken the music box engineering and utilized it into his design of the Sonora clock. Seth Thomas's first Sonora chime models appeared in the company's 1909-1910 catalog. Seth Thomas purchased the rights to Hoschke's bell chime mechanism and resonators patent around 1912.

1909, Sonora sold horned and hornless phonographs made by a Swiss company, Paillard, a major manufacturer of music boxes. This attempt didn't do much for Sonora..

By 1910, Sonora Chime Company entered the Phonograph business with their own line of Phonographs using the motor from Swiss company, Bawdy. Cabinets for the phonographs had been created by John Herzog (pictured), who had founded the Herzog Art Furniture Company.

Herzog, a master carpenter, had traveled to many European countries, sharpened his technique and brought his European influences back to the States. Sonora used the "Bulge-line" cabinet, patented in 1911 by Herzog.

Seeing the popularity of the phonograph, The Sonora Chime Company was reincorporated in 1913 as the Sonora Phonograph Company, by its President, George E. Brightson.

1915, the Sonora Phonograph was awarded a Gold Medal for its quality at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

1923, After many years of contracting the cabinets from Herzog and his company, the Sonora Phonograph Company of New York officially merged with Herzog Art Furniture of Saginaw.

Sonora was one of the companies that were allowed to exist by the big three (Victor, Edison and Columbia) to avoid threats of a trust suit. Because Sonora had paid royalties on patents held by the big three on a per unit basis, it could only compete with them on their high-end machines.

By 1924 the model line was extended to radios, which were not produced in its own plants, but bought from other makers.

1927, the company's headquarters moved to Saginaw.

1929, New York investors obtained complete control, and then went bankrupt in 1930. Many employees believed at the time, that the company would have survived the depression if Herzog would have been in control.

Sonora Phonograph slogans were: "The Instrument of Quality" and "Clear as a Bell".

 

 

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