The Columbia story is a complex one, and too complicated to really do justice to within the confines of this inroductory section. Based in the USA, the Columbia Phonograph Company had acquired the American Graphopohone Company who manufactured the Graphophone, a development based on Edison's intial work on the phonograph by Charles Summer Tainter, Chichester Bell, and Alexander Graham Bell at the end of the 19th century. Just as the Berliner Gramophone Company had set up the Gramophone Company in the UK so to did the Columbia Company establish a British arm.
By the early 1920's the British subsidiary managed to purchase the American parent and went on further to acquire Parlophone and Odeon and later the French company Pathe.
However the slump of the late 1920's caused difficulties as experienced by the Gramophone Company and the two companies merged to form EMI (Electric and Motor Industries) in 1931.
The gramophones in my collection are all portables from both before the merger, from 1928, to 1953.