For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

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donniej
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For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by donniej »

Dear friends;
Skip the first paragraph if you'd simply like to get to the point :D

Many of you know the intense amount of research and development I've put into recreating rare, early and fun discs... and this piece is the absolute pinnacle of my work. This is the work which the great Emile himself couldn't accomplish, with this very recording. Many hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars went into developing this process, (almost) literally pulling the disc out of thin air. The amount of tooling required fills a small garage and forced me to learn photo-editing, black and white film photography and 130 years of lithography. I literally recreated all of these technologies, starting at the absolute beginning. I can now make a disc from an image, but it cost me, a lot. To make back at least my tooling costs, this disc will be sold at a premium, and only 25 copies of this limited edition disc will be made.

Now to the details. This is an 1889 Berliner, which is 21cm (8-¼"), and plays at ~50rpm. It contains the voice of Emile Berliner discussing (mostly in German) how this disc is being recorded to that it can be taken into town and used as a printing plate, the goal of which is to have the paper copies etched into new metal discs. If the technology was successful it would have enabled Berliner to mass produce discs very easily and would have reduced shipping costs. It would take 132 years for it to actually be accomplished. The only surviving evidence of this experiment is one paper-pressing, in Emile Berliner's papers, housed at the Library of Congress. It is from that image that I developed the technologies to etch this disc back into the physical realm. The groove width is probably within a few microns of the original paper-pressing.

25 copies will be sold. They will be double-sided, with the text in the picture on the reverse. They'll also be nickel coated, to give them a zinc appearance that does not tarnish. Also included will be a printed transcript of Berliner's words (transcribed and translated by Patrick Feaster, Norman Bruderhofer and Stephan Puille).
The disc in the image is a previous attempt, the release version (which has already been etched) does not have the Berliner style "pickle bumps". The price per copy will be announced this week.

Thank you.
Attachments
etch.jpg

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TinfoilPhono
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by TinfoilPhono »

That is a very cool project!

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Inigo
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by Inigo »

Nice!
And when will come out the celluloid cylinders taken from León Scott's phonoautographs? :)
Inigo

donniej
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by donniej »

Inigo wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:54 pm Nice!
And when will come out the celluloid cylinders taken from León Scott's phonoautographs? :)
At this point, all kind of cool stuff is about to become possible!

gunnarthefeisty
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by gunnarthefeisty »

donniej wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:11 pm
Inigo wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:54 pm Nice!
And when will come out the celluloid cylinders taken from León Scott's phonoautographs? :)
At this point, all kind of cool stuff is about to become possible!
I have to ask- is there much surface noise in the recording?

donniej
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by donniej »

gunnarthefeisty wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:38 pm I have to ask- is there much surface noise in the recording?

Is it a Berliner? :)
Below is a link to the audio I transferred from the first copy I made (with some minor post-processing). The release version is definitely a better etching, this first attempt was a direct copy of the paper image, which was backwards, which I also assumed (incorrectly) to be a 5” disc. I also have a raw transfer, if anyone would like a copy.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wXc-GU ... sp=sharing

gunnarthefeisty
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by gunnarthefeisty »

donniej wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:31 pm
gunnarthefeisty wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:38 pm I have to ask- is there much surface noise in the recording?

Is it a Berliner? :)
Below is a link to the audio I transferred from the first copy I made (with some minor post-processing). The release version is definitely a better etching, this first attempt was a direct copy of the paper image, which was backwards, which I also assumed (incorrectly) to be a 5” disc. I also have a raw transfer, if anyone would like a copy.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wXc-GU ... sp=sharing
still incredibly clear for being, well, transferred from PAPER!

AllenKoe
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by AllenKoe »

Ray Wile's article on "Etching the Human Voice" (ARSC: Spring 1990) is very helpful in regard to the background of Berliner's inventive work.

Here is a snippet: "A zinc disc made at about this time was introduced into a court case in 1914, American
Graphophone Company versus Gimbel Brothers, and carried a date of October 25,
1887 at the center. It probably represented the earliest surviving Berliner disc record.
It was [later] presented to RCA by Joseph Sanders. (Footnote 18).

My initial research in PHP (1990-1991) indicates that this disc 'disappeared' in the 1960s from an RCA Exhibit. I don't recall the title.

But there is even an earlier Berliner recording, on a copper "square" I believe, from July 26. 1887, which can be found at the Smithsonian.
I presume that is the earliest such artifact. If I recall, it was also used as an illustration on a book cover years ago.

Allen

Starkton
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Re: For Sale: 21cm 1889 Berliner "Schalldruck" - Inquire

Post by Starkton »

[quote=AllenKoe post_id=302958 time=1634312648 user_id=918]
I don't recall the title.
[/quote]

The recording is unknown. The correspondence between Sanders and RCA only indicates that the record bears Emile's signature, Washington (certainly as the recording location), and the date October 25, 1887.

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