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The Vulcan Cylinder Record Company

The Vulcan Cylinder Record Company is owned and operated by Duncan Miller, in Sheffield, England. Duncan was born in Kent, England. His interest in cylinder records began in 1977 with a desire to make acoustic recordings. Finding it difficult to do on a disc gramophone, he obtained a small Columbia machine in 1979 and made some wax blanks. He then contacted the local Edison expert, G Frow, author of the bookEdison Phonographs 1877 to 1929. George introduced him to The City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society (CLPGS) and to Paul Morris with whom he collaborated for several years making wax cylinder blanks and records under the Miller Morris label.

In 1998, Duncan worked with EMI using their 1911 recording lathe to engineer a 78 RPM disc for their centenary year celebrations (3000+ copies were made and given away at the time – some do turn up on the collectors market now and again). Since then he has developed several processes for the manufacture of moulded records in plastic materials, and in 2001 the latest process was launched with the Vulcan Record label. Archive and custom work has also been forthcoming and recently he made good playable copies of over 200 cylinder moulds from the National Library of Norway (see our phonograph cylinder blog for more details). In 2006, Gwynn Barton took over the administration side of the business,managing and despatching orders, dealing with customer enquiries, final polish and inspection of the cylinders, making the presentation boxes and generally making sure that this side of the business runs smoothly. Gwynn comments: “I had never even heard of a cylinder record before I met Duncan, and I can only say that it has been an absolutely fascinating and absorbing learning curve for me. I am now well and truly hooked, and continue to learn new things every day. I love it!”