here in the US, back in the heyday of vinyl (and I hate to admit that I'm old enough to remember it well), the most popular record changers in consoles and compact stereos were BSR's and VM's (Voice of Music). Guys into higher end component equipment usually went with Garrard or Dual.
I've never heard of the VM decks. BSR (which, incidentally, stands for Birmingham Sound Reproducers) changers were common in low-end portable units and consoles in Britain, with Garrard being considered the more sophisticated units for higher-end equipment. Garrard also made a lot of transcription turntables and similar high-quality equipment, often used by the BBC and similar organizations.
Most, if not all of the Garrard turntables were fitted with terminal blocks on the motors which brought out both halves of the windings for easy parallel/series connection for 120 or 240V oepration (with suitable change of pulley for the 60Hz North American market).
Collaro was another popular make during the 1950s/60s era for mid/high-end use, and the Swiss-made Goldring-Lenco range was also popular for hi-fi separates (not auto changers).
AFAIK, 16 2/3 RPM records were limited to "talking books" for the blind
That's what I've been led to believe too. I've been collecting records for as many years as I can remember, and I don't recall ever
seeing a 16-2/3 r.p.m. disc.
or music recordings for (believe it or not) an automotive turntable sold by Chrysler as "Highway HiFi".
I have some old 1950s (American) car commercials on tape, and a couple were plugging Chrysler's "Highway Hi-Fi" record players (for the Plymouth and Dodge ranges, if I recall correctly).
I just assumed that the little decks played regular 7-inch 45 r.p.m. records though.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 11-28-2006).]