kriss rolo krissrolo at
Fri Jan 25 03:30:32 EST 2002

These are the items that iam interested in selling..
Could you help me with some details on the goods, history, origin etc.
are these worth anything and if so who would i contact with regards to
selling them? and the best way to sell them ie auction etc




kriss rolo
0044 182760393 office (uk)
0044 1216864211 home (uk)
0044 7814294018 mobile (uk)

return e-mail address krissrolo at


item 1

hand carved round table with metal chain link in the middle


item 2

magnum laurent perrier vintage 1988 champagne


item 3

miniture football on stand from euro96 signed by pele and bobby charlton


item 4
is a bit more interesting. its a protana minifon attache, as u will see
ive enclosed notes from a web site regarding this and you will see back in
the 50's it cost $340.00 so i could imagine this to be worth a bit. it
also has an original tape inside i do not know what is on this tape, but
judging by who made it and the cost of the machine, the tape could have
some important information on it. heres the note.....


The Minifon, developed in the early 1950s by Monske GMBH of Hanover(or by
Protona GMBH- I'm not certain), was an ultra-miniaturized, battery
operated magnetic recording device. It could not (initially at least)
record the full range of sounds and was thus limited to voice recording,
but it did offer easy portability in a very small package. The idea of
offering a pocket dictating machine was novel, since dictation had
previously been done in the office. However, it was thought that people
like salesmen could take the machine "on the road" with them. Once on the
market, the Minifon's promoters discovered that many people took advantage
of the recorder's small size to make secret recordings to be used as
evidence, as in court.<BR>
The "legitimate" use of the Minifon, as a dictating machine, was somewhat
problematical. Recordings made on regular dictating equipment were usually
letters, and thus were normally sent almost immediately to a typist. The
Minifon offered no obvious advantages over standard dictation equipment
for office use, but its developers hoped to cultivate new uses for
dictation equipment, such as stock taking in warehouses, or the use of the
machine as a substitute for note-taking by reporters, insurance adjusters,
salesmen, and others.

In its original form, the Minifon was a wire recorder, using a type of
wire medium developed by the Armour Research Foundation of Chicago and
employed in many similar devices since the late 1940s. The machine at its
introduction in 1952 had a recording time of one hour, which was
remarkably long, and weighed only about 3 pounds at a time when a typical
office dictating machine weighed upwards of 10 pounds. It accomplished
this small size and light weight in part through the use of miniature
tubes and clever mechanical design. The basic machine cost $289.50-- a
price that sounds high today but was very much in line with competing
office dictating machines.

The parent company attempted to set up distribution, sales and service
networks in the United States. It established a business office called the
Minifon Export Corp in New York, and an existing company, Harvey Radio in
New York City became the main distributor. Although smaller tape recorders
appeared at about the same time, the main competition in the voice
recording field was from an American company, Mohawk, which made a small,
battery-operated cartridge tape recorder called the Migetape. Both
products sold less than 10,000 units per year in the U.S.<BR>

After a few years, the Minifon was modified to use transistors and
magnetic tape, further lowering its weight and cost. By 1962 the basic
machine weighed in at only 1.5 pounds. Competition by this time had helped
bring the cost down to $249.50.

The Minifon after about 1962 was distributed by the international
conglomerate ITT through its subsidiary in the U.S., Federal Electric
Corp. A little later, distribution was taken over by the ITT Distributor
Products Division in Lodi, New Jersey. (I don't know whether these were
the same company with different names)

By the time ITT became associated with this product, it had taken on the
name of Minifon "Attache," and a new line of models and options appeared.
These included a hi-fi model, the 978H, which sold for $330.50.Usinga
two-track, 1/4 inch tape cartridge operating at 1 7/8 inches per second,
the machine claimed a frequency response of up to 12,000 Hz, plus or minus
The coming of magnetic tape did not completely displace wire. The Model
240 series of recorders introduced in the early 1960s were probably the
last wire recorders in regular production. The 240L, at a price of $269.50
used a special long-playing wire cartridge that held 4 hours of wire.
Otherwise it looked like both the tape model and the 240S, which used a
2-hour wire cartridge and sold for $249.50.

Another innovation was the introduction of more conventional recorders.
After years of offering only "half" of a complete dictation system,
Minifon finally developed a restyled, non-portable "office" machine,
mainly for use by a transcriber, with pedal controls.

By the mid-1960s, Minifon was trying to market its machines as
multi-purpose devices suitable for nearly any recording need. In addition
to the hi-fi and long-playing machines, the company offered an astounding
variety of optional equipment such as foot controls, microphones, external
amplifiers and loudspeakers, headsets, external power supplies, telephone
recording attachments, conference recording adapters. One of the most
interesting options were the miniature microphones intended to allow users
to make "spy" recordings. In addition to a small tie-clip microphone, the
Minifon could be equipped with a microphone disguised as a wrist- watch.

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