RCA Theremin Registry

There are currently 123 RCA Theremins in the registry: 92 registered, 31 unregistered. To submit your RCA Theremin to the registry, check the submission guidelines. To locate serial numbers, check the identification section.

Registered RCA Theremins

These are theremins that have a verified, unique serial number that distinguishes them from any other in the registry.

Unregistered RCA Theremins

These are theremins that have not had their serial number documented, or have incomplete serial number information. These instruments may have appeared in media and correspondence, or are documented as part of a museum collection. Care has been taken to avoid duplicates, but duplicates are entirely possible. Identifying traits, modifications, physical condition, etc. should be used to track unregistered RCA Theremins.

Key

Registered RCA Theremins

Serial Doors Doc Fin Leg Ant Owner/Museum | location/Address
100002

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 2013-04-18

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Brian Dunlop (Colorado Springs)
  2. Bill Cook (Woodland Park)
  3. Private owner

Photos

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194?Private owner | Nashville, Tennessee
100006

Owner

Peter Sherman

Speaker

Original 1930s Diamond Speaker, modern JBL M31-4 driver

Full Provenance

  1. Leon Theremin
  2. Clara Rockmore
  3. Peter Sherman

Notes

Given to Clara Rockmore by Lev Termen and used in her performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Modifications by Lev Termen. Restored 10/98 by Robert Moog and Stephen Cunningham. At some point, GE coils were replaced by Westinghouse coils.

Photos

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85▪ Musical Instrument Museum: 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
100007

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 2004-10-12

Speaker

A 12” driver mounted to a custom baffle in Mahogany on a blackened steel stand built by David Skelley.

Full Provenance

  1. Claude Johnson
  2. Tony Johnson, Claude’s nephew
  3. David Skelley
  4. Private owner

Theremin's Name

Unkl Claude

Notes

Purchased from the original owner’s niece in the Seattle area. The original owner apparently was a traveling inventor/musician and had removed the legs for ease of transportation. The Theremin’s workings have been restored by The Antique Radio Store in the San Diego area and I had removable Mahogany legs recreated by Joey Viasusso woodworker. Original cabinet doors were replaced.

Photos

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N/A Private owner | Lewisville, Texas
100015

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Notes

Was serviced by Mark Mckeown

Photos

None

?Unknown | Minneapolis
100017

Owner

Bob Brown/Mills Novelty Co

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker (x2)

Partial Provenance

  1. Dr. Richard Howe of Houston, Texas
  2. Bob Brown/Mills Novelty Co

Photos

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152 Bob Brown/Mills Novelty Co | Wisconsin
100022

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Marc Ellis
  2. Private owner

Notes

"All the glue joints were bad so I had to disassemble it so I could reglue it. I restored the finish by dissolving the top layer with a special chemical wash and spreading it around to cover many nicks and scratches. I filled one deep gouge with Mohawk refinishing products. You can still see a number of dents (barely) so it does not appear to have been refinished. It still has the original deep maroon color with some graining showing through, just as it appears on the interior of the doors, which were untouched."

Photos

None

229 ?Private owner | San Diego, California
100023

Owner

Science Museum, London

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. a man from Ohio
  2. Lewis Lipnick of Alexandria, Virginia
  3. Olivia Mattis
  4. Science Museum, London

Notes

It was purchased from a gentleman in Ohio who found it at an estate sale. No one knew what it was (including him at the time) but he knew it was something different and probably should be saved. The present owner is Lewis Lipnick of Alexandria, VA who has been the contrabassoonist with The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. since 1969. He has used it in performance with that orchestra.

It has its original finish, and there are a couple of stress cracks across the front and minor nicks here and there, but all-in-all it is very nice. The legs appear to be original. It came with the shown RCA "#106 Electro-Dynamic" speaker.

Photos

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67▪ Science Museum, London: Exhibition Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK
100027

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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N/APrivate owner | Los Angeles, California
100029

Owner

Jeff & Lynn Evers

Speaker

Jensen speaker in 106 cabinet

Partial Provenance

  1. Marjorie Lynch, c. 1931
  2. Private
  3. Jeff & Lynn Evers

Photos

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44Jeff & Lynn Evers | Spokane, Washington
100034

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Eli Buk
  2. Unknown owner

Notes

This instrument was part of the legendary collection of scientific instruments, esoteric apparatus and ephemera of the late notable Renaissance man Eli Buk, in his famous shop on Spring Street in Soho, NY. Bears Aeolian label on lower left of cabinet‘s front face.

Photos

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490Unknown | New York, New York
100036

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 2008-09-20

Speaker

Floyd Engels Diamond Speaker replica, RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Floyd Engels
  2. Private owner

Notes

Restored by Floyd Engels (new legs, doors, antenna, and finish). It has a beautiful and powerful tone.

Photos

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N/APrivate owner | Paris, France
100037

Owner

The Musical Museum

Full Provenance

  1. Joseph Whitely (Musaire)
  2. The Musical Museum

Notes

Musaire‘s modified theremin: painted yellow, missing legs, on roller cart with speaker.

Richard Cole recalled that Musaire bought the theremin from Selfridge‘s Department Store in 1930 […] in the radio department.

Photos

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N/A?▪ The Musical Museum: The Musical Museum, High Street, Brentford TW8 0DU, UK
100040

Owner

Private owner

Full Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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N/APrivate owner | Colorado
100043

Owner

Mike Buffington

  • Purchased: 2007-10-27
  • Acquired: 2008-05-11

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. (Philadelphia Musician)
  2. George Krause
  3. Peter Krause
  4. Mike Buffington

Theremin's Name

Uncle George

Notes

Originally purchased by a musician in Philadelphia in the 1930s and then purchased by Peter’s mother’s great uncle (father’s father’s brother). Peter received the theremin in 1966 when he was 7 years old as a birthday present from his uncle George. he played it until 1974. He and the theremin moved back to Philadelphia, then to North Carolina in 1978, then to Connecticut/Cleveland in 1984 where he moved the theremin into his shop (and was in working condition). In 1990 he moved back to Durham, North Carolina and in the summer 2007 brought it back from the shop. It was non-working when removed from storage and sold as is. The 10K ohm resistor on the multi-tap resistor was found to be defective and was replaced with a 10 watt carbon resistor. The theremin works and sounds great now.

Photos

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473Mike Buffington | Brooklyn, New York
100044

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

This instrument had been stored in a basement for about forty years and had suffered from poor storage condition, deteriorated finish and deteriorated electronics. Following two years of documented restoration by Professor Gregory Wierzba, it is now working as it should once again. Among the more unusual early modifications, a heating element had been plugged into the AC receptacle in the cabinet, possibly to compensate for thermally unstable or weak components. The heating element has been removed (thankfully).

Professor Wierzba has been conducting valuable testing and recording of specific data from this theremin, including waveform, audio output and other data.

Photos

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62Private owner | Michigan
100050

Owner

Musical Instrument Museum

  • Purchased: 2010-01-07

Full Provenance

  1. E. F. Salisbury (of Salisbury Corp, LA, CA.)
  2. Sue Cogley
  3. Bill and Marie Cogley
  4. Musical Instrument Museum

Notes

Repaired resonant coils, audio transformer replaced with vintage Thordarson unit and inside of slant panel carved to accommodate. Appears very clean otherwise, and is functional.

From Bill: My Grandfather, E. F. Salisbury of Salisbury Corp, Los Angeles, CA., purchased this unit new. At his passing, it went to his daughter, my Mother Sue Cogley and she has recently placed it in my care. This unit is currently operating, has all original parts, wiring, cords, cabinet and is in good condition. The speaker is of the same, or close, vintage, however, is a cathedral type (not the preferred RCA 106).

Photos

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372▪ Musical Instrument Museum: 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
100065

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

Floyd Engels diamond speaker replica with Claratone speaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Don Bice
  2. Milhous Collection
  3. Private Owner
  4. Private owner

Notes

Acquired through Don Bice, who arranged the sale to Milhous at cost. In emails from June 2006, Don noted the following additional details from prior to the current restoration:

The cabinet had been modified and painted creme with gold antique applied. It had been owned by an attorney for many years. The original doors had been removed, and some replacement doors added which were slightly different.
The theremin… in the FLA museum is the same theremin you [CRL] called my attention to at the music store window on Ventura Blvd about 8 or 9 years ago. The restoration even included making a color copy of the patent information on my door, and applying it to the new doors that had been added to that instrument. They had been looking for a theremin for years and had not been able to find one.

Photos

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N/APrivate owner | Jacksonville, Florida
100083

Owner

Perry Margouleff

  • Purchased: 2013-05-31
  • Acquired: 2013-05-31

Partial Provenance

  1. Christopher Elabu
  2. Perry Margouleff

Photos

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320Perry Margouleff | Glen Cove, New York
100093

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Vigo Sundt
  2. Leonard Hesse
  3. Private owner

Photos

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454Private owner | Rome, New York
100094

Owner

National Music Centre

Partial Provenance

  1. National Music Centre

Notes

The cabinet has had the legs cut off and has a deteriorated older refinish (black paint?).  The chassis is heavily modified. Appears to have a replaced power transformer mounted outboard of the SPU, non-original 24A grid resistor and grid clip, added RF choke and capacitor at the base of the volume resonant coil, etc. From the look of the added parts some of the work was done probably in the '50s.

Photos

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136▪ National Music Centre: 134 11 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2G 0X5
100104

Owner

George Epple

Partial Provenance

  1. Private Owner
  2. George Epple

Photos

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82George Epple | Baltimore, Maryland
100110

Owner

Robert & Cheri

  • Acquired: 1973-00-00

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Robert & Cheri

Photos

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259Robert & Cheri | Duarte, California
100111

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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4?Private owner | Carlisle, Massachusetts
100113

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Joseph Whiteley (Musaire)
  2. Private owner

Notes

Joseph Whiteley gave me his second theremin back in the 1980s. The original power chassis was missing and the cabinet had been hacked about. At some point in the past he had been experimenting with it to try to get different tones from it. Unfortunately, since the cabinet has been hacked about, sanded down, re-varnished etc, the original cabinet number is no longer visible.

Missing brass front panel hardware. Demonstrated at Hands off 2007.

Photos

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N/A??Private owner | London, England
100115

Owner

Buck Sanders

  • Purchased: 2003-02-00
  • Acquired: 2003-02-00

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Private Owner
  2. Buck Sanders

Notes

"I bought my theremin in Febuary of 2003 on eBay from a "communications collector" who lived in Idaho. He had purchased the Theremin in Pasadena, CA from a radio shop sometime in the mid 70s. The legs had been removed and a travel case was made for it presumably in the 30s or 40s. I had legs made for it as well as new antennas. As far as I know the finish is original (a dark, chocolatey brown). It is functional and can be heard in the score and sound design for "Hellboy" alongside Robby Virus' Moog theremin."

From previous owner's ad on vintageradio.info (prior to eBay listing):  Ad No.: 2881 - Subject: RCA Theremin for sale - Posted on: 09/18/02

I have an original RCA Theremin that I might sell if someone is interested

Photos

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354Buck Sanders | Los Angeles, California
100116

Owner

Peter Pringle

Full Provenance

  1. Julius Goldberg
  2. John Snyder (acquired Jan 1982)
  3. Peter Pringle

Theremin's Name

Goldie

Notes

peterpringle.com/visitgoldie1.html

Photos

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510Peter Pringle | Québec, Canada
100119

Owner

N. Jackson

Partial Provenance

  1. Olivia Mattis
  2. Bruce Woolley
  3. N. Jackson

Theremin's Name

Baby

Notes

Legs are original and intact, as are paper stickers inside; all appears to be original and in great condition. Apparently, the instrument was restored by Floyd Engels.

Photos

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428N. Jackson | London, England
100130

Owner

Daniel Becker

Speaker

More modern PM with matching transformer

Full Provenance

  1. Samuel Finkler
  2. Marvin and Sylvia Becker
  3. Dr. Daniel Becker

Notes

One of two RCA theremins purchased by radio shop proprietor and chemical engineer Samuel Finkler in mid to late October 1929. The radio shop was in the Woolworth building, NYC. This is the same Samuel Finkler who developed the experimental community of Roosevelt, NJ in the 1930s, as documented in "Lost Utopia".

The instrument passed to Samuel's daughter and son in law, Sylvia and Marvin Becker of Delray Beach, FL, and then to their son, Dr. Daniel Becker.

Stored in an unused beach house for many years. Reconditioned in the mid to late 1990s, after at least 35 years of being non functional. The cabinet was refinished, the tone resistor and resonant coil windings were replaced as part of the electronic restoration. Original doors have been missing since at least the early 1950s, currently replaced with plywood panel. Speaker is a conventional modern type PM unit with matching transformer. The original speaker was a late 1920s factory-made oval speaker baffle and corresponding driver on a tall stand. This speaker was eventually removed from its stand and fastened between the theremin legs, facing front (since removed and no longer present).

Photos

None

N/A???Daniel Becker | Montauk, New York
100143

Owner

Andrew Baron

  • Purchased: 2004-02-28
  • Acquired: 2004-03-07

Speaker

none

Partial Provenance

  1. Purported to be professional musician who performed publicly in the Hollywood / LA area.
  2. James R. and Lavonne Johnson, Chatsworth, CA.
  3. Andrew Baron

Notes

As reported by Lavonne Johnson of Chatsworth, CA:

Acquired by James R & Lavonne in 1959 or 1960 at a moving & storage auction in North Hollywood. James was an aerospace engineer and musician. For weekend entertainment, they frequented local sales with their neighbors Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and had a self-imposed $100 spending limit. This theremin was purchased as a sealed lot, in a crate marked simply Electric.  Mr. Johnson’s interest in electronics was the basis for taking a chance on the unidentified lot. Lavonne clearly recalled seeing a suitcase full of playbills and newspaper clippings about the performer/owner at the sale, but unfortunately this was left behind as they didn’t realize the value of the literature at the time. Lavonne recalled one article in the suitcase specifically mentioned The Spiral Staircase, which, along with the location of purchase indicates a possible Samuel Hoffman connection; conceivably a second home or studio instrument. (Performers on RCAs were known to have owned a backup). Additional indications of a professional past include a surviving early-mid 1930s play list with music set times, and cloth insulated speaker and power cord extensions, bound at intervals with friction tape.

Shortly after acquiring it, the Johnsons contacted RCA and were rewarded with correspondence and literature from the Director of Domestic Patents at RCA’s David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, O. V. Mitchell. Realizing after the purchase that antennas were missing, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson returned to the sale venue and requested a list of all buyers, and they contacted each one. The antennae were never located and the Johnsons never heard the theremin play during their 44 years of ownership.

Son Keith Alan Johnson conducted the eBay sale shortly after James’ passing. Sold as untested and missing antennae, but otherwise complete and exceptionally well preserved. The sale included the RCA correspondence dated July 21, 1960, including RCA file blueprint copies of all the manuals and additional ephemera.  A perfect set of Floyd Engels reproduction antennas now complete this working theremin.

Photos

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464Andrew Baron | Santa Fe, New Mexico
100145

Owner

Experience Music Project Museum

  • Acquired: 1998-00-00

Partial Provenance

  1. Private Owner
  2. Experience Music Project Museum

Photos

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180▪ Experience Music Project Museum: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
100152

Owner

Canada Science and Technology Museum

Partial Provenance

  1. John Ost, a piano tuner from Ottawa
  2. Canada Science and Technology Museum

Notes

The instrument was formerly owned by Mr. John Ost, a piano tuner from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was donated to the National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, Ont, Canada, Nov. 1,1970.

Condition: Working, some scratches on cabinet, apparently still has legs (47" high). Catalogue No: 740759.000 710502

Cabinet serial number is worn. Could be either 285 or 283.

Photos

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28_▪ Canada Science & Technology Museum: 2421 Lancaster Rd, Ottawa, ON K1G 5A3, Canada
100156

Owner

The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting

Full Provenance

  1. M.W. Wills of Waseca, Minnesota
  2. The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting

Notes

“[The museum] purchased this theremin from an antique dealer in 1995 who was handling the estate of M.W. Wills. Mr. Wills was an engineer at RCA. The set came with one piece of RCA interdepartmental correspondence dated August 5, 1930, crediting Mr. Wills with some minor improvement.” - Steve Raymer

The left cabinet door has been replaced with a reproduction.

Photos

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276▪ The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting: 3515 Raleigh Avenue, St. Louis Park, MN 55416, USA
100159

Owner

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Speaker

Floyd Engels Diamond Speaker replica

Full Provenance

  1. Norman Frost Greeley
  2. Norman Greeley Brown
  3. Olivia Mattis
  4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Theremin's Name

Greeley Theremin

Notes

Restored by Floyd Engels. The instrument was a gift to me from its previous owner, Norman Greeley Brown, who inherited the instrument from its original owner, his grandfather Norman Frost Greeley.-Olivia Mattis

Photos

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479▪ The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
100165

Owner

Dan Grandon

Partial Provenance

  1. Dan Grandon

Photos

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88Dan Grandon | Alexandria, Virginia
100166

Owner

Mark & Mary Anne Neiner

  • Acquired: 1990-00-00

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Ella & George Einsele
  2. Raymond J. Neiner
  3. Mark & Mary Anne Neiner

Notes

From the current owner:

Ella Einsele and her husband George, a violin and violin string manufacturer, saw the theremin demonstrated at the 1933 worlds fair in Chicago. Being a music teacher, she wanted to have her own theremin. I noticed one of RCA’s stores was on Pershing (38th St. in Chicago). That might be where they bought it.

Their nephew Raymond J. Neiner inherited their estate incuding the theremin and the Perfection Musical String Co. which was located in (northwest Indiana) Brunswick, IN.  I inherited from Raymond in the early 1990’s.

Photos

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400Mark & Mary Anne Neiner | Munster, Indiana
100195

Owner

Rick Levine

Full Provenance

  1. Robert S. Alter
  2. Fred Oster
  3. Rick Levine

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

This theremin is owned by Rick Levine of New Jersey. He purchased it in 1987 from Fred Oster (Vintage Instruments, Phila, PA). Included with the instrument was significant documentation, including communications from the original owner in January, 1930 to RCA (Charles E. Phelps & Mr. Shewell) and their responses concerning operating problems. Based on the aforementionedand the following, this Theremin appears to be one of the earliest produced (1929).The original owner was Robert S. Alter of Cincinnati. A.M. Gibson of Houston, TX writes that Alter was "a concert organist and pianist and a master of the Musical Saw as well as the Theremin, Musical Glasses, and other unusual instruments."Mr. Alter in his letters refers to the RCA serial number as #2 (and a GE #100195). It is in excellent condition and he plays it occasionally.

Photos

None

2???Rick Levine | New Jersey
100197

Owner

John Woodward Collection

Speaker

RCA 100a enclosed in a RCA 106 cabinet.

Partial Provenance

  1. Warren “Woody” Woodward
  2. John Woodward Collection

Theremin's Name

Woody (After John’s father Warren “Woody” Woodward)

Notes

The chassis serial number was stamped with an extra 0: 1000197

Replica antenna provided by RCATheremin.com

Woody was purchased in the summer of 1973 at the San Fernando Swap Meet on a Tuesday morning, dealer day, where all the dealers got together to sell to the trade. This was also open to the public and my Dad and I would often go. Just graduated from High School I went to the swap meet with my dad and while walking the aisles a pickup truck full of distressed furniture pulled into a space. All the dealers stopped what they were doing and ran over to see what was being unloaded. “Woody” was pulled from the heap and unceremoniously set aside so the furniture could be sold. The picker wanted 20 dollars for “Woody” to cover the cost of his space. We had 17 dollars between the two of us and the picker gladly accepted my offer. After purchasing “Woody”, I asked the picker where “Woody” came from. He told me that everything came from a big pile of trash outside of a building. “Woody” and the furniture were headed for the dump! “Woody” was taken home and placed in the garage and put under a blanket. Life moved on and “Woody” stayed in the garage for 42 years! A chance conversation with Robert Burchett at the annual Antique Phonograph Society’s expo in 2015 brought about the idea of recommissioning the Theremin. Bob’s expertise is wireless communication and he with much technical and many times spiritual guidance from Andy Baron began the task. Sometime during “Woody’s” life there was a house guest. A little mouse decided to store his acorns inside “Woody’s” coils! Besides eating the acorns, the coil wire was also tasted! The coils were sent to Andy and he did the meticulous task of repairing them. When tested they were surprisingly good. Bob was able to make “Woody” play on Halloween 2015 and you can see and hear “Woody” on You Tube. “RCA Theremin Plays for First Time”. I wanted to share “Woody” through public performance and another year of of preparation began. Bob, Andy and noted Thereminist Ed Sussman through tele-coms got “Woody” ready for the big reveal. Almost a year later and likely much more than half a century “Woody” was played before an audience! Today “Woody” and Moogy (Ed’s very special eitherwave) are played by Ed Sussman in a joint community service project developed by Ed and myself to share the history and artistry of these most unique instruments. I must thank Bob, Andy, Mike and Ed for bringing new life and purpose to my old pal “Woody”. With sincere appreciation and respect for your commitment to these unique instruments.-John

Photos

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307John Woodward Collection | Sun Valley, California
100206

Owner

Jan & Stuart Stanton

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker in alternate console

Full Provenance

  1. George Sydney Stanton
  2. Charles Russell Stanton
  3. Jan & Stuart Stanton

Notes

We have a theremin that was given to us around 2000 by my husbands father, Charles Russell Stanton. He had received the instrument from his father, George Sydney Stanton who was the original owner. Russ, Stuart’s father, would play the Theremin and accompany my daughter while she played the flute. Their favorite was Moon River.

The instrument is in good shape and good working order. We played it on Labor Day 2014. The speaker cabinet is damaged from a flooded basement. Some of the decorative wood is rippled or has fallen. The speaker still works well. The cabinet has the original finish.

Photos

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79Jan & Stuart Stanton | Elizabeth, Colorado
100207

Owner

Nada Greberman Berd

Speaker

Ca. 1927 Neutrowound

Partial Provenance

  1. David Greberman
  2. Nada Greberman Berd

Photos

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60Nada Greberman Berd | Wyncote, Pennsylvania
100211

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2004-05-27

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

Poor refinish, oversize wood knobs on back doors (missing orig.), some rust on chassis, missing pilot jewel, plastic wire nuts & power cord.

Ebay auction text: This particular RCA Theremin AR-1264 has been off the market for over 50 years. It has been with the last owner for over 30 years and was recently put up for sale at his estate. Inside of cabinet has original label that reads: Manufactured by Jamestown Mantel Company, Jamestown, NY. It also has the original RCA label on the backside of the door that is in excellent condition (see pic). All tubes except one that needed replaced our thought to be original. The replacement is of the correct type and was replaced before I purchased the Theremin. The Theremin warms up quickly and to the best of my knowledge plays as it was intended to. It makes a range of sounds and the Volume Loop and Pitch Rod make the changes as designed. The Volume Loop and Pitch Rod are original and in great shape. Original cabinet, legs, and all related hardware in super condition. All door latches and hardware in great shape and look to be original. All original switches and knobs in excellent condition and work well. The small red "pilot" light glass is missing (the mechanical part of the "pilot" light looks to be intact and in good condition (see pic) but is missing the bulb and red glass insert). Interior and chassis are really clean and just show light normal wear for age of piece. Pictures tell the story on that one. The electrical cord is not original. The interior cabinet and components are completely original and unrestored. Chassis is marked with serial number 100211. The serial number on the bottom of the doors is to faint to make out. I have tried and tried but cannot get an honest read off of the bottom of the cabinet doors. The exterior of the cabinet of this Theremin was refinished professionally as commissioned by the previous owner. It is lighter than the original color.The exterior finish is in beautiful condition. The interior of the cabinet and the back of the doors retain the original factory finish and RCA AR-1264 Label. The legs are tight, original, wobble free and in excellent condition. Speaker is mounted on what appears to be original plywood and has a "chicken wire" grille. No Cabinet. The cone of the speaker looks undamaged and it plays fine. It is a little dusty. See pictures for speaker details. Speaker is stamped or engraved "Made In The United States of America". Also a decal on speaker that reads "Magic Magnet Speaker" and "CC" which stands for Cina.......Corp. I can't make out the rest of the "Cina" part because of wear on the decal (see pic). Anyone who has longed for an original working RCA AR-1264 will probably not get many opportunities to find one in this clean and working condition.

Photos

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? Private owner
100222

Owner

Steve J. Sherman

Partial Provenance

  1. Sandra Abarca
  2. Steve J. Sherman

Photos

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110 Steve J. Sherman | Cold Spring, New York
100226

Owner

Unknown owner

  • Purchased: 2009-09-27

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Mrs. Margaret Ryder Bosley
  2. man in Indianapolis
  3. ebay seller in Wichita
  4. Unknown owner

Notes

Cut-off legs, apparently turned into stand. Documented provenance. Spare tubes, RCA Svc. Notes (orig. copy), autographed Moog book; Analog Days.

eBay Auction text: One of 485 ever built, and experts estimate perhaps half of them still exist. To describe it as “RARE” is stating the obvious! Condition: Amazing for being 80 years old. The electronics appear to be all original with no obvious mods or repairs. The wood cabinet of the Theremin appears to be the original finish and displays well for its age, although one back door has some warping. The speaker has an obvious grill cloth issue, but cone seems okay. AC cord is brittle.

Provenance: I purchased it from its second owner in Indianapolis. He acquired it from the local original owner, his neighbor and family friend. It road gently in my car to my home in Wichita.

AUCTION INCLUDES: RCA Theremin with both Antenna, RCA Speaker Cabinet, Theremin Stand, and a box of spare tubes, from the original owner’s estate! Also – including a copy of a newspaper article about the original owner, original owner’s manual book. Also including the self teaching course book from Moog, along with the Analog Days book autographed by Dr. Bob Moog at the book’s release in LA a few years ago. Seems fitting to include it, based on his history and relationship with Theremin."

Photos

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484 Unknown
100236

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private Owner
  2. Private owner

Photos

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? Private owner | Los Angeles, California
100240

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Photos

None

234 ???Unknown | Pueblo, Colorado
100245

Owner

National Music Museum

Partial Provenance

  1. Arne Larson
  2. National Music Museum

Notes

NMM 4154, purchased by Arne Larson in the 1940s, and the file for the instrument has some correspondence with RCA as well.

Photos

None

81 ???▪ National Music Museum: 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA
100247

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2005-04-26

Partial Provenance

  1. Rita Leeseman
  2. Jack in South Carolina
  3. Private owner

Notes

1-26-04 sold on eBay for $3,680.00. Weathered, damaged coils and interior, missing vol. antenna, damaged pitch antenna, moderately damaged cabinet, missing doors. 4-26-05 sold on eBay for $4,300.25. No further restoration except for complete tube set and brass reproduction antennae from a Florida fabricator (Floyd?). This instrument was purchased by The Audities Foundation in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and was restored by Mark McKeown in 2006. It is the subject of the RCA Theremin restoration article in the August 2006 issue (Vol 23, No. 8) of Antique Radio Classified.

According to Rita, This theremin was found in an old house in Paso Robles California. My brother is a contractor there and he found it. I believe it belonged to a friend of his' parents. When my brother and he cleaned and repaired the house this was among the items that were to be taken to the dump, shutter.

Photos

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N/A ▪ The Audities Foundation: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
100249

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Danny Gustafson
  2. Private owner

Notes

Was for sale from the Estate of Danny Gustafson

Pass-through hole is located on the wrong side of the floor. The bottom panel was installed backwards.

Photos

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445 Private owner
100265

Owner

Mike Buffington

  • Purchased: 2015-11-12
  • Acquired: 2016-07-06

Partial Provenance

  1. Patrick McDonough
  2. Mike Buffington

Photos

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N/A Mike Buffington | Brooklyn, New York
100266

Owner

B. Kolberg

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Russell McCaig
  2. Olivia Mattis
  3. B. Kolberg

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I am the very proud owner of an RCA AR-1264 Theremin; cabinet door numbers 77/140, chassis serial number 100266. I had purchased the Theremin earlier this year from the renowned Musicologist, Olivia Mattis, along with an RCA 106 speaker. She told me that I am only the forth owner of this instrument.
The cabinet has its original legs and a beautiful chocolate colored finish including the usual scratches from age. I found it peculiar that the rear doors have different numbers stamped on them, but unfortunately, I do not have any additional information whether they had been switched at the factory or were replaced sometime later. I received the Theremin complete and in working order with the exception of the circuitry which had been modified to allow it to connect to a modern day amplifier. The speaker too had been updated with a newer permanent type speaker.
Since then, I have reversed the modifications and returned the circuitry to its factory configuration, I have kept the cabinet in its original condition, and I bought another RCA speaker for parts which I used to restore the speaker to its original configuration.

Photos

None

77/140 ???B. Kolberg | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
100270

Owner

Jeff Eiseman

Partial Provenance

  1. Jeff Eiseman

Photos

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195 Jeff Eiseman | Massachusetts
100276

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2006-06-07

Partial Provenance

  1. Chuck Collins
  2. Private owner

Notes

Restored and refinished by Floyd Engels. Reproduction parts to replace missing original parts include: Doors, antennas, on/off & play switch plates (cast plastic), safety interlock switches (cosmetic dummy only—not functional). Lots of chassis restoration was done, including rewound oscillator coils, trimmers replaced with Radiola types, new wires, etc.

Photos

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N/A ?Private owner | Bellevue, Washington
100290

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Edward Everett Horton
  2. Private owner

Notes

Inside left door had a label Richardson Music Co, The Music Lover's shop, Los Angeles which appeared to be the distributor which Edward Everett bought the unit from. Came complete with a gorgeous tapestry 106 cabinet.

Photos

None

64 ???Private owner | Los Angeles, California
100296

Owner

University of New Mexico Art Museum

  • Acquired: 1992-00-00

Partial Provenance

  1. Charles Mattox
  2. University of New Mexico Art Museum

Notes

Was donated to the UNM Art Museum by Professor of Art Charles Mattox in 1992.

Was powered on and was functional on 2017-07-11.

Photos

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491 ▪ UNM Art Museum: 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
100297

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 1997-00-00

Full Provenance

  1. a Brentwood doctor
  2. Private owner

Photos

None

260 ???Private owner | Pennsylvania
200000

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 2013-10-29

Speaker

Built-in

Partial Provenance

  1. Robert Bridge
  2. Private Owner
  3. Private owner

Photos

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N/A Private owner | Paris, France
200005

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Notes

Was brought into Third Coast Guitar Service for repair.

Photos

None

? Unknown
200008

Owner

Moog Music

Partial Provenance

  1. Moog Music

Notes

Theremin Fixer Upper. Missing doors, legs, antenna, and is in parts.

Photos

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N/A▪ Moog Music: 160 Broadway St Asheville, NC 28801, USA
200009

Owner

Stearns Collection

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Vera Richardson Simpson (1927-1977)

Notes

Served on the early radio show “The Green Hornet” from 1938 to 1952.

The Stearns Collection website

Photos

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403 ▪ Stearns Collection: 1100 Baits Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
200022

Owner

Todd Marsden

Partial Provenance

  1. Todd Marsden

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

I have an RCA Theremin, Serial Number (hand written on the wood in between the two antennas) is 200022. It also had RCA speaker model 100-A serial #2054700 (or is the last digit a 6, hand written so hard to tell). I purchased it about 9 years ago from a man who's wife had recently died. Apparently her family was the original owner. I paid $95, which was about all I had to my name. I just wanted one because I was a big Jimmy Page fan, but didn't realize at the time what I had. I went back a couple days later with money from my boss, a studio owner, and purchased a solid state theremin from the man, built from a kit by R.A. Moog!
The RCA Theremin worked up until recently, but I haven't had the money to get it working again. I have some replacement tubes and schematics provided by the seller. It appears that two handles were added to the sides to make it more portable, a shelf was added to hold the RCA 100-A speaker, and a couple screws were used to hold the top shelf securely. The cabinet has lots of scrapes and dings, I wasn't sure if refinishing was a good or bad idea.

Photos

None

????Todd Marsden
200030

Owner

Smithsonian Institution

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker S/N:252083

Partial Provenance

  1. Mrs. Ralph Richards
  2. Smithsonian Institution

Notes

This theremin was used and donated by Washington, DC resident, Mrs. Ralph Richards. It was donated in 1967. Restored in 1992 by Robert K. York.

Photos

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? ?▪ The Smithsonian: 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., USA
200047

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2006-03-24
  • Acquired: 2006-04-21

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker (also use a modern Peavey Black Widow speaker with impedance matching transformer)

Partial Provenance

  1. Rich Little, Manassas, VA (not the comedian)
  2. D. Gontarz of Manassas, VA. (Oct 2005 to March 2006)
  3. Private owner

Theremin's Name

Aerielle

Notes

Cabinet was rough with loose joints, bad finish, and wasps’ nests throughout the instrument. Cleaned up nicely though cabinet had to be refinished and secured. Electrically restored (minimal component replacements), original coils, transformers. Both antenna were missing and beautifully reproduced by Mike Buffington. Cabinet bears AEOLIAN decal on the front.

Photos

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1Private owner | Columbia, South Carolina
200051

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Notes

Cut-off/missing legs, missing door knobs, replaced pitch antenna, misc “servicing”, home wall switch/plate cut in rear skirt, missing pilot lamp hardware.

eBay auction 2005-06-25. $6,743.00, Reserve not met, No sale.

eBay auction 2005-08-04. $6,750, 0 bids, No sale.

eBay auction 2006-04-08. $4,600.00, Reserve not met, No sale.

eBay auction 2006-04-21. $4,950.00, Reserve not met, No sale.

Photos

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? Unknown
200052

Owner

Scienceworks History and Technology, Museum Victoria

  • Acquired: 1977-00-00

Partial Provenance

  1. Mrs F. Jeffery of Melbourne
  2. Scienceworks History and Technology, Museum Victoria

Notes

This Theremin was donated to Museum Victoria by Mrs F. Jeffery of Melbourne in 1977. It was on long-term loan to the Percy Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne and now resides back with the Museum Victoria at Scienceworks, but as of February 2016, unfortunately not on public display.

Point of contact for this instrument is Nick Crotty, Acting Manager, History & Technology Collections & Collections Manager.

Photographs by David Thompson. Serial number photographs by Evan Murfett.

Photos

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417 ▪ Museum Victoria: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
200066

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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402 Private owner | Missouri
200075

Owner

Private owner

  • Acquired: 1974-00-00

Speaker

N/A

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

Theremin was saved from being thrown out in 1974 in New London, CT. Missing doors, speaker, tubes; has both antennae.

The previous owner was a magician and apparently used it for sound effects. He is deceased and I haven't been able to trace ownership further back than that.

Photos

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N/A Private owner | Wendell, Massachusetts
200076

Owner

Neil Young

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Neil Young

Photos

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72 Neil Young | Los Angeles, California
200084

Owner

Harold Sloan

Partial Provenance

  1. Harold Sloan

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

Photos

None

? ???Harold Sloan
200085

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2002-10-27
  • Acquired: 2002-10-27

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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138 ▪ SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention: 1312 Bay St, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
200089

Owner

Ed Stander

  • Purchased: 2013-04-30
  • Acquired: 2013-09-13

Speaker

RCA 106, JBL M31-4

Partial Provenance

  1. Music House Museum, Acme, Michigan
  2. Andrew Baron
  3. Ed Stander

Notes

Obtained by Andrew Baron in April 2009 with no cabinet, SPU, tubes or antennas (upper chassis complete, coils and shelf only). Untested. Sale arrangements conducted by Judy York on behalf of Music House Museum.

Restored and made complete by Mike Buffington and Andrew Baron, 2013, with Buffington reproduction cabinet, and reproduction hardware by Buffington and Floyd Engels. Electronic restoration by Andrew Baron.

Photos

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B-3 Ed Stander | Delmar, New York
200102

Owner

Bret Moreland

  • Purchased: 2001-06-25

Partial Provenance

  1. Maunette Engleharte
  2. Carlton Smith
  3. Bret Moreland

Theremin's Name

Maunette

Notes

Purchased the rusted power supply chassis, main chassis, pitch coil, volume coil. Pitch coil was damaged and had to be rewound. No antennae, No cabinet (due to water damage during storage). Purchased from Carlton Smith Pipe Organ Restorations 212 W. 10th Street, Suite D-240 Indianapolis, IN 46202. Carlton got the theremin from a friend who had purchased it from the estate of Maunette Engleharte of Grand Rapids, MI. Restored by Steven Hasten of Portland Or. Restoration began on March 2, 2004. Electronic restoration completed May 4, 2005 using a temporary oak cabinet.

Photos

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B-1 Bret Moreland | Boulder, Colorado
200105

Owner

Musee de la Musique

Partial Provenance

  1. Musee de la Musique

Photos

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460 ▪ Musee de la Musique: 221 av. Jean-Jaurés, 19e, 75017 Paris, France
200112

Owner

Nicholas Neal

Partial Provenance

  1. Hal Kravig
  2. Nicholas Neal

Notes

Came from the basement storage room of an old silent movie theater in Iowa about 25 years ago. It's working with all of its original components and coils and is not altered or modified. Legs have been cut off and replica hinged music shelf provided by Mike Buffington.

Photos

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N/A Nicholas Neal | Arcata, California
200118

Owner

Peter Pringle

Speaker

Claratone

Partial Provenance

  1. Jolly Coburn
  2. Samuel Hoffman
  3. Hoffman family
  4. Peter Pringle

Notes

peterpringle.com/meethoffman.html

Photos

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N/A Peter Pringle | Québec, Canada
200125

Owner

Roger A. Baffer

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. L. Douglas Henderson
  2. Roger A. Baffer

Notes

The pitch antenna is missing 2 of the 4 prongs.

Small Aeolian decal on the front skirt.

At our music museum, which ran from 1963-1986, I played it in the earlier years, with the Duo-Art grand accompanying me … just short demonstration snippets.

I suspect this instrument sat around in Maine for about 3-plus decades before I got it. It was purchased at Aeolian Hall for use by people who had a Summer cottage in the Waldoboro ME area, definitlely upscale vacationers.

Photos

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503 Roger A. Baffer | Woolwich, Maine
200129

Owner

Stanley Hirsh

Partial Provenance

  1. Manuel Vasquez II
  2. Manuel Vasquez III
  3. Stanley Hirsh

Notes

Both antennas are original and contains extra tone resistor. The cabinet is missing the legs and the front of the cabinet appears to have water damage.

Photos

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91 Stanley Hirsh | El Paso, Texas
200130

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

Missing legs, poor condition

Photos

None

218 ??Private owner
200132

Owner

Private owner

  • Purchased: 2009-05-12

Speaker

Floyd Engels Diamond Speaker replica, RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Mischa Tulin
  2. Alex M. Stazak
  3. Private owner

Notes

The cabinet is custom made with tiny wood inlay. This may have been done in order to provide a separate two piece theremin for easy travel by Mr. Tulin’s friend who was a master craftsmen. It is in working order and is a work of art as well.

Pitch coil was replaced with a GE coil.

Photos

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N/A Private owner | Paris, France
200135

Owner

Tropikordia Foundation

  • Purchased: 2016-04-30

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Philip Brandish (1929–2003)
  2. Walt & Mary Murray (2003–2016)
  3. Tropikordia Foundation (2016– )

Notes

The previous owner was Philip Brandish (98 years of age); he bought the theremin in Peoria, IL in 1929 and has been the only owner for the past 75 years.  We had the pleasure of meeting with Philip in his residence in IL in 2003; we spent a couple of hours with him while he gave us the history of how he acquired this beautiful piece.  We have the original documents that he received and a letter that was sent to him by RCA in 1935 when he had some service questions.  It is all original and working.  My husband restores old tube type radios, so we had on hand any tubes that it may have needed.  It was wonderful meeting Philip, his wife and his son.  My husband remembered seeing one when he was a child and had been looking for one ever since.

Photos

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147 Tropikordia Foundation | Gainesville, Florida
200136

Owner

Synthorama Museum for Synthesizers

  • Acquired: 1996-05-22

Partial Provenance

  1. Chris Youdell
  2. Synthorama Museum for Synthesizers

Notes

This theremin was previously located in Hawaii.

Photos

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225 ?▪ Synthorama Museum for Synthesizers: Hauptstrasse 15, 4542 Luterbach, Switzerland
200138

Owner

National Music Museum

  • Acquired: 1996-03-08

Partial Provenance

  1. National Music Museum

Notes

NMM 5935 (ex Stein) has the number 200138 on a brass plaque inside the instrument. Donated as part of the Charles D. Stein Collection and Archives by his son, Howard F. Stein, and daughter-in-law, Nancy Cunningham. Includes separate stand and amplifier. Ca. 1930.

Photos

None

? ???▪ National Music Museum: 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA
200141

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

built in

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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22 ?Private owner
200144

Owner

Unknown owner

  • Purchased: 2010-12-16

Speaker

106

Partial Provenance

  1. a woman in Fresno, CA
  2. Father
  3. Sarah Johansen, Omaha, NE
  4. Unknown owner

Notes

Was listed on eBay (auction no. 170577673240) $11,500 starting bid with $13,000 reserve. Sold to a man in NY.

Photos

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269 Unknown | New York
200145

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

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447 Private owner | Aarwangen, Switzerland ‎
200150

Owner

The Franklin Institute Science Museum

  • Acquired: 1933-11-16

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Full Provenance

  1. Grace Gulick Dike and Paul H. Dike
  2. The Franklin Institute

Notes

(From the files of TFI): Acquired from Mr. Paul H. Dike, 252 High St., Germantown, Phila. Presented in memory of Mrs. Grace Gulick Dike, musician and recitalist, who demonstrated the operation of the Theremin with this instrument at the Meeting of The Franklin Institute on October 15, 1930.

1/17/51 Loaned to Howard Mossman 2/21/51 & 9/7/51 Mr. Mossman would like to buy Theremin

Refinished probably 50 years ago or more. Cabinet had stretchers added to legs for stability, that were still in place in 1951 but were eliminated after the cabinet restoration. Antennas were probably made in the old TFI machine shops. This instrument and its 106 speaker were donated in 1933. The four small filled holes around the control area are from a cover plate fastened to the cabinet to protect the controls years ago when it was an interactive display. According to an 80 year old former curatorial employee, this theremin hasn‘t been available to the public for at least 40 or more years. This theremin was in a state of disrepair for at least 56 years, from sometime prior to January 1951, to April 2007 at which time it was completely restored by Andrew Baron.

Photos

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344 ▪ The Franklin Institute: 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
200159

Owner

Unknown owner

  • Purchased: 2007-05-31

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. woman near Philadelphia
  2. John Hoge
  3. Unknown owner

Notes

Electronically reconditioned by Dick Hack in Balitmore; modern capacitors embedded in the original tins. Sold by 3rd owner John Hoge NYC (Living in Philadelphia at time of sale?). 2nd owner was woman near Philadelphia.

Photos

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? ??Unknown
200171

Owner

Private owner

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Sonny Clutter
  2. Private Owner
  3. Private Owner
  4. Private owner

Photos

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118 Private owner | Brooklyn, NY
200180

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Michael Bogart, Toronto
  2. Olivia Mattis
  3. Private owner

Notes

12-10-04 eBay auction. Missing doors, patched (taped around portions of windings) coils, needs rewiring in auction description. Seller: Michael Bogart, Toronto. Sold to Olivia Mattis

Photos

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N/A Private owner | Oxfordshire, England
200181

Owner

Howard Mossman

Partial Provenance

  1. Howard Mossman

Notes

This instrument was sent to me by a kindly old gentleman in San Francisco who rescued it from in front of a neighbor’s house. It had been set out to be collected by the trash men. He knew what it was, and contacted Emil Dodlin (historic curator) at RCA headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center and asked him if he was interested in receiving this theremin. Since Emil knew me through previous correspondences, he contacted me and told me of the availability of this instrument. He said that he did not want it, and if I did to contact the gentleman in question. I did so and he kindly packed it up in a discarded refrigerator carton, and at his own expense, and sent it out to me airmail express. He wanted nothing from me and just wanted the Theremin to have a good home. It arrived safe and sound and "sang" beautifully right out of the box. As a footnote to this story, the lady that threw this theremin out said she needed the room in her garage and didn’t know what that thing was. She said her husband bought it in 1930 and it’s been in the garage ever since.

Photos

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154 Howard Mossman | Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
200182

Owner

Perry Margouleff

Partial Provenance

  1. H Whipple Abbott
  2. Perry Margouleff

Photos

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457 Perry Margouleff | Glen Cove, New York
200183

Owner

Vintage X-Ray Museum

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. C.E. ‘Sonny’ Clutter
  2. Vintage X-Ray Museum

Photos

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297 Vintage X-Ray Museum | Lake Worth, Florida
200190

Owner

Moog Music

Partial Provenance

  1. Moog Music

Photos

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? ▪ Moog Music: 160 Broadway St Asheville, NC 28801, USA
200199

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

It is in near perfect original scratch free condition with inspection tag that has a bit of cabinet overspray on it. It is functional with no parts missing, as good as it gets!

Photos

None

152 Private owner | Wisconsin

Unregistered RCA Theremins

ID Serial|Doors Fin Leg Ant Currently Located In or Owned By
1

Owner

Alex Schub

Partial Provenance

  1. Alex Schub

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

This theremin is played by Alex Schub, a professional musician from Los Angeles. Mr. Schub may be reached via e-mail at: AlexSchub@mediaone.net. He has performed the theremin part in Ives' 4th Symphony with the LA Philharmonic, recorded commercials (Planet Lunch), and performed extensively on Dramatic 16, the history of Sci-Fi on SONOTON Music. He also played theremin on the re-release of the score to It Came From Outer Space (Monstrous Movie Music).

Photos

None

20???Alex Schub | Los Angeles, California
2

Owner

Debbi Schwarz

Partial Provenance

  1. Debbi Schwarz

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

It has a beautiful speaker with it and we have plugged everything every way we can and can not get it to work. I enjoyed listening to my dad play it many many times as a child but I didn't pay much attention to how it plugged into the speaker. Mine is a full cabinet-about 4 feet from the floor. I would appreciate any information you have.

Photos

None

117???Debbi Schwarz
4

Owner

Duane Saetveit

Partial Provenance

  1. Duane Saetveit

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

His father, Joseph G. Saetveit, got it from a radio station in Sioux Falls, SD in the early 1930's. They told him if he could play a recital on the thing, he could have it. He toured intermittently around the Midwest playing recitals in churches and other small venues. It was in storage for many years after that. At his 50th high school reunion, an old friend restored it to working condition for him. Today, the instrument is still in good shape and still works!

Photos

None

331???Duane Saetveit | Buffalo, New York
5

Owner

The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University

Partial Provenance

  1. Charles Stieff
  2. The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University

Notes

It was formerly the property of the Charles Stieff family of Maryland who gave it to Peabody in the 1980’s. It is now on display in the Arthur Friedheim Library. It has been recently repaired and returned to working order by Fred Geil and Paul Marchese. Funds for the repair work were provided by a generous gift from the late Francis Schillinger, widow of Joseph Schillinger.

Photos

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200XXX|371▪ Arthur Friedheim Library: 1 East Mount Vernon Place Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
6

Owner

National Music Museum

Partial Provenance

  1. National Music Museum

Notes

The S.M.M. has a model AR-1264, nearly identical to No. 200138 which has no serial number. It is part of the Charles D. Stein Collection and Archives.

Photos

None

???▪ National Music Museum: 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA
10

Owner

Haags Gemeentemuseum

Partial Provenance

  1. Haags Gemeentemuseum

Notes

The 'Haags Gemeentemuseum' in The Hague, The Netherlands has an RCA Theremin in permanent loan. There is no serial number. On the inner side of the right panel of the 'backdoor' there is a little paper with patent numbers (32 in 4 rows of 8) from 1129942 to 1661058. Another paper inside the case (left panel, below) show the text: 'Jamestown Mantel Company - Jamestown NY' Around the tuning screws somebody wrote with a red 'marker' some adjust indications. With a black 'marker' the words 'Var. Osc.' 'Stab. Osc.' and 'Vol' are written.

There is a RCA Loudspeaker 106, serial number 253969. The Theremin is in original state with original cables and plugs; is NOT in working condition and it's the museums policy to keep the instruments as original as possible, so at the moment it will not be restored. The instrument is in permanent display.

Photos

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???▪ Haags Gemeentemuseum: Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV, Den Haag, The Netherlands
13

Owner

The Exploratorium

Partial Provenance

  1. The Exploratorium

Notes

From the Exploratorium’s Archive: Original piece donated & was on floor for a couple of years when old insides died - replaced w/ transistorized kit from Southwest Technical Products Corp.

Photos

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249▪ The Exploratorium: 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
14

Owner

The Henry Ford Museum Collection

  • Acquired: 1968-00-00

Partial Provenance

  1. Russell E. Cushing (Gibraltar, Michigan)
  2. The Henry Ford Museum Collection

Notes

HFM Object ID 68.62.4 and is in the best condition. According to the book Henry’s Attic: Some Fascinating Gifts to Henry Ford and His Museum, it was donated in 1968 by Russell E. Cushing of Gibraltar, Michigan.

Photos

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???▪ The Henry Ford Museum Collection: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029, USA
15

Owner

The Henry Ford Museum Collection

Partial Provenance

  1. The Henry Ford Museum Collection

Notes

HFM Object ID 43.139.1

Photos

None

???▪ The Henry Ford Museum Collection: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029, USA
16

Owner

The Henry Ford Museum Collection

Partial Provenance

  1. The Henry Ford Museum Collection

Notes

HFM Object ID 36.556.15 and is in a walnut case

Photos

None

???▪ The Henry Ford Museum Collection: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029, USA
17

Owner

Jane Evans

Speaker

106 built into cabinet

Partial Provenance

  1. Jane Evans

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com's original registry. Information may be out of date.

I have my father's RCA model 1264, NP48014, Theremin. It is in it's original case, which is is good, but not mint, condition. It needs a new electrical cord, as the fabric-covered cord is quite frayed. To my knowledge, it would be in working condition with the addition of a new cord. My father, Sam Fenner, purchased it new in the early 1930's. At that time, he lived at the Grand Canyon, working as a mule-train guide down into the Canyon during the days and as an entertainer (fiddle, musical saw, and theremin) for the dudes at the Bright Angel Lodge on the south rim of the Canyon each evening. He and three of his fellow guides/entertainers were the 'Oringinal 1935 Grand Canyon Cowboy Band'.

Photos

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100XXX|521Jane Evans | Texas
18

Owner

David A. Newton

Full Provenance

  1. Mr. Newton
  2. David A. Newton

Notes

This entry is originally from thereminworld.com’s original registry. Information may be out of date.

Mr. NewtonÆs family is the original owner of this AR-1264 still in playable condition. The theremin is currently being refinished and tuned. Pictures are available at the above link. Mr. Newton’s father used the theremin in the Cornish School of Music in Seattle around the 1930’s.

Photos

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100XXX|223David A. Newton | Portland, Oregon
19

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Notes

Auction number 7229 at Stockholms Auktionsverk

dead link

Photos

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?Unknown
24

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Mike Headley
  2. Unknown owner

Notes

From eBay description:

From the original family comes this 1929 rca theremin - model number ar-1264 and matching rca 106 speaker. Originally sold to a prominent los angeles teacher, instrument maker and musician. This theremin was played at the first methodist episcopal church in los angeles on october 6th, 1935. This theremin has not been offered since it was sold new. Articles written about the original owner and a copy of the church bulletin are included in this sale. The theremin cabinet is in near mint condition with only small scuffs and scratches you would normally expect for a piece of this age. It is original and complete with the exception of the red jewel in front of the "on" indicator lamp. Fully intact are all the original labels, including the gold radio victor corporation label on the inside of the right hand door as you face the back and the jamestown mantel co, jamestown new york label under the main chassis shelf. Electronically the chassis has been restored in 1988 by a prominent vintage radio technician (receipt included) and is in excellent playing condition. The chassis maintains what appears to be its original radiotron tube set (balloon) with the exception of both 171’s one of which is an everready (balloon) and the other is a tung-sol (st shape). This unit plays strong with plenty of sensitivity and volume. To the best of my knowledge, plays as it was intended to although i am not a theremin expert (as you can tell by the volume loop being installed backward in the pictures) - i am a 25 year radio collector / restorer. The unit comes with the original volume loop and pitch rod - which are original and in great shape. All original latches and hardware are intact. All original switches and knobs are in good condition and work well. Electrical cords are not original. The interior of the cabinet is very clean and original. Chassis is in good condition (dusty) and original coils are intact. Once again this unit has been part of the original family for 77 years and shows minimal wear for a piece of it’s age. Chassis is marked with serial number 100056 or 100066 (it’s a little hard to read) the number 277 is stamped on the bottom of each door. The rca 106 speaker was purchased as an original companion to the theremin by the original owner. As you can see by the pictures, the tapestry is badly soiled and torn and will need to be replaced (i believe reproductions are available) the cabinet is solid and shows a little more wear than the theremin itself but still in good condition. This speaker is fully functional and sounds clear for it’s age and condition.

Previous auction 1-13-07, reserve not met first time. Missing pilot lamp hardware. An outboard component appears to be wired to SPU, possibly audio transformer.

Photos

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100056/66|277Unknown
25

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Unknown owner

Notes

eBay auction, ended 6-07-07. Untested, no legs, two house light switches added behind large rectangular hole cut into lower front panel.  Incorrect control knobs.  Has antennas. $8,000 reserve not met, 19 bidders, $3670 high bid.

Photos

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200XXXUnknown | Beaverton, Canada
29

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Walter Sear
  2. Unknown owner

Photos

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Unknown
33

Owner

Howard Mossman

Full Provenance

  1. Leopold Stokowski
  2. Howard Mossman

Notes

Claims there is no serial number and that chassis paint job is original.

Photos

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Howard Mossman | Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
34

Owner

Private owner

Full Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

During the 1930's and 40's, there was a Montreal thereminist by the name of Belanger who was apparently quite accomplished. He owned an RCA (which his son Richard still has) which he was in the habit of playing regularly in the afternoon. One day, in the early 1940's, he was in a local grocery store and overheard two ladies talking about mysterious music they were hearing over their phone lines. He knew immediately that they were hearing his RCA theremin! At the time, Canada was involved in World War II and the authorities feared that there could be some sympathy among the French Canadian population for the puppet "Vichy" regime in Nazi occupied France.

Next thing you know, RCMP detectives were canvasing Mr. Belanger's neighborhood asking questions about the strange melodies locals had been hearing on their phone lines. Sadly, Belanger stopped playing his theremin and it has never been played since. The origin of the phone music would forever remain a mystery. These days, Belanger's RCA is as dead as a doornail. I don't know what is wrong with it. A few years ago, just for fun, I replaced all the tubes in it with a set I knew was fully functional but it still wouldn't play.

I tried to buy the instrument from its present owner (Belanger's son) and I made him an offer I thought he couldn't refuse, but he is a musician and the instrument has family/sentimental value. He wouldn't budge.

Photos

None

???Private owner | Montreal, Canada
37

Owner

Don Bice

Partial Provenance

  1. Don Bice

Photos

None

???Don Bice | Glendale, California
38

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

excellent condition

Photos

None

???Private owner | Ohio
39

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Notes

seen alongside recent theremin in auction for finish comparision.

Photos

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200XXXPrivate owner | New York/California
40

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. David McCornack
  2. Unknown owner

Notes

Both doors have been replaced; one was new construction, the other from another theremin with number 502. Antenna, doors, and refinishing by Floyd Engels. Missing upper part of auxiliary receptacle.

Recent ebay auction #260809146548: sold at $7,999.00, Ended: Jul 04, 2011, sold by patinahead.

Photos

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100XXX|502&N/AUnknown
41

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Doctor Olsen
  2. Private owner

Notes

Steven M. Martin borrowed this RCA from Princeton labs. It was originally owned by a Doctor Olsen who worked at  Princeton Labs. You might have seen the instrument revolving on a rotating  platform at the beginning of Theremin, An Electronic Odyssey.

Photos

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100XXXPrivate owner
42

Owner

Unknown owner

Partial Provenance

  1. William Nickert
  2. Fred Othmer
  3. Unknown owner

Notes

Yes, that indeed, that was the voice of William Nickert. After he passed away, I contacted the people that were looking after him as to the disposition of his RCA theremin. They told me it was auctioned off at the Freedman Auction House in center city Philadelphia. The winning bid was made by Fred Othmer, owner of the Antique Musical Instruments Co., also in Philly.

I went to his store and saw the instrument, and the RCA 106 Loudspeaker there, but Fred was not there. I was allowed to play the theremin and discovered it had lost the top octave. I convinced the clerk that I could restore the full range to the instrument if he would trust me lend me a small screwdrive, which he did. By readjusting the two pitch trimmer capacitors the full 3-1/2 octave range was restored.

Later, i found that the theremin was sent to New York to a store on Vesey Street and from there I lost track of it.

Photos

None

???Unknown
43

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Orben Sime
  2. Private owner

Notes

New leg stand. Westinghouse Pitch coil.

Photos

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100XXX?▪ Unknown Museum:
47

Owner

University of Central Missouri, Department of Music

Partial Provenance

  1. Don Essig
  2. University of Central Missouri, Department of Music

Notes

Currently missing chassis.

Photos

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N/A|414▪ University of Central Missouri: 109 Utt Building, Warrensburg, MO 64093, USA
50

Owner

Private owner

Full Provenance

  1. Samuel Finkler
  2. Samuel Goldhaber
  3. Private owner

Notes

Missing music shelf. Was on display at the Museum of Making Music in the On! exhibit, which ran from September 2009 to March 2011.

This was the other RCA purchased by Samuel Finkler that went to Samuel Goldhaber, a brother-in-law in California. Samuel Goldhaber would play the Finkler theremin during visits back east, as there was no one in the Finkler family who played the instrument.

Photos

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Private owner | Bolinas, California
51

Owner

Rebecca Mercuri

Speaker

RCA 106 Loudspeaker

Partial Provenance

  1. Jon Sank
  2. Rebecca Mercuri

Photos

None

???Rebecca Mercuri | New Jersey
53

Owner

Antiquity Music

Partial Provenance

  1. Antiquity Music

Photos

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100XXX▪ Antiquity Music: 12031 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90230, USA
55

Owner

Private owner

Full Provenance

  1. W. Raymond (Ray) Burrows
  2. Floyd Engels
  3. Private owner

Photos

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439??Private owner | Tokyo, Japan
56

Owner

Private owner

Partial Provenance

  1. Private owner

Photos

None

80???Private owner

Note that there are numerical gaps in the Unregistered list from theremins which have been identified and moved to Registered.