The Columbia “Type B” Graphophone – commonly called the 'Eagle' – was first sold in late 1897 as an inexpensive yet solidly-built machine for the mass market. Priced at $10 for the bare-bones uncased machine, or $12 with a wooden base and curved oak lid, it was a rare bargain. (For more information about the early Eagle, see my uncased example.) It seems that most original buyers opted to pay the extra $2 for the wooden case since they are far more common than uncased Eagles. Consequently Columbia stopped offering uncased $10 Eagles in 1899.

Although Columbia Eagles are readily found, and still fairly inexpensive, it is very challenging to find one in mint original condition. These were typically not well cared for once they became obsolete in the early 20th century, and most that are found today suffer from years of neglect. This early example is nearly new in condition and is amazing to see. (The all-wood handle, without metal end caps, dates this machine to between September 1897 and November 1898.)

This one also includes a recorder in original box, which added another $5 to the total, bringing this specific machine up to $17, which is equivalent to almost $450 in today's dollars. (The Eagle was also briefly available in 1898 in a special “Nickeled and Polished” version.)