Edison Cylinder phonographs were the dominant cylinder phonographs all around the world from 1877 when Edison first invented the phonograph until 1929 when demand for cylinder phonographs had all but faded, and the last cylinder machine was made.

Edison machine were extremely well made and any machine that has survived the last century will probably be playing as well today as when it left the factory.

Models of sizes and models are numerous; Gem, Standard, Home, Fireside, Triumph & Idelia, playing standard size cylinders. Initially 2 minute wax cylinders, and as the models progressed, also 4 minute Amberol cylinders (needing a different stylus and feedscrew gearing. These models could be equipped with a variety of horns.

The Concert phonographs playing the large Concert size cylinders. The Opera phonograph was made for 4 minute cylinders and where the mandrel traversed under a fixed reproducer.

And of course an array of early electric phonographs, as well as phonographs set up to be operated by money for operation in bars and public places.

Later Edison phonographs, from around 1912 to 1929 were called "Amberola", and were phonographs contained within tabletop or floor standing cabinets. To access the phonograph you had to open a lid. Benefit of the lid was that it dampened playing noise, leaving only the pure music eminating from the enclosed horn.

The Edison Phonograph models have been very well researched and we would like to recognise those efforts by referring you to these books on the subject, as they completely and precisely detail each make and model.

ROMFI initiative for Edison Phonographs

Link to ROMFI
ROMFI (www.romfi.com) is a system that is collecting data on all historical manufactured items so that future generations have a bank of knowledge about past technology. ROMFI also allows people who own specific items to add them to a list of surviving items. Edison Phonographs lend themselves very well to such a census as each Edison has a model name & type as well as a serial number, making each phonograph uniquely identifyable.

To have this kind of data available to researchers would be a huge help. We would highly recommend that Edison owners enter details of their machines there. It can also be a boon for finding owners other rare, especially for restoration purposes.

Literature on Edison Phonographs

The Edison Cylinder Phonographs 1877 - 1929, George Frow & Albert Seftl

This book contains almost everything you may want to know about Edison Phonographs. Each machine and model are described in precise detail with specifics on cabinet style, motor, reproducer, dimensions, and history of the model.

The book is out of print, but there are usually used copies that can be aquired, from about $60.
If no book is currently available, here are some alternative purchase chanels where one can check if there are any of these books available.



Recentx Record