Phonographs were invented in 1877. The early ones had one needle for recording and another needle for playing. The music was recorded on tinfoil-coated cylinders using a needle to make tiny lines that, when played with the other needle, made sounds.

Thomas Edison, the inventor, founded his own company to make phonographs. He also invented movies, the light bulb and many other things, but failed to create a cement that could be used to make a case for the phonograph. And he never succeeded in making motion pictures with sound or creating a new way to mine iron ore.

His phonograph company was successful for a while, and he even designed a combination phonograph-lamp in about 1920. The lamp was made to be kept on a table in the living room so the whole family could listen.

Many versions were made in the popular styles of the day. A design called a Phonolamp was made about 1920. It had an electric motor, metal case and an embroidered lampshade.

These combination lamps soon went out of style, but are liked by phonograph collectors. A rare, working Phonolamp recently was sold in a German auction for $1,967.

I have a dinette set and I’d like to find out its value. The table has a glass top on an iron base and there are four chairs. The chairs are marked “Daystrom No. 470820.” It’s a beauty!

Daystrom was founded in Olean, New York, in 1934. At first, the company made metal ashtrays. By 1938, the company was making chrome and Formica kitchen furniture and upholstered stools and chairs.

In 1962, Daystrom moved to South Boston, Virginia, and used the name Daystrom Furniture. Its low-end dinette sets sold well during the 1960s, but foreign competition began affecting the furniture market by the 1970s. The company was sold several times and closed in 1996.

Vintage mid-century design is increasingly popular, and prices for original pieces are going up. Many Daystrom dinette sets are great examples of mid-century modern.

Prices start at about $100 to $150, and they can go higher if the set has clean, modern lines, can blend well with other furnishings, and, of course, is in great condition.

A dinette set featuring a table and six stylish chairs with chrome barrel-form bases and tufted vinyl seats and backrests sells for about $700 to $900.

Current Prices

Vase, glass, bohemian, cream cased orange, exotic birds, flowers, crimped and folded rim, 7 1/4 inches, $70.

Navy bell, bronze, curved top handle for mounting, silvered, rope ringer, embossed U.S.N., 1938, 7 x 7 inches, $300.

Window, leaded, slag glass, red and white flowers, urn, lavender border, frame, 22 3/4 x 22 3/4 inches, pair, $500.

Donald Duck figurine, golfing, checkered hat, swinging club, Disney, c. 1947, 8 inches, $950.

Tip: The more a charm bracelet charm moves or makes noise, like a tiny roulette wheel or whistle, the higher the price.

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