Disc Record Oddities
Prototypes and special-use discs at the Edison
National Historic Site, West Orange, New Jersey
| The specimens shown
here are among the many unusual discs held by the Edison National
Historic Site. Full discographic details of the Slogan Machine and
Selectatune recordings will be found in Ray Wile's Edison
1910 Experimental Diamond Disc
Edison engineers recorded numerous 10- and 12-inch masters in preparation
for the 1912 launch of the Diamond Disc. Some top operatic talent
was employed in New York, London, and other locations.
Unfortunately, virtually none of the 1910-11
masters were ever released; however, test pressings of many survive,
some of which are now available on CDs. This example, by Marie Delna,
was recorded on March 15, 1910.
Slogan Machine Reproducing Record
The Slogan Reproducing Machine was intended
to play a short message when a customer made a vending-machine purchase.
The 24-rpm discs had very widely spaced grooves, at only 17 turns
per inch (the Diamond Disc groove was 150 turns per inch).
Numerous slogan recordings were made during
1928–29, many of them by Edward Meeker, who repeatedly spoke
such lines as "You will enjoy Tom's Toasted Peanuts" and
"The little piggy thanks you."
The 1929 Selectatune masters, numbered in
the Experimental series, were 12" vertically cut discs recorded
at 30 rpm, with groove spacing of 300 turns per inch. A single side
could contain up to ten individual selections. The masters were
electrically recorded and contained dance selections by bands unnamed
in the files.
The discs apparently were intended for use
in a jukebox-type machine. The prototype shown here survives at
ENHS, but the records were never put into commercial production.
Needle Type Record with Brunswick Label
No explanation is known for this 1929 Edison
Needle Type (lateral-cut) disc bearing a blank Brunswick label.
In October 1929, Walter Miller
attempted to sell off Edison Needle Type masters to other companies
(for details, see Discontinuing
the Record Business). Perhaps this was a sample made by or for
Brunswick in anticipation of their purchasing some Edison masters
— which, however, did not occur.
Site © 2008 by MAINSPRING PRESS, LLC. Article
and restored scans © 2008 by Allan Sutton
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