Friday, February 11, 2011

The Edison Record


Google reminds us that today is Thomas Edison’s birthday, which reminds me of cylinder recordings. From the UCSB Library’s excellent “Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project” website: 
Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.
(The first sound recordings were phonautograms. Wax cylinder recordings had a much longer life.)