Edison Records was one of the earliest record labels which pioneered sound recording and reproduction and was an important player in the early recording industry. The first phonograph cylinders were manufactured in 1888, followed by Edison's foundation of the Edison Phonograph Company in the same year; the recorded wax cylinders replaced by Blue Amberol cylinders, vertical-cut Diamond Discs, were manufactured by Edison's National Phonograph Company from 1896 on, reorganized as Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1911. Until 1910 the recordings did not carry the names of the artists; the company began to lag behind its rivals in the 1920s, both technically and in the popularity of its artists, halted production of recordings in 1929. Thomas A. Edison invented the phonograph, the first device for recording and playing back sound, in 1877. After patenting the invention and benefiting from the publicity and acclaim it received and his laboratory turned their attention to the commercial development of electric lighting, playing no further role in the development of the phonograph for nearly a decade.
Edison's original phonograph recorded on sheets of tinfoil and was little more than a crude curiosity, although one that fascinated much of the public. These earliest phonographs were sold to entrepreneurs who made a living out of traveling around the country giving "educational" lectures in hired halls or otherwise demonstrating the device to audiences for a fee; the tinfoil phonograph was not fit for any real practical use and public interest soon waned. In 1887, Edison turned his attention back to improving the phonograph cylinder; the following year, the Edison company debuted the Perfected Phonograph. Edison introduced wax cylinders 4 1⁄4 inches long and 2 1⁄4 inches in external diameter, which became the industry standard, they had a maximum playing time of about 3 minutes at 120 RPM, but around the turn of the century the standard speed was increased to 160 RPM to improve clarity and volume, reducing the maximum to about 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Several experimental wax cylinder recordings of music and speech made in 1888 still exist.
The wax entertainment cylinder made its commercial debut in 1889. At first, the only customers were entrepreneurs who installed nickel-in-the-slot phonographs in amusement arcades and other public places. At that time, a phonograph cost the equivalent of several months' wages for the average worker and was driven by an electric motor powered by hazardous, high-maintenance wet cell batteries. After more affordable spring-motor-driven phonographs designed for home use were introduced in 1895, the industry of producing recorded entertainment cylinders for sale to the general public began in earnest. Blank records were an important part of the business early on. Most phonographs could be fitted with attachments for the users to make their own recordings. One important early use, in line with the original term for a phonograph as a "talking machine", was in business for recording dictation. Attachments were added to facilitate starting and skipping back the recording for dictation and playback by stenographers.
The business phonograph evolved into a separate device from the home entertainment phonograph. Edison's brand of business phonograph was called The Ediphone. Edison holds the achievement of being one of the first companies to record the first African-American quartet to record: the Unique Quartet. A notable technological triumph of the Edison Laboratories was devising a method to mass-produce pre-recorded phonograph cylinders in molds; this was done by using slightly tapered cylinders and molding in a material that contracted as it set. To Edison's disappointment the commercial potential of this process was not realized for some years. Most of the regional Edison distributors were able to fill the small early market for recordings by mechanical duplication of a few dozen cylinders at a time. Molded cylinders did not become a significant force in the marketplace until the end of the 1890s, when molding was slow and was used only to create pantograph masters. Before using metal cylinders though Edison used paraffin paper.
Mass-producing cylinders at the Edison recording studio in New Jersey ended the local Edison retailers early practice of producing recordings in small numbers for regional markets, helped concentrate the USA recording industry in the New York City – New Jersey area the headquarters of the nation's Tin Pan Alley printed music industry. In 1902, Edison's National Phonograph Company introduced Edison Gold Moulded Records, cylinder records of improved hard black wax, capable of being played hundreds of times before wearing out; these new records were under the working title of "Edison Hi-Speed Extra Loud Moulded Records", running at the speed of 160 RPM instead of the usual speed of 144 RPM or 120 RPM. Until ca. 1898, Edison's speed was 125 RPM. In 1908, Edison introduced a new line of cylinders playing 4 rather than 2 minutes of music on the same sized record, achieved by shrinking the grooves and spacing them twice as close together. New machines were sold to play these records, as were attachments for modifying existing Edison phonographs.
In November 1912, the new Blue Amberol Records, made out of a type of smooth, hard plastic similar to celluloid invented by Edison labs, were introduced for public sale. The first release was number 1501, a performance of the Rossini's overture to his opera Semiramide, performed by the American Standard Orchestra; the plastic Blue Amberol rec
Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker and high-gloss varnish. Shellac was once used in electrical applications as it possesses good insulation qualities and it seals out moisture. Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards. From the time it replaced oil and wax finishes in the 19th century, shellac was one of the dominant wood finishes in the western world until it was replaced by nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920s and 1930s. Shellac comes from shell and lac, a calque of French laque en écailles, "lac in thin pieces" gomme-laque, "gum lac". Most European languages have borrowed the word for the substance from English or from the German equivalent Schellack.
Shellac is scraped from the bark of the trees where the female lac bug, Kerria lacca, secretes it to form a tunnel-like tube as it traverses the branches of the tree. Though these tunnels are sometimes referred to as "cocoons", they are not cocoons in the entomological sense; this insect is in the same superfamily as the insect. The insects suck the sap of the tree and excrete "sticklac" constantly; the least coloured shellac is produced. The number of lac bugs required to produce 1 kilogram of shellac has variously been estimated as 50,000, 200,000, or 300,000; the root word lakh is a unit in Indian numbering system for 100,000 and refers to the huge numbers of insects that swarm on host trees, up to 150 per square inch. The raw shellac, which contains bark shavings and lac bugs removed during scraping, is placed in canvas tubes and heated over a fire; this causes the shellac to liquefy, it seeps out of the canvas, leaving the bark and bugs behind. The thick, sticky shellac is dried into a flat sheet and broken into flakes, or dried into "buttons" bagged and sold.
The end-user crushes it into a fine powder and mixes it with ethyl alcohol before use, to dissolve the flakes and make liquid shellac. Liquid shellac has a limited shelf life. Liquid shellac sold in hardware stores is marked with the production date, so the consumer can know whether the shellac inside is still good; some manufacturers have ceased labeling shellac with the production date, but the production date may be discernible from the production lot code. Alternatively, old shellac may be tested to see if it is still usable: a few drops on glass should dry to a hard surface. Shellac that remains tacky for a long time is no longer usable. Storage life depends on peak temperature, so refrigeration extends shelf life; the thickness of shellac is measured by the unit "pound cut", referring to the amount of shellac flakes dissolved in a gallon of denatured alcohol. For example: a 1-lb. Cut of shellac is the strength obtained by dissolving one pound of shellac flakes in a gallon of alcohol. Most pre-mixed commercial preparations come at a 3-lb.
Cut. Multiple thin layers of shellac produce a better end result than a few thick layers. Thick layers of shellac do not adhere to the substrate or to each other well, thus can peel off with relative ease. Shellac dries to a high-gloss sheen. For applications where a flatter sheen is desired, products containing amorphous silica, such as "Shellac Flat", may be added to the dissolved shellac. Shellac contains a small amount of wax, which comes from the lac bug. In some preparations, this wax is removed; this is done for applications where the shellac will be coated with something else, so the topcoat will adhere. Waxy shellac appears dries clear. Shellac comes in many warm colours, ranging from a light blonde to a dark brown, with many varieties of brown, yellow and red in between; the colour is influenced by the sap of the tree the lac bug is living by the time of harvest. The most sold shellac is called "orange shellac", was used extensively as a combination stain and protectant for wood panelling and cabinetry in the 20th century.
Shellac was once common anywhere paints or varnishes were sold. However and more abrasion- and chemical-resistant finishes, such as polyurethane, have completely replaced it in decorative residential wood finishing such as hardwood floors, wooden wainscoting plank panelling, kitchen cabinets; these alternative products, must be applied over a stain if the user wants the wood to be coloured. "Wax over shellac" is regarded as a beautiful, if fragile, finish for hardwood floors. Luthiers still use shellac to French polish fine acoustic stringed instruments, but it has been replaced by synthetic plastic lacquers and varnishes in many workshops high-volume prod
A stylus, plural styli or styluses, is a writing utensil or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example, in pottery. It can be a computer accessory, used to assist in navigating or providing more precision when using touchscreens, it refers to a narrow elongated staff, similar to a modern ballpoint pen. Many styluses are curved to be held more easily. Another used writing tool is the stylus used by blind users in conjunction with the slate for punching out the dots in Braille. Styluses were first used by the ancient Mesopotamians in order to write in cuneiform, they were made of reeds and had a curved trapezoidal section. Egyptians and the Minoans of Crete made styluses in various materials: reeds that grew on the sides of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and in marshes and down to Egypt where the Egyptians used styluses from sliced reeds with sharp points. Cuneiform was based on the "wedge-shaped" mark that the end of a cut reed made when pushed into a clay tablet; the linear writings of Crete in the first half of the second millennium BC which were made on clay tablets that were left to dry in the sun until they became "leather" hard before being incised by the stylus.
The linear nature of the writing was dictated by the use of the stylus. In Western Europe styluses were used until the late Middle Ages. For learning purposes the stylus was replaced by a writing slate. From the mid-14th century improved water-powered paper mills produced large and cheap quantities of paper and the wax tablet and stylus disappeared from daily life; the word "stylus" comes from the Latin word stilus meaning: "a stake. A different suggestion is that the word does not derive from the Greek word "στῦλος", but that it has a common root with the Greek verb "στίζω". According to the 1875 London Dictionary of Greek & Roman Antiquities a Stylus is "an object tapering like an architectural column, it signifies: "An iron instrument, resembling a pencil in size and shape, used for writing upon waxed tablets. At one end it was sharpened to a point for scratching the characters upon the wax, while the other end being flat and circular served to render the surface of the tablets smooth again, so to obliterate what had been written.
Thus, vertere stilum means to erase, hence to correct, as in the well-known precept saepe stilum vertas." There exists minor controversy about the correct pluralization of "stylus". Some assert that "stylus" is a direct loanword from Latin and should be pluralised as "styli". However, "stylus" is an English word based on the Latin word "stilus", is more appropriately pluralised in English as "styluses"; the pluralisation "stylii" is seen. Styluses are still used in various crafts. Example situations: rubbing off dry transfer letters, tracing designs onto a new surface with carbon paper, hand embossing. Styluses are used to engrave into materials like metal or clay. Styluses are used to make dots. Oaxaca dot. Modern day devices, such as phones, can be used with a stylus to navigate through menus, send messages etc. Today, the term stylus refers to an input tool used with touchscreen-enabled devices, such as Tablet PCs, to navigate interface elements, send messages, etc; this prevents smearing the screen with oils from one's fingers.
Styluses may be used for handwriting. Many new phones have a built-in stylus; some styluses may contract into small, pen-like cylinders, which are easy to put away. Styluses come in both active versions. A passive or capacitive stylus is a stylus that acts just like a finger when touching a device screen. There is no electronic communication between a device; the device can not tell the difference between a passive stylus. An active stylus includes electronic components that communicate with the touchscreen controller on a device. Active pens are used for note taking, on-screen drawing/painting, electronic document annotation, they help prevent the problem of one's hands accidentally contacting the screen. As before, the stylus is pointed or rounded at one end and is made to fit in the grip of a hand comfortably; these styluses can be found in many different styles. Palm Rejection: Since many modern tablets make use of multi-touch recognition, some stylus and app manufactures have created palm rejection technologies into their products.
This works to turn off the multi-touch feature allowing the palm to rest on the tablet while still recognizing the stylus. Haptic Stylus: Other than the types above, a haptic stylus is a stylus that simulates the realistic physical sensations on digital surfaces which can be felt in handwriting tasks on paper; the sensation is sometimes enhanced by the combination of auditory and tactile illusions, such as RealPen. A stylus is an instrument used to scribe a recording into smoked foil or glass. In various scientific instruments this method may be employed
Thomas Ernest Hare was an American singer who recorded prolifically during the 1920s and 1930s, finding fame as a radio star on the Happiness Boys radio program. Hare's recording career began in 1918, he was Al Jolson's understudy in the Broadway musical Sinbad during 1919–20. He recorded with the Cleartone Four, the Crescent Trio, the Harmonizers Quartet, the Premier Quartet, he made a series recordings with the start of the 1920s. As a soloist, he worked under a variety of names. After he met Billy Jones in 1919, they teamed in 1920 when Brunswick executive Gus Haenschen had them sing an accompaniment on a Brunswick recording, they went on to do numerous recordings together for Brunswick and most other major U. S. record companies of the era. Similarities between the two singers were noted: same height, same weight, birthdays a few days apart, they began on radio October 1921 on WJZ in Newark, New Jersey. Sponsored by Happiness Candy, they were heard as the Happiness Boys beginning August 22, 1923 on New York's WEAF, moving to NBC for a run from 1926–1929.
As the Happiness Boys, they sang popular tunes light fare and comic songs, with jokes and patter between numbers. By 1928, they were the highest-paid singers in radio, earning $1,250 a week. After Hare's death in 1939 of bronchopneumonia, Jones continued to perform, teaming in 1939–40 with Hare's 16-year-old daughter, Marilyn Hare. Jones died November 23, 1940. Marilyn Hare went on to a career as an actress in films and television, she toured as a vocalist; the Happiness Boys Hoffmann and Riggs, Billy Murray, The Phonograph Industry's First Great Recording Artist Roger D. Kinkle, The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950 Tim Gracyk, The Encyclopedia of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925 Ernie Hare on IMDb Ernie Hare at Find a Grave
Phonograph cylinders are the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Known as "records" in their era of greatest popularity, these hollow cylindrical objects have an audio recording engraved on the outside surface, which can be reproduced when they are played on a mechanical cylinder phonograph. In the 1910s, the competing disc record system triumphed in the marketplace to become the dominant commercial audio medium. On July 18, 1877, Thomas Edison and his team invented the phonograph, his first successful recording and reproduction of intelligible sounds, achieved early in the following December, used a thin sheet of tin foil wrapped around a hand-cranked grooved metal cylinder. Tin foil was not a practical recording medium for either commercial or artistic purposes and the crude hand-cranked phonograph was only marketed as a novelty, to little or no profit. Edison moved on to developing a practical incandescent electric light and the next improvements to sound recording technology were made by others.
Following seven years of research and experimentation at their Volta Laboratory, Charles Sumner Tainter, Alexander Graham Bell and Chichester Bell introduced wax as the recording medium and engraving, rather than indenting, as the recording method. In 1887, their "Graphophone" system was being put to the test of practical use by official reporters of the US Congress, with commercial units being produced by the Dictaphone Corporation. After this system was demonstrated to Edison's representatives, Edison resumed work on the phonograph, he settled on a thicker all-wax cylinder, the surface of which could be shaved down for reuse. Both the Graphophone and Edison's "Perfected Phonograph" were commercialized in 1888. A patent-sharing agreement was signed and the wax-coated cardboard tubes were abandoned in favor of Edison's all-wax cylinders as an interchangeable standard format. Beginning in 1885, prerecorded wax cylinders were marketed; these have professionally made recordings of songs, instrumental music or humorous monologues in their grooves.
At first, the only customers for them were proprietors of nickel-in-the-slot machines—the first juke boxes—installed in arcades and taverns, but within a few years private owners of phonographs were buying them for home use. Each cylinder can be placed on and removed from the mandrel of the machine used to play them. Unlike shorter-playing high-speed cylinders, early cylinder recordings were cut at a speed of about 120 rpm and can play for as long as 3 minutes, they were made of a soft wax formulation and would wear out after they were played a few dozen times. The buyer could use a mechanism which left their surfaces shaved smooth so new recordings could be made on them. Cylinder machines of the late 1880s and the 1890s were sold with recording attachments; the ability to record as well as play back sound was an advantage of cylinder phonographs over the competition from cheaper disc record phonographs which began to be mass-marketed at the end of the 1890s, as the disc system machines can be used only to play back prerecorded sound.
In the earliest stages of phonograph manufacturing various competing incompatible types of cylinder recordings were made. A standard system was decided upon by Edison Records, Columbia Phonograph, other companies in the late 1880s; the standard cylinders are about 4 inches long, 2 1⁄4 inches in diameter, play about 2 minutes of music or other sound. Over the years the type of wax used in cylinders was improved and hardened so that cylinders could be played with good quality over 100 times. In 1902 Edison Records launched a line of improved hard wax cylinders marketed as "Edison Gold Molded Records"; the major development of this line of cylinders is that Edison had developed a process that allowed a mold to be made from a master cylinder which permitted the production of several hundred cylinders to be made from the mold. The process was labeled, "Gold Moulded" because of the gold vapor, given off by gold electrodes used in the process. All cylinders sold had to be recorded live on the softer brown wax which wore out in as few as twenty playings.
Cylinders were reproduced either mechanically or by linking phonographs together with rubber tubes. Although not satisfactory, the result was good enough to be sold. Cylinders were sold in cardboard tubes with cardboard caps on each end, the upper one a removable lid. Like cylindrical containers for hats, they were called "boxes", the word still used by experienced collectors. Within them, the earliest soft wax cylinders came swathed in a separate length of thick cotton batting. Molded hard-wax cylinders were sold in boxes with a cotton lining. Celluloid cylinders were sold in unlined boxes; these protective boxes were kept and used to house the cylinders after purchase. Their general appearance allowed bandleader John Philip Sousa to deride their contents as "canned music", an epithet he borrowed from Mark Twain, but that did not stop Sousa's band from profiting by recording on cylinders; the earliest cylinder boxes have a plain brown paper exterior, sometimes rubber-stamped with the company name.
By the late 1890s, record companies pasted a generic printed label around the outside of the box, sometimes with a penciled catalog number but no other indication of the identity of the recording inside. A slip of paper stating the title and performer was placed inside the box with the cylinder. At first this information was hand-written or typed on each slip, but printed versions became more common once cylinders were sold in large enough quantities to justify the printing set-up cost; the recording itself began with a spoken