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What do P.T. Barnum and Florence Nightingale have in common?

P.T. Barnum and Florence Nightingale both became well-known in their own lifetimes, and have continued to hold a place in world history.

In 1890, both made recordings on Edison wax cylinder records.

And both are now available in the Vulcan Cylinder Record Catalogue, in new releases of their original recordings, in our usual hard-wearing, plastic resin material.

For more information, go to the Famous Voices Recordings page in our Catalogue.  To order, click here.

The Vulcan Cylinder Record Company is proud to announce its first six-inch long cylinder record

For just three years, from 1905 to 1908, the Columbia Phonograph Co. released a series of six-inch long Twentieth Century Talking Machine Record cylinders which played for three, rather than the usual two, minutes.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Vulcan Cylinder Record Company is proud to announce the launch of its 6-inch Series, made, as usual, in hard wearing plastic resin.

The first title in this new Series, Lost Arrow, is a banjo solo by Fred Van Epps, with orchestral accompaniment.

Introducing No. 2 in the Brown Wax Era Recordings

We are pleased to announce the second of our Brown Wax Era recordings, ‘Why should I keep from Whistling?’ by John Yorke Atlee, with piano accompaniment by Professor F. Gaisberg.

This was originally recorded for the Columbia Company sometime in 1893 or early 1894, after the Company had established itself in a large building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington.  The announcement of the record acknowledges the presence on the ground floor of the building of a large nickel-in-the-slot phonograph parlour.

What makes the record even more significant than its early date is the identity of the accompanist, styled as Professor F. Gaisberg.  This is of course part of the early recording studio career of Fred Gaisberg who moved on to work with Emile Berliner at The Gramophone Company and from there travelled to Europe and is most obviously famous for being the man who recorded Caruso in Milan in 1902.  He retired in 1939 but continued to work as a consultant for The Gramophone Company right up until his death in 1951.

He was still a teenager when this recording was made.

Here is Fred Gaisberg’s own account of an earlier recording session working with John Yorke Atlee:

“… his pompous announcements which introduced each performance in tones that made the listener visualise a giant.  In reality he was a mere shrimp of a man, about five feet in his socks, that little Government clerk with the deep, powerful voice.  Of this and his fine flowing moustache he was mighty proud.  After his office hours, from nine to four, as a wage-slave of the U.S. Government, he would return to his modest home where I would join him.  In the parlour stood an old upright piano and a row of three phonographs lent to him by the Columbia Phonograph Company.  Together we would turn out, in three’s, countless records of performances of ‘Whistling Coon’, ‘Mocking Bird’, and the ‘Laughing Song’.  I can still hear that reverberating announcement:


I was then only sixteen.  Some professor …”

Introducing the first number in our new series – The TA Edison Recordings

We are proud to present: The Liver Story, spoken by Thomas Edison.

The Liver Story was recorded in the Edison Laboratory, in Orange, New Jersey, in 1906 (or thereabouts – there is some dispute about the exact date). Edison loved to entertain his staff by telling jokes, and this one was recorded by Walter Miller, but never intended for release to the public. We think it is a fitting acknowledgment of the great man. We hope you like the special packaging. The record comes with a record slip that includes a transcription of the recording, plus another one of his stories as a bonus. We thank Norman Bruderhofer for the label design.

The record comes with a specially labelled box and an inclusion slip.

21st Century music form meets 19th Century technology

Death Metal, a derivative of Heavy Metal, is not what you would expect to find on a cylinder record, but that’s what we’ve got in our brand new catalogue section, Vulcan Miscellany.

The Title of This Song is Longer Than The Song is a record that we made for one of our customers, Matthew Lippart, and we are so taken with the idea of having this genre of material on cylinder that we thought we’d make it available publicly.  We love the label, too.

For the full story of this recording, go to the Vulcan Miscellany page.