Columbo Park & Recreation Left-Handed Phonograph

  Preserved in 'Original' Condition. In 1967, soon after the "lost" cache of King Red Columbo records was discovered in the Poindexter hall closet in Dayton, New Jersey, it was purchased by three local investors. When the new owners inventoried their purchase, they discovered the never-opened crates of Red Columbos -- all of them still packed for shipping and still in their original paper jackets.

Convinced that this was a significant discovery, the New Jersey partners contacted vintage recordings expert Bryce Lynch, the assistant archivist of the Wolverine Antique Music Society at Liberal College in Silverton, Oregon. Mr. Lynch also served as head of the Wayne King Foundation Re-arranging Laboratory, based at the college, where a massive project was already underway to preserve the contents of antique records, especially King records, by transferring their contents to brown wax cylinders.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Lynch visited New Jersey to inspect the Poindexter cache -- now becoming known among a couple of shellac addicts as "the New Jersey Stash."

Click here to read the full text of Mr. Lynch's letter authenticating the New Jersey Stash   By all accounts, he was extremely impressed by what he found there. The King discs from the New Jersey closet appeared to be in excellent condition. In a report back to Silverton, Mr. Lynch said, "Even the records in the closet of the King Natural Hysterical Site [at Drakes Crossing, Oregon] show a minute crazing, perhaps due to humidity. By contrast, those found in New Jersey are in original condition."

Later, in a letter to the New Jersey partners, Mr. Lynch described the preservation of the discs as "awesome," and their pristine condition as "bitchin'" -- attributing this good fortune to the mothballs in the New Jersey closet.


The records in the New Jersey Stash were eventually acquired by Mr. Don Carleon, one of the three original New Jersey partners. Mr. Carleon moved the entire lot of virgin, unplayed records into a storage facility.

The New Jersey Stash was introduced as a collectors item for sale to the public in 1997 because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Columbo Records, whose corporate genius created the left-handed phonograph and a couple of other cool items of modern life.

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Copyright 1997 Headstone Investment Corporation