• Heavy Machine Shop

    Thomas Edison

    National Historical Park New Jersey

Very Early Recorded Sound

Handel Festival: "Israel In Egypt" - excerpt
On note with cylinder: "A chorus of 4000 voices recorded with phonograph over 100 yards away"
Composed by: G.F. Handel
Conducted by: August Manns
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder Recorded by: Col. George Gouraud, foreign sales agent for Thomas Edison
Location: the Crystal Palace, London, England
Recording date: June 29, 1888.
ENHS object catalog number: E-2440-20

The Lost Chord
Performed by: cornet and piano (performers unknown)
Composed by: Arthur Sullivan
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder Recording date: c. August 1888
Recorded by: Col. George Gouraud
Location: London, England
ENHS object catalog number: E-2440-3

After Dinner Toast at Little Menlo
Spoken by: Arthur Sullivan, composer
Introduction by: Col. George Gouraud
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recording date: October 5, 1888
Location: Little Menlo, London, England
ENHS object catalog number: E-2439-7
** Transcript of Arthur Sullivan's message to Edison upon introduction to the phonograph:
" . . . For myself, I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the results of this evening's experiment -- astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever. But all the same, I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced, and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery."

Around the World on the Phonograph
Spoken by: Thomas A. Edison
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recording date: c. late October 1888
Location: West Orange, New Jersey or local vicinity
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 566
** Historical note: This is believed to be the earliest existing recording of Thomas Edison's voice.

The Pattison Waltz
Performed by: Effie Stewart - vocal ; Theo Wangemann - piano
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
Location: The Edison Laboratory, West Orange, New Jersey
Recording date: February 25, 1889.
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 565

The Fifth Regiment March
Performed by: Issler's Orchestra
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recorded by: Walter H. Miller
Location: West Orange, New Jersey or local vicinity
Recording date: c. March 1889.
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 564

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Did You Know?

Records

In order to compete with his competitor, Edison created the Long Playing Disc. A 10 inch LP was able to play 24 minutes of music and the 12 inch LP was able to play 40 minutes of music. This record had a larger amount of play time compared to the 5 minute Victorian records.