"Other" Records That Play on an Edison Disc Machine
by John E. Rutherford
allowed the Aeolian Company to produce records that would play
his diamond disc machine.
Cut Cylinders and Records, a book by Girard and Barnes,
lists many classical records of this type, although I have never seen a list of Aeolian
popular records of this type.
Before you could be reasonably sure that you had
one of these records, you would have
to test the record against the following criteria:
the record must play as well or better
on an Edison diamond disc machine than on any
there must be no appreciable
damage to the record resulting fram playing it oní the
Edison machine; and, most important of all,
the Edison head must track properly with the
showing that the grooves
on the record are the same distance apart as the grooves on an Edison disc.
is, of course, not true of most Hill-and-Dale
such as Pathe,
I have one Aeolian disc that qualifies.
It has a brown, gold and black label on a
10" record with the copyright date of 1916.
The sides are labelled as follows:
(These numbers are repeated
on the lead-off area of the record.)
Both songs are sung by
Fernando Guarneri, baritone.
In addition, I have come across three other records that also fit the above criteria:
Both are played by the Jones Brothers' Saxophone Band
(made in New York).
1l1lla) by Yerkes Jazarimba Orchestra
Birds and the
121B) by Joe Belmont with orches-
You from Dixie?
Both are sung by Harry Frankel with
Roy Parks at the piano.
"Made by the Starr
Piano Co., Richmond, Ind.")
These four records described above are all 10" black discs, thicker than the usual
but not as thick as an Edison
It is difficult to know what conclusion to draw from the above information.
three companies given "rights" by Edison?
Or did they use the
number of grooves per
inch, making their records compatible with the Edison disc machine, without telling anyone?
may have quietly
such a development in order that his machine might have
a wider market.)
In any event, I cannot believe that the choice of a similar groove width by Edison,
Starr, Gennett and Aeolian can be put down to coincidence.
It is also interesting to note that at least three of the four listed records date
from 1917 or slightly later.
This would be three or more years after the Edison
Disc machine appeared on the market.
This does not prove guilt on anyone's part, but does
show that the Edison disc machine was available for experimentation
and study for a reasonable length of time before the above records appeared.