The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Interesting day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:22 pm
Posts: 1035
Earlier this summer I was contacted by a gentleman who had heard that I was interested in collecting early phonographs and records. He mentioned that he had "a bunch of those cylinders up in my attic...and I do mean a BUNCH. I may be interested in selling some if you're interested." I asked if I could make the trip out to his place sometime to have a look. He said "Sure" and a day or two later I made the trip.

When I arrived I noticed that his garage door was open and there on the floor of the garage were many large covered boxes each labelled with "#1", "#2", etc. He asked me to sit down in a folding chair inside the garage with him to chat a bit before we did anything else. He told me that his great uncle was a collector of all sorts of interesting items and among the items in his collection was this fairly large collection of cylinder records that he (this man's great uncle) had found in a warehouse back in the early 1960's. When the great uncle passed away some ten years ago he left the collection of cylinders as well as an Edison cylinder phonograph to the man I was sitting with (which he did not want to sell). He said, "I've had these boxes of cylinders here (pointing at the boxes in front of us) sitting up in my attic for the past ten years and I just don't play them and probably never will. I'm getting pretty old now and when I heard that you might be interested in old cylinder records I thought I'd call you. They're just taking up space in my attic and I have kept out a few that I sometimes like to play on Edison phonograph from my great uncle. I'm not going to just give them away though. I'd like you to look through them a little bit and if there are some of interest to you, well, you can tell me what you would pay for them."

I thanked him and knelt down on the garage floor and began looking through a few of the cylinders on the top row of a couple of boxes. I quickly realized that many of these were Blue Amberols in excellent condition. After about 5 minutes I stood up and asked if he would sell all of the boxes of cylinders. He looked startled and asked "You really want all of these? As I recall, there are some cylinders in those boxes that are scratched and some are not completely round like they got squashed a little and like that. I want to also tell you that there are a number of duplicate cylinders in those boxes. You REALLY want those TOO?" I said sure and he asked for an offer. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and made him a generous offer in spite of the fact that I'd only seen a small fraction of what was there. He looked startled once again after hearing my offer and happily accepted. He followed with "Since you've been fair with me you can also have these additional cylinders that I have in the other room. I'll be right back."

When he returned I noticed that one of the boxes had the number "45" circled on the cover of the box and the other box had a number "14" circled on the cover of the box. He said, "This box here (pointing at the one with the "45" on it) has forty five (!!!!) cylinders of Yelping Hound Blues by the Louisiana Five and this other box has fourteen cylinders of Swanee. As I said before I'm sure you'll find duplicates of a number of other cylinders in those boxes."

I was stunned.

I opened the box with the circled "45" and sure enough, inside were rows and rows of Yelping Hound Blues by Louisiana Five. I've never seen that many excellent duplicate copies of cylinders. I peeked inside the box with the "14" circled and all were indeed Swanee on Blue Amberol. All in nice condition. I thanked him for his gracious gesture of selling me the cylinders and loaded my car with all the boxes. After I returned home I took a picture of the Swanee cylinders (seen below) as they were easiest to picture. If you're wondering why there are only 13 cylinders in the picture it's because I took one in the house to play it. It was a day I'll always remember. I've only had a chance to go through a couple of the boxes as of this writing.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2353
Great story, Doug! One of the reasons I like this hobby is stories like that. You never hear quite the same story twice! Fascinating to me that someone had all those duplicates, in excellent condition, and no boxes!

I'd be curious to know if the massive duplicates are all the same take and mold number. Can't wait to hear what other goodies you might find!


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3844
Location: Albany NY
I have the diamond disc of that - almostgreat. Al Bernard sells the song.....and then the other guy starts in yodeling. You can sense Edison calling him in because he thinks the number is too jazzy. The same thing happens with "The Moon Shines On The Moonshine"


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:43 pm
Posts: 691
If you decide to sell any of the "Swanee" cylinders, I would be interested. Please keep me in mind.
Thanks
John


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:15 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:02 pm
Posts: 879
Location: Melbourne, FL
Well, If I need 3988 Swanee by Al Benard... I know where to come.... :lol:

:o)

Tony K.

Edison Collector/Restorer


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