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

78 Records, Cylinders, Vintage Phonographs - Information from Mainspring Press

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New on the Mainspring Press Record Collectors' Blog:

Starr - Gennett "Pre-Ledger" Recording Dates and Locations (1915 - 1922)  /  Speed Bump: LPs, 45s, and the Slow Demise of the 78 (1939 - 1951)  /  Black Swan Carusos, and Other Pirate Tales (1898 - 1951)  /  Recollections of the New Jersey Phonograph Company by Victor Emerson and John Bieling  /  Russian Interference: Boris Morros and ARA Records (1944 - 1957)  /  Boston Talking Machine Company and the Little Wonder Phonograph (1910 - 1913)  /  Princess Records and the Sapphire Record & Talking Machine Company (1910 -  1911)  /  Forgotten American Record Producers: Earle W. Jones (1917 - 1955)   /  The Final Days of Edison Record Production, from the Original Edison Documents (October-December 1929)  /  Shutting Down the Recording Industry: James Caesar Petrillo and the AFM Recording Ban (1942 - 1944)  /  110 Years Ago at the Victor Talking Machine Company (Camden Studio Opening,and November 1907 Catalog)  /  The Chicago Premium-Scheme Labels Revisited (1904 - 1920)  /  Oddball Phonograph Patents (1904 - 1907)


 Notice to Our Book and CD Customers

MAINSPRING PRESS IS CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS FROM FRIDAY 12/22 THROUGH TUESDAY 12/26

Orders received on those days will ship beginning Wednesday 12/27

__________

Please note that we are discontinuing production of most books and CDs as we make the transition to online data delivery, in affiliation with the Discography of American Historical Recordings at the University of California-Santa Barbara. The following titles have recently sold out and are not being reprinted:

BOLIG: The Victor Black Label Discography, Vol. 2 and Vol. 4  /  BOLIG: The Victor Red Seal Discography, Vol. 2  /  CHAROSH: Berliner Gramophone Records in America  /  BRYANT & SUTTON: The Pathe-Perfect Discography, Vol. 1  /  SUTTON: Recording the 'Twenties  /  SUTTON: Recording the 'Thirties  /   VAN DER TUUK: Paramoun't Rise and Fall, 2nd Edition

Supplies of all all remaing titles are very limited (one carton or less in most cases), and none will be reprinted once current inventory is sold - order soon to avoid missing out.
 

 
Latest Release

Vintage Phonograph Advertisements 1895-1925

286 Total Pages / 280+ Illustrations
7" x 10" quality softcover


ISBN 978-0-9973333-2-9
  

 
Vintage Phonograph Advertisements,
1895-1925


From the Mainspring Press Archives
Compiled and annotated by Allan Sutton

Vintage Phonograph Advertising presents some of the most interesting phono-related ads of the acoustic era, covering products from the commonly encountered to the impossibly rare.

You’ll find the famous brands here - the Berliners, Edisons, Columbias, Victors, Zonophones, and the like - but also a fascinating array of long-forgotten (and now highly collectible) products, pictured in more than 280 professionally restored black-and-white ads, with informative captions.

Chapters include:

  • Phonographs for the Home
  • Phonograph-Music Box and Phonograph-Player Piano Combinations
  • Import and Export Phonographs
  • Coin-Operated and Other Automatic Phonographs
  • Special-Use Machines
  • Horns, Gadgets, and Attachments
  • Phonograph and Record Cabinets
  • Cylinder and Disc Records
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Mainspring Press Catalog / Summer 2017

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In Stock / Limited Quantities

Race Records and the American Recording Industry 1919-1945 - Allan Sutton

378 Pages / 208 Illustrations
6" x 9" Quality Softcover
ISBN 978-0-9973333-0-5
  

Race Records and the American Recording Industry, 1919-1945: An Illustrated History

By Allan Sutton
ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

From the author of Recording the 'Twenties and A Phonograph in Every Home, a fresh and unflinching look at the companies and individuals - black and white - who defied racial prejudice and entrenched business practices to make recordings for the long-overlooked African-American market.

Race Records and the American Recording Industry debunks the old tales and explores the full spectrum of race records - from jazz, blues, and gospel to comedy and novelty numbers, mainstream pop, the classics, and even the occasional country-music offering.

The primary focus is on the making, marketing, and distribution of race records prior to the late 1940s - exploring the ways in which those activities affected, and were affected by, conditions within the entertainment and recording industries as a whole - viewed within the context of changing social attitudes, economic conditions, and musical tastes.

Based on more than ten years’ research of primary-source materials, including period trade journals, news reports, interviews, and original record company files, Race Records is a meticulously documented and richly illustrated study.

View Table of Contents

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They fought the law, and the law won - For a time in the early 1900s, Leeds & Catlin, the American Record Company, and the International Record Company infringed patents and under-cut prices while managing to stay one step ahead of the Victor and Columbia attorneys. Eventually they were vanquished by the courts, but not before having produced many intriguing (and in some cases, now quite rare) records that are favorites with modern collectors. Their histories and recorded output are detailed in these unique new volumes. Save when you order both as a set.
  

296 total pages, illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-9-1

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Leeds & Catlin Records: A History and Discography

Data compiled by
William F. Bryant

Edited and annotated by
Allan Sutton

Leeds & Catlin Records covers all confirmed issues on Leeds' succession of flagship labels (Leeds, Imperial, Sun, and Peerless) as well as its numerous client and subsidiary brands. A provisional listing of Leeds & Catlin and Radium cylinders is also included.

In additional to the discographical data, this volumes features the most extensive history of the Leeds & Catlin Company published to date, richly illustrated and fully documented, with more than 100 primary-source citations.

Other features include capsule histories of all Leeds-produced labels, user's guide, and artist and title indexes.
 

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Leeds & Catlin, American Record Co. (Hawthorne Sheble & Prescott), Hawthorne & SHeble, International  Record Company

284 total pages, illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-8-4
 

LIMITED QUANTITIES / Order soon

American Record Company, Hawthorne & Sheble, and International Record Company

 

Histories and Discographies, 1904-1909

Data compiled by
William F. Bryant

Edited and annotated by
Allan Sutton

This special combined volume covers three rogue companies' complete confirmed output, including all known issues on their flagship, subsidiary, and client labels (domestic and foreign, even including the rare post-production Nipponophones). The Hawthorne & Sheble (Star) section also includes data on the source Columbia recordings that were renumbered for these records.

For ease of use, each section is fully self-contained and includes illustrated, documented histories; user's guides; and artist and title indexes.
 

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SAVE when you order both titles as a set:
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Edison Cylinder Records - Brown-Wax, Concert, Gold Moulded

398 total pages / Illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-7-7
  

Edison Two-Minute and Concert Cylinders: American Series, 1897-1912

By Allan Sutton

Edison Two-Minute and Concert Cylinders is the first study of these records to be compiled from surviving company documentation (factory plating ledgers, studio cash books, remake and deletion notices, catalogs, supplements, trade publications,etc.), along with visual and aural inspection of the original cylinders. All U.S.-series issues are covered, including Grand Opera.

This is the only guide that can help you distinguish the original Edison two-minute issues from the later remakes. Edison cylinders were often remade, sometimes with entirely different artists and accompaniments, but previously published guides list only the initial versions. This new volume shows all known versions - even indicating those initially supplied to Edison by Walcutt & Leeds - along with listing dates and distinguishing details for each iteration.

Edison Two-Minute and Concert Cylinders contains a substantial amount of data that have never before been compiled in a modern work, printed or online. These include the factory plating dates for brown-wax pantograph masters and early Gold Moulded masters, which provide valuable clues to the long-lost recording dates - as do the official listing dates, which are also included.

Other features include an illustrated, footnoted history of the Edison cylinder during the National Phonograph Company period, a detailed user's guide, and artist and title indexes.  
 

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Pathe; - Perfect 78 Records - Discography, Vol. 2

382 total pages
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-6-0

The Pathe-Perfect Discography, Volume 2

American Issues, 1922-1930:
Dance Series

By Allan Sutton, William R. Bryant,
& The Record Research Associates

The Pathe-Perfect Discography covers all recordings (including those from outside sources) that were issued jointly on American Pathe, Perfect, and related client and subsidiary labels, including the American Record Corporation and Cameo groups.

Special attention has been paid to the shared Pathe, Cameo and Plaza-American Record Corporation sessions, many details of which are badly scrambled in the well-known jazz and dance-band discographies. The Record Research group used synchronized turntables to determine identical, alternate, and unrelated takes; actual, assigned, and false master numbers; identification of artist pseudonymous, and other fine points. Their findings, which supplement or correct what appears in earlier discographies, are published here for the first time.

Every record is listed on its own line showing verbatim label credits and relevant markings in the wax from first-hand inspection of the original discs. Includes user’s guide and indexes.

Sorry, Volume I (Race, Classical, Vocal and Miscellaneous Series 1922-1930) has sold out.
 

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RCA Victor 78 Records: The Bluebird Discography, by John R. Bolig

442 total pages, illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-5-3
 

The Bluebird Discography: 1800 (8" / 10"),
B-4900, B-5000, and B-6000 Series

By John R. Bolig

The Bluebird Discography covers the first five years of domestic releases in RCA’s popular budget-priced line (1932-1936).

As with all titles in Mainspring's Victor Discography Series, data in The Bluebird Discography were compiled from the original Victor Talking Machine Co., RCA Victor, and Gramophone Company recording ledgers and production files. To preserve the integrity of this original company data, no undocumented, speculative, or anecdotal material appears.

This volume also includes details for all Victor source recordings (in the case of reissued material) as well as all authorized issues on corresponding subsidiary, client, and foreign labels in 78-rpm format, including Electradisk, Montgomery Ward, Sunrise, Timely Tunes, Regal-Zonophone, and His Master's Voice, among others. Pirated reissues are not included.

Other data include recording
and release dates, recording locations and studio names, master and take numbers, details of dubbed recordings, identification of pseudonymous or uncredited artists, composer and show/film credits, medley contents, and other fine details. With an illustrated history of Bluebird and the other RCA budget labels, user's guide, and artists and title indexes.

Browse other Victor Discography Series titles
 

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ARSC Award
for Excellence

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

ISBN 978-0-9915279-3-9
  

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 include names of master suppliers, all prior releases, master numbers and takes, recording and/or release dates of the original issues and (because most were issued under some highly imaginative 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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Discography of Victor Recordings - Special Labels

388 total pages, illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-0-8

The Victor Discography: Victor Special Labels (1928-1941)

By John R. Bolig
ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner


This fascinating new discography covers some of the scarcest and most collectible RCA and Victor products, compiled on-site from the original company recording and production files in the Sony archives (New York). Much of the data is published here for the first time and is not attainable from other print or online sources.

This important new addition to the Victor Discography Series covers:


 "Program Transcription" Long-Playing Records (with complete data on masters used for dubbing); Theater Records (Pict-Ur-Music,Special Effects, Theatre Records, and more);Picture Discs; Client and Budget Labels (Aurora, Electradisk, 4-H, Fox Movietone, Sunrise, Timely Tunes, and Yorkville); Advertising Records (specials for the Sale Department, RCA Radio Advertising Spots, and more.

From complete symphonies and grand operas to Western swing, hot dance bands, and the blues, this volume has something of interest to every collector of vintage RCA and Victor recordings.


Browse other titles in the Victor Discography Series
 

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Arto and Bell 78 Records - History & Discography

248 total pages, illustrated
6" x 9" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9915279-1-5
 

Bell and Arto Records: A History and Discography,1920-1928

By William R. Bryant & The Record Research Associates

Edited and annotated by Allan Sutton


In the 1950s, a group affiliated with Record Research magazine began using synchronized dual turntables to determine alternate takes and suspected sources of Arto and Bell recordings. Bill Bryant later inherited and largely completed the project, which disappeared into storage following his sudden death.

Finally recovered after many years, the group's detailed findings - many of which appear in print here for the first time - have been newly updated and annotated by Allan Sutton. The result is the first authoritative discography of these often-elusive records.

The illustrated introduction traces Arto's transition from purely a piano-roll brand to a promising new record label that played a key role in the early 1920s "blues craze"; Bell's early history as an Arto client label; its takeover by composer-arranger-conductor George Beynon after Arto's collapse and subsequent operation as an independent brand; the Scranton-ERL years; and its final incarnation as a Gennett client label.

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Pseudonyms on American Records 1892-1942 - Third Revised & Expanded Edition

496 total pages
6" x 9" hardcover
(Cloth library binding)


ISBN 978-0-9852004-9-7

LATEST EDITION - More than 6,200 aliases unmasked
on 17,000 recordings

Pseudonyms on American Records, 1892-1942 (Third Revised and Expanded Edition)

By Allan Sutton
ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

The labels sometimes lie. Since 1990, Pseudonyms on American Records has been helping dealers and advanced collectors avoid costly mistakes and spot the hidden treasures.

Now it's back, in a fully revised and substantially expanded edition that includes 62 additional pages of pseudonym listings, along with other new features. More than 6,200 aliases are unmasked on 17,000 cylinders, 78s, and transcriptions in all genres, from jazz and blues to opera - and now including American-produced ethnic and export records.

An important new feature is the addition of source citations for each entry - disclosing whether the identification was made from the original company files or other archival materials, correlation with corresponding non-pseudonymous issues, aural evidence, or reports from trusted secondary source.

Also included are a cross-reference listing by artist; recording artists’ birth, legal, or married names; historical introduction; and user’s guide.
  

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Emerson 78-rpm Records  - History and Discography
  

ARSC Award for Excellence  

Emerson Records : A History and Discography (Complete 10" / 12" Issues)

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 labels.

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

ISBN 978-0-9852004-5-9

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Columbia 78 Records - Recording Dates
  

Columbia Master Recording Dates:
The Electrical Era, 1925-1934

Number-Date Listings, Compiled from the Columbia files
 

Locations and exact recording dates for more than 15,000 master numbers, including the 140000, 150000, 980000, 990000, 236000, 250000, 255000, 265000, 351000, 365000, and 71000 series.

Note: This title is a quick-reference guide for the purpose of dating records, not a complete discography. It lists only master numbers (with take numbers for remakes), recording locations, and recording dates.

180 total pages
6" x 9" quality softcover
  

ISBN 978-0-9852004-7-3

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AMERICAN RECORD CORP. (ARC) RECORDING DATES
  

American Record Corporation Master Recording Dates, 1929-1938
  

Number-Date Listings, Compiled from the ARC files
 

Locations and exact recording dates for more than 21,000 master numbers appearing on Banner, Conqueror, Oriole, Perfect, and other ARC brands, as well as ARC-produced Brunswick (1932-1938) and Columbia (1934-1938) issues.

Note: This title is a quick-reference guide for the purpose of dating records, not a complete discography. It lists only master numbers (with take numbers for remakes), recording locations, and recording dates.

188 total pages
6" x 9" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9852004-3-5

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American Zonophone 78 Records - Discography - William R. Bryant

ARSC Certificate of Merit

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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 The Evolution of American Recording Series
  
"In the burgeoning field of teaching sound-recording history, Sutton's work will be a boon" - ARSC Journal



A Phonograph in Every Home - History of American Recording 1900-1919

 

A Phonograph In Every Home: The 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

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 The Victor Discography Series

 By John R. Bolig  ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

The following volumes have been discontinued: Victor Black Labels, Vol. 2 and Vol. 4 / Victor Red Seals, Vol. 2


 

 
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


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

CLOSE-OUT SPECIAL / SAVE $20
 

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The Victor Black Label Discography - Volume 3: 20000 & 21000 Series
 

424 total pages / Illustrated / 7" x 10" hardcover (cloth library binding) / ISBN 978-0-9825595-1-2

CLOSE-OUT SPECIAL / SAVE $20
 

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The Victor Red Seal Discography - Volume 1:
Single-Sided Issues, 1903-1924

 
CLOSE-OUT SPECIAL / SAVE $20

448 total pages / Illustrated / 7" x 10" hardcover (cloth library binding) / ISBN 0-9671819-8-4
 

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  The American Cylinder Record Index Series
 

  
  Indestructible & U-S Everlasting Cylinders - History and Cylinderography
  

 
LIMITED QUANTITIES / Order Soon

Indestructible and U-S Everlasting Cylinders: An Illustrated History and Cylinderography


By Kurt Nauck & Allan Sutton

 
288 total pages / 50 illustrations (24 pages in color)
6" x 9" hardcover with dust-jacket

ISBN 978-0-9825595-7-4

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Edison Amberol Cylinders - Cylinder Records 1908-1913

ARSC Certificate of Merit  
  
Edison Amberol Cylinders: Complete American and Foreign Issues, 1908-1913
  

Compiled from the Edison company files
by
Allan Sutton

 

256 total pages / Illustrated
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9852004-4-2

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Edison Blue Amberol Cylinders - Complete Discography
  

Revised and Expanded Edition

Edison Blue Amberol Cylinders: Complete American, Foreign, and Special-Use Issues, 1912-1929

Compiled from the Edison company files
by
Allan Sutton


448 total pages / Illustrated
7" x 10" hardcover (cloth library binding)

ISBN 978-0-9822595-0-5

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LITTLE WONDER AND BUBBLE BOOK 78 RECORDS - HISTORY & DISCOGRAPHY
  

Little Wonder Records and Bubble Books:
An Illustrated History and Discography

By Tim Brooks with Merle Sprinzen

  

232 total pages / 50 illustrations 
7" x 10" quality softcover

ISBN 978-0-9825595-9-8

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