In the ten years since the introduction of the Victrola , the company executives has noted with delight the gradual shift in public preference towards the more expensive offerings in their product line. Since the demise of the Victrola XX in 1909, the Victrola XVI, which sold for $200.00 (except for the special order instruments), was the top-of-the-line. In June of 1915 Victor recognized the apparent demand for expensive phonographs by introducing the Victrola XVIII.
The extra $100.00 which this machine commanded over a Victrola XVI brought a cabinet with swell front and sides with Louis XV-style moldings highlighting the carefully selected mahogany or walnut veneers (either American or Circassian at the same price of $50.00 extra). Motor power was provided by Victorâ€™s best Nickel-plated three spring or electric (again $50.00 extra) motor, and unsurprisingly the turntable were all gold plated. A cabinet full of sixteen record albums was provided with the instrument. The list price was $300.00. This phonograph was offered in a variety of finishes including Mahogany (red) (Mah), English brown mahogany (EB), American walnut (AW), Circassian walnut (CW), and Vernis Martin (VM). The cabinet dimensions were 48 inches high x 23 Â¼ inches wide x 25 Â¼ inches deep. There were a total of 3407 spring motor Victrola XVIII and 994 Electric Victrola XVIII made. However, existing serial numbers were skipped in production, it is more likely that closer to 1500 VE-XVIII’s were manufactured The Period Victrola series (custom order only) was made available in 1917, and ultimately became the true aristocrats of Victrolas. In 1915, the XVIII was the best standard model available. By the end of 1916, the electrics were discounted to $300 to clear out stock. Due to their relative rarity and beauty, these machines are prized by collectors today.