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 Post subject: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Victor IV
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A new blank with authentic formula and spiral core!
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1402
Location: 615 1/2 South Main Street Princeton IL 61356.
As I look over the internet, and Ebay I am seeing more and more ORIGINAL brown wax cylinders being destroyed at lightning speed!!! How can we stop it????? Again everyone is gong to say the recording is undecipherable, the record is ruined . Maybe now we can't decipher it well, but in the future we will be able to. We have some smart people we need a program that makes an analysis of the tonal makeup, and looks for musical patters, and frequencies, and can decipher between random noise and harmonic frequencies, it then fills in the missing notes and frequencies, based on a database of known music, (you could have a comparison, of hundreds of thousands of sheet music, to match the patterns with.) Another thing about cylinders, that the notes are spaced out pretty far. I don't know how many times, I have recorded (on my own new blanks) and thought I shaved it, no visible signs of a recording, and go to record, and all of a sudden you hear the previous recording, even if half of the cylinder is shaved away, and you can still understand it. I have cleaned cylinders that were pretty moldy, and before cleaning you could not hear anything, then after cleaning enough was left in the grooves to be able to discern what it was, and i am talking really damaged cylinders, that had caked on white mold, that was like powder, and when you clean it off, it drips very dirty brown water off the cylinder, and the mold would be at least 5 thousandths thick! Below is one such cylinder, a Columbia blank, with a home recording of a female duet. (historically this is more interesting than a commercial cylinder, I know that it is NOT From a "collector's" point of view, however a historian has much more appreciation and it would be priceless as an artifact of a link to history. I wish I had a before photo, the whole cylinder was covered in the thick, paste like mold. I will have to put this cylinder on my youtube channel. I also should put some cylinder cleaning videos, to help steer people from shaving more of them. Until 1896, a little over two million cylinders were made up to that point, that is not many to start with!


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File comment: Cleaned brown wax Columbia made blank with female duet home recording.
FILE0485.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:46 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:41 pm
Posts: 1792
Location: Linden, NJ 07036
Well I guess it me your talking about as I’m the only one listing Shaved Cylinders on eBay and on the Yankee Trader. I have said this before, I only shave cylinders that are covered in heavy mold and are not playable. I have cleaned hundreds of brown wax cylinders with Labtone and deionized water over the years and either keep or sell those that are playable. I’ve probably bought between 3000 and 4000 brown Wax Cylinders and of that maybe 10% have been Shaved. I believe I’m doing the right thing, but also understand your concerns.

Rich Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:08 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 699
Location: Italy
I understand your concerns, but you have to accustom to the fact that our society has more, much more "information" than it is able/willing to preserve for the future. An anonymous barely audible singing duet might be fun to listen to for a while, but there is no sound archive that would be glad to accept it and store it, and I know no historician willing to write a relevant paper about it.

None of us is being helped with public funds in order to store our records/cylinders properly, and we all face space problems at home and have to decide what shall be kept and what shall be let go. Heavily molded cylinders quite obviously have bottom priority. I personally have at home dozens and dozens of records that I have no reason / space to keep and would gladly give to others for free, but sound archives would not even answer the phone should I call them, and whatever I do I can't find any other collector that would take them. I am keeping them as long as I can, but in case of need of space / house moving / etc I will dump them with regret but no tears. As already said, I was not appointed and funded by the State as the official sound preserver for the future society.

I am persuaded that most of us here are already doing an amazing work - totally unfunded, and in our free time - of sound preserving and disclosure for the whole society, and none of us is being even thanked for doing that, or any of our hands being shaken. Perhaps instilling in others a feeling of guiltiness because they dispose of / recycle obviously unlistenable cylinders is really pushing this hobby too far.


Last edited by Marco Gilardetti on Wed May 09, 2018 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:13 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
Posts: 618
Location: United Kingdom
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
Perhaps instilling in others a feeling of guiltiness because they dispose of / recycle obviously unlistenable cylinders is really pushing this hobby too far.


Well put, Marco. I have been criticised for dumping classical 78s, or breaking them up them for mixing adhesive on. "Oh, that's a sin", they scream, "You are destroying history". But when I ask if they would like to take a couple of hundred free of charge, they come up with all sorts of excuses not to accept the offer!


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 8:45 am 
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Auxetophone
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:01 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Ferndale, MI
Nice records are often hard enough to sell, let alone moldy ones. This comes up again and again in different forms. Let’s say we come across something as part of a lot for example, be it a derelict machine or a box of heavily molded brown wax. If a reasonable effort is made to get rid of it as-is (and there are usually no takers) I don’t personally feel obligated to store it until I die, or spend even more of my money to find it a new home. There are so many more common machines out there than people who want them, even in good shape! I’d venture to guess that there are far, far fewer people who want to store moldy records in their house. It’s impossible to preserve history in its entirety. We make our best effort to preserve the best and most important bits, but a duet of no historical or musical significance is likely very low on the list of what few presevationists are out there.

“You can’t save everything”
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:38 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm
Posts: 249
Brown wax cylinder are not the only media at risk,I once bought some ET (Electrical Transcriptions) discs from a guy and he had hundreds more I told him I would come back to get more ....but he discovered the core was Aluminum on many of them
and sold them for their scrap metal value!! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Victor IV
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A new blank with authentic formula and spiral core!
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1402
Location: 615 1/2 South Main Street Princeton IL 61356.
Still not justified!!! When I was starting in the cylinder recording in the late 1980's early 1990's I did several stupid things, such as shave off brown wax cylinders, and play the wrong record on the wrong machine, however I learned that was wrong and stopped. Then others just go faster with gleeful abandon! Those classical 78s, usually were made during the era of mass production. Brown wax cylinders are different. Yes some were made from a master cylinder, panto-graphed, tube copied, yes some were made from moulded sub masters. Many though were made by the round, where from 2-14 records were recorded at a time, and each performance of it, has little nuances that make it different. However each blank had to be made individually, and cut. In the United States by 1902 most companies had switched to a moulded system that could make as many cylinders in a few months as it took several years to make by the cut, direct recorded method. Not very much at all dates from 1889, as Aylsworth Edison formula 957 decomposed by May of that year. If you ever find a brown wax blank with a string core, or a wrapped cotton core (not to be confused with the later cloth used in Ediphone blanks.) you would really have something, as most of them were scrapped after they were made, and by July or so 1889, the familiar spiral core, channeled rim, Edison blank came into fruition. I have enclosed below from court testimony an idea of blank production by Edison from 1889-1896. It is only 1,200,000 blanks. 70,000 of those blanks went to Columbia Phonograph Company. I would like an account of blank production from 1896-1902, when sales were stronger due to actually selling phonographs instead of leasing, we can guess to add maybe 7,0000,000 more at the least 8,200,000. Ok so that may seem like a lot, but lets say that 30% of them survive (I am probably being liberal here) That would be less than 3,000,000 brown wax, it is probably less than that. I know that this response won't be read but I am posting it, because it is important. It is also sad that nobody is piping up to support what I am saying here. I am not scared to post what I think is right. We have to do what is right.


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File comment: This is an accounting of how many brown wax Edison blanks that were made from February 1889-october 1896
el0494.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 7:19 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:41 pm
Posts: 1792
Location: Linden, NJ 07036
I’ve read your entire post and although I understand what your saying I must disagree with you. I know that the cylinders I shave have no historical value or any other type of value. They have all been tested to see is there is any usable content on them before shaving. We do not know the total number of brown wax cylinders produced but it seems there are a lot of them still out there. I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands in private collections and places like the UCSB.

A question for you. Why haven’t you devoted your time and experience to the preservation of Brown Wax Cylinders rather than trying to reinvent the wheel making new blanks?

Rich Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 7:55 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:52 pm
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edisonphonoworks wrote:
( It is also sad that nobody is piping up to support what I am saying here. I am not scared to post what I think is right. We have to do what is right.


I can dig what your saying, EPW ! Got to have a least some hell-bent preservationists in any collecting field. We know not what the future may bring regarding being able to salvage some things that appear lost today. We've learned that in the past. But I don't actively collect brown wax cylinders, so I can't speak for my own practices, nor am I on behalf of others who do collect them.


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 Post subject: Re: Brown Wax cylinders More destroyed now than ever!
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Victor II
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 391
Location: South Carolina
Allow me to join the ranks of the Hell Bent Preservationists!

Dude, seriously...I love classical records! The performances on the "mass production" classical records are lightyears ahead of the later period stuff we find on CD and vinyl. The only problem with them is that I haven't enough!


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