On this Day Factola
April 15, 1905
Duplexophone Company Formed in Lancaster County, Nebraska
On or around 15 April 1905, Hill and his associates allegedly* formed the “Duplexophone Company” in Lancaster County, Nebraska with initial capital of $30,000. Hill set up his enterprise in a former lumber mill at 2418-2432 ‘N’ Street in Lincoln, Nebraska where he planned to manufacture recently patented record store display shelving and phonographs. “Uptown” wholesale and retail offices were also planned, with possible addresses of 129 South 11th Street and 1241 ‘O’ Street in Lincoln. Company officers included Charles E. Hill, president and general manager; J. W. Clark, vice-president; M. Leusink, factory superintendent; and J. Y. M. Swigart, secretary and treasurer. NOTE * Nebraska Supreme Court records (13 April 1909) indicate that Hill only “pretended to organize what was known as the ‘Duplexophone Company’” and that articles of incorporation were never actually filed with the Lancaster county clerk. On the other hand, a Nebraska charter for the Duplexophone Manufacturing Co. did seemingly exist, as it was reportedly canceled in 1909 without specific reason.
Hill had big plans for his Duplexophone phonograph. Favorable reviews in Talking Machine World (New York) and The Music Trade Review (New York) stirred up a great deal of interest across the US and abroad. An article published in The Trade Review (Lincoln, NE) on 13 May 1905 stated that the Duplexophone Company had purchased “a good factory building” and was expecting to turn out about 50,000 machines by year’s end. The factory in Lincoln was reportedly equipped with $14,000 worth of new equipment and enough capacity to turn out 300 machines per day. A brand new five-story factory building was to be erected adjacent to the existing building, and “if necessary,” Hill stated, “we have room to equip for a capacity of 500 machines a day.” The first run of Duplexophone phonographs was slated for delivery by June first.
Text courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library
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