Talk:Edison Records

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I favor merging Diamond Discs into this article MakeChooChooGoNow 23:08, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Addition 2 August 2007[edit]

I reverted the edit by user: as it has serious formatting problems, but moved the text here to be appropriately edited and incorporated into the article. -- Infrogmation 11:28, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

This section written by Shawn Borri, President of the Edison Phonograph Works and the North American Phonograph Company.[edit]

The first company in commercial sound recording. [1]

This information can be further researched at the Edison Papers Project.[2]

National Phonograph Company VS Columbia Phonograph Company

Case 1076,and 1108. 

Jonas Aylsworth, the man who developed the formula for Edison records, began making the first batches of cylinder waxes for the perfected phonograph, from 1887-mid 1888, natural waxes were used such as stearic,beewax and Ceresine. The first solid Edison wax cylinder records, although somewhat soft, held together pretty well, with no effects to the surface. Edison Record composition number 871 was used Prior to December 1888, and the regular formula used, however after the natural waxes and was an aluminum based wax, much like the later waxes, except no sterate of soda, or parrifine, ceresine, or other tempering agent added. It was very hard and did not cut well, and wore out recording cutters and shaving knives quickly. So further experimentation led to the idea that it needed to be softened to cut better, so Aylsworth developed Edison formula number 957 in December of 1888 it used olaic acid as a softening agent. 957 was the regular fomula used at Edison Phonograph Works from December 1888 till May 30th of 1889, and known as "Regualr Wax" . It was found out that these records began to sweat in the heat of the summer, and had to be recalled. Olate of Soda was formed and was the cause of the sweating effect, of the olate coming to the surface, being drawn out by moisture in the air. So more experimets had to be done, and Jonas Aylsworth had visions of losing his job. Aylsworth recalls these cylinders as being "dull and etched looking." Next came composition 1029, This was the classic "Edison Brown Wax Formula and used with little variations up till the advent of black moulded wax, and up to 1908 for recording blanks, for home recording outfits. The only Changes made, through the years,were the aluminum elements from powder to sheet aluminum and without acetic acid. Fomula 1029 used stearic acid,sodium stearate,aluminum stearate and ceresine as the tempering agent.

November 1894, Columbia hires Purchasing agent for Edison Phonograph

Works- John C English.

He discloses a formula based on items he purchased, sells the secret

to Columbia for $500.00. It was a "Gold Brick" and did not work. (The materials were correct, but not manipulated properly, so acetic acid spoiled the wax.) McDonald made and sold Columbia Blanks based on the English formula, starting in April 12th,1895- By may 26, 1895 Mc Donald writes to Melzer (who is working on the good formula for Columbia) that the English formula started to sweat and the records spoiled.

It is important to note that Columbia Phonograph Company was part of

the Alliance of the North American Phonograph Company, and relied on blanks from Thomas A Edison's Edison Phonograph Works. Columbia had purchased 70,000 blanks from Edison Phonograph Works, from February 1889-November 1894. 1894-95 was a tough time as Columbia had gone independent due to the breakup of the North American Phonograph Company in August 1894, note that Edison still sold recording blanks, for awhile after the breakup. Columbia knew it would be cut off from Edison Phonograph Works and started doing experiments and research on it's own.

A man named Dodge, who worked on formulas (In House as Melzer was

working from his Indiana location, Columbia needed immediate blanks.) for Columbia states that by may 1894, That the records " had a bluish white encrustation that appeared on the surface, resembling mold." These were a stearic, castile soap and lead oxide compound, tempered with white ozokerite. Other blanks were made of refuse, broken records of Edison Phonograph Works blanks from the United States Phonograph Company, a former branch of North American.

September 1894. Mc Donald puts and ad in the American Soap makers

journal for "A practical Man who can work with hard soaps, not for washing purposes" The advertisement is answered by Adolf Melzer of Evansville Indiana, who owns a soap making business. Melzer works on the formula and it is suitable for record making blanks, very similar to Edison's formula. Melzer works from September 1894-December 3rd 1894 it is ready for use by Columbia, it is not shipped until December 31st. Columbia Balks at the price of the research of $500.00. Melzer upset by a letter from Mc Donald states that "I would gladly pay $500.00 for solutions to our own soap making problems", and instead, asks for a nice Graphophone for his parlor. It is a fateful turn, as for a Graphophone made of un-salable parts, a base for the fortune, of what is to become Columbia Records is based. A sample of records and formula were sent to Columbia by Adams Express from Melzer and arrived on January 3rd 1895. January 18, 1895 Mc Donald makes the first batch of Melzer based records. He does not do so well, as he is not a chemist. and writes Melzer back that he did not do well on his first attempt. Melzer arrived at the Columbia Bridgeport Facility and stayed from Feb 9th-19th, 1895 to help fix problems. Things were somewhat better,however they had problems with pinholes in the blanks, and so Melzer had to come back to fix this matter from July, 19th-30th of 1895. The problem was purely mechanical, the pots they were using were like a water pitcher, and the foamy top wax, went in the mold and had bubbles in it, a teapot type pouring pot was used and the problem was solved. A man named Fargo was then in charge of making the Melzer composition for Columbia records.

Someone moved a block of text from the main page to here. The info above sounds plausible, but it needs to be referenced to sources(beyond someone's personal knowledge). The writer mentioned the Edison Papers Project, but there is a huge volume of documents preserved by the Edison Company, and it is all collected into volumes and series. It is necessary to add inline cites or to use the "notes format" where cites are to notes and these in turn refer to an alphabetical list of references. The point of this is to allow the next researcher to verify that the article accurately reflects what the reliable source says. The claim that someone today is operating the same phonograph company as Edison needs some proof, because various Edison phonograph operations went bankrupt and ceased operations at various times. Edison 14:20, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Original research problem[edit]

Much of the present article lacks references to published sources which satisfy the Wikipedia standards for verifiability. The edit [1] in the edit comment refers to an interview, presumably by the editor who added it, with "Shawn Borri, on December 6, 2006." This is apparently a present-day person, who was certainly not there when Edison was developing the materials for his records. This runs afoul of the Wikipedia policy against original research. If there is no published source, such as the Edison papers, trade journals of the 19th century, or other publications by independent and reliable sources, then this material should be removed. Edison (talk) 02:52, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


formulated from a combination of 60% ceresin wax, 25% stearic acid, and 25% beeswax is 110%. RJFJR (talk) 19:03, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Then something must be wrong. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:36, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
But which is wrong? RJFJR (talk) 14:24, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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