Shaw Sounds can transcribe Cylinder recordings to CD or in a digital format of your choice.
Please ask for details regarding playing lengths, types of cylinder and cost involved.
History of the Edison Cylinder Player
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity (c. 1888-1915), these cylinder shaped objects had an audio recording engraved on the outside surface which could be reproduced when the cylinder was played on a mechanical phonograph. The competing disc-shaped gramophone record system triumphed in the market place to become the dominant commercial audio medium in the 1910s, and commercial mass production of phonograph cylinders ended in 1929.
Early cylinder machines of the late 1880s and the 1890s were often sold with recording attachments. The ability to record as well as play back sound was an advantage to cylinder phonographs over the competition from cheaper disc record phonographs which began to be mass marketed at the end of the 1890s, as the disc system machines could be used only to play back pre-recorded sound.
In the earliest stages of phonograph manufacturing various competing incompatible types of cylinder recordings were made. A standard system was decided upon by Edison Records, Columbia Phonograph, and other companies in the late 1880s. The standard cylinders were about 4 inches (10 cm) long, 2¼ inches in diameter, and played about two minutes of music or other sound.
Over the years the type of wax used in cylinders was improved and hardened so that cylinders could be played over 100 times. In 1902 Edison Records launched a line of improved hard wax cylinders marketed as Edison Gold Moulded Record. The major development of this line of cylinders is that Edison had developed a process that allowed a mould to be made from a master cylinder which then permitted the production of several hundred cylinders to be made from the mould.The reference to 'gold' was that the master cylinder was coated with gold as part of the production process.
Originally all cylinders sold had to be recorded live on the softer brown wax which wore out in as few as twenty playings. Later cylinders were reproduced either mechanically or by linking phonographs together with rubber tubes.Although not satisfactory, the result was just about good enough to be sold.