Thorens Excelda Portable Gramophone

This week I visited the Ardingly Antiques Fair. While I left empty handed, I did spot one of these Thorens portable turntables:

View a 3D rotating image from the British Museum here

It looked like it was complete, but wasn’t in great condition. Originally made in Switzerland in the 1920s, surely this has to be one of the earliest small portable turntables made. It was known as a CameraPhone due to the fact that it looked like a folding camera when folded up. So it was the first Camera Phone too 😉

Thorens Exelda “CameraPhone” Portable Phonograph ~ Switzerland c1920 What a cool little device this is: a hand cranked motorized portable phonograph that stores in a case that masquerades as a folding camera. Made in Switzerland by Thorens of St. Croix, this is the Exelda 78 rpm portable gramophone often referred to as the CameraPhone. Measuring only 28 x 12 x 6 cm (11 x 4.5 x 2.3 inch,) the turntable tone arm, head, and crank all store neatly inside the ornately painted metal case. The turntable has a nut that holds the record in place and it also acts as a closing lock for the case. There is an on/off speed lever on the inside and it comes with a packet of extra needles. It is in excellent condition and plays perfectly and is actually quite loud for such a little thing. Taken from Victor Phonogrpahs

While trying to find what it was online, I also found this portable Thorens, which is the best looking suitcase turntable that I’ve seen:


View more images of this suitcase turntable on Flickr

This entry was posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 1:00 am and is filed under Related Devices, Retro. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Thorens Excelda Portable Gramophone”

  1. December 27th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Karen Says:


    I am inquiring about information on a Thorens excelda portable gramophone. I bought this in 1992. Great shape works great. Green in color of case. I have the extra needles. Just wondering value. Please contact me if you could be of help or would just like to see.

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