78 Records, Cylinders, Vintage Phonographs, and Recording Industry History - Information & Resources

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John Bolig, Brian Rust, Dick Spottswood


2019 ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded-Sound Research:

ISBN # 978-0-9973333-3-6
Library of Congress Control # 2018960581

View Entry List


American Record Companies
and Producers
1888 - 1950

An Encyclopedic History

By Allan Sutton
ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

More than 1,120 detailed, carefully documented entries cover the record companies, independent studios, and individual producers -- and the thousands of disc and cylinder brands they produced for the commercial market (including consumer, jukebox, and subscription labels) -- from the birth of the recording industry to the start of the LP era.

A directory section preceeding each entry includes company founding, record-production, and closing dates; office, studio, and pressing-plant addresses, with dates of operation; original-master sources; foreign affiliations; and a listing of all commercial labels and other record products.

The volume also includes an introductory history of the American recording industry from the 1880s through 1950; user's guide; company genealogical charts; glossary; extensive references (largely primary-source); and label and subject indexes.

760 pages / 7" x 10" full-cloth hardcover
Heavy-duty sewn library binding

Special Limited Edition

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Includes insured airmail

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Final Close-Out Sale on Mainspring Press Back-List Titles (Originally $39 - $75)

Mainspring Press is discontinuing book production. Our remaining inventory of the following titles is being offered at final clearances prices of 10% to 50% off the original list price. These are first-quality copies in original shrink-warp. Order soon - Quantities are very limited.

All Close-Out Sales Are Final. No returns accepted other than defective or damaged copies, which may be returned for exchange-in-kind only (no cash or credit refunds). Full guarantee still applies on non-closeout titles.

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For Foreign Delivery: Orders must be placed at the foreign rate (click "Shipping Outside USA"), which includes insured airmail shipment. Orders placed at USA rates for foreign delivery be canceled.

Please Note: Book and CD titles not listed here are out of print, and we have no copies available for sale. Some titles may be available from used-and-collectible-book dealers on Amazon, eBay, etc. 


ARSC Award-Winner 

Varisty and Royale 78 records - History and Discography
298 total pages, illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-3-9

FINAL CLOSE-OUT SALE - Very Limited Quantities

Eli Oberstein's United States Record Corporation: A History and Discography,
1939 - 1940

By Allan Sutton & The Record Research Associates

Although Eli Oberstein's Varsity and Royale labels were hailed as promising new entries in 1939, his United States Record Corporation collapsed into bankruptcy a year later - but not before Oberstein managed to assemble a substantial, and often intriguing, catalog.

This volume covers USRC's complete 1939 - 1940 output (its many original recordings, as well as its sometimes-controversial reissues of material from Crown, Gennett, Paramount, Edison Bell, Ultraphone, and other labels). Listings of the reissued material identify the master sources, numbers, and takes; all prior releases; original recording and/or release dates; and (because most were issued under pseudonyms), identifications of the actual artists.

Other features include an illustrated USRC history; a balanced, objective look at Oberstein and his methods; a discussion of original-vs-dubbed masters based on selective comparative testing by the author and by the Record Research group; previously unpublished data on the European recordings used by Royale; and excerpts from original record reviews in period publications, including Jazz Information and The Steinway Review.

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$60 (Shipping Outside USA) >
Includes insured airmail


ARSC Award-Winner 

Emerson 78-rpm Records  - History and Discography

FINAL CLOSE-OUT SALE - Very Limited Quantities

Emerson Records : A History and Discography (Complete 10" / 12" Issues), 1919 - 1928

Data compiled by William R. Bryant
Edited and annotated by Allan Sutton

Covering all 10" and 12" Emerson series (including ethnic-catalog releases), along with detailed listings for all corresponding issues on other American and foreign labels.

360 total pages - Illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9852004-5-9

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$60 (Shipping Outside USA) >
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ARSC Award-Winner 

American Zonophone 78 Records - Discography - William R. Bryant

FINAL CLOSE-OUT SALE - Very Limited Quantities


The American Zonophone Discography:
10"/12" General-Catalog Issues
(1904 - 1912)


By William R. Bryant

360 total pages - Illustrated
7" x 10" hardcover (cloth library binding)

ISBN 978-0-9852004-0-4

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$65 (Shipping Outside USA) >
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A Phonograph in Every Home - History of American Recording 1900-1919

FINAL CLOSE-OUT SALE - Very Limited Quantities


A Phonograph in Every Home: Evolution of the American Recording Industry, 1900 - 1919

By Allan Sutton


328 total pages - 100 illustrations 
6" x 9" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9825595-2-9

$35 (Ships to USA Only) >
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$60 (All Other Foreign Shipping) >
Includes insured airmail

The Victor Discography Series

By John R. Bolig
 ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

The Victor Discography Series is compiled on-site at Sony Archives (New York) from the original Victor Talking Machine Company, RCA Victor, and Gramophone Company documentation. These volumes offer the most accurate representation available of exactly what is, and is not, contained in the original Victor recording and production files. To preserve the integrity of the original company file data, no speculative, anecdotal, or undocumented material appears in these works.

"What distinguishes this discography is that the information originates entirely from original sources... It's simply a 'must-have' reference for the collector, discographer, and institutional librarian. John Bolig continues to raise the bar, setting new standards in discographical work." - The Record Collector (UK)

"Carefully prepared work... The true enthusiast cannot manage without all the resources mentioned here." - ARSC Journal

FINAL CLOSE-OUT SALE - Very Limited Quantities

The Victor Black Label Discography - Volume 1: 16000 & 17000 Series
472 total pages - Illustrated / 7" x 10" hardcover (cloth library binding) / ISBN 978-0-9772735-7-7

$39.95 (Ships to USA Only) >
Free shipping
$70 (Shipping Outside USA) >
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All Sales Are Final on Close-Out Titles. No returns accepted other than defective or
damaged copies, which may be returned for exchange-in-kind only.


Top Posts on The Mainspring Press Record Collectors' Blog:

Cal Stewart (Unce Josh): Newspaper Highlights,
1892 - 1919


The Gus Haenschen Interviews
(James A. Drake

The Birth of Electrical Recording
(Part 1)


Enrico Caruso's "MeToo" Moment:
The 1906 Monkey House Scandal

Sam Moore: From "Laughing Rag" to
"Spooning and Ballooning" (and Beyond)


Uncle Dave Macon: Newspaper Highlights,
1922 - 1952

Collector's Corner:
Free MP3 Downloads

Victor Emerson's Personal

George Blacker's Okeh Vertical-Cut Discography:
Free PDF Download

Harry Pace, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Black Swan Records:
The Authoritative History

American Record Corporation Promo Materials
(1935 - 1937)

Fletcher Henderson & his Orchestra: Newspaper Highlights,
1924 - 1931

Russian Interference: Boris Morros, ARA Records, and the
Soviet Infiltration of Hollywood

"Oh, That Damned Horn": Rosa Ponselle Talks About
Her Recordings (The James A. Drake Interviews)






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