Edison Long-Playing Diamond Discs

Columbia Records is often credited with introducing the LP (long-playing) disc in 1948. Before that time, it was only commonly possible to fit one song on each side of the record. You could get about three minutes per side on a ten-inch 78 rpm, four on a twelve-incher. Edison's ten-inch Diamond Discs could get nearly five minutes. Of course, earlier cylinders were one-sided and contained even less recording time. Barring radio transcriptions not available to the public anyways and even a few years before them, Thomas Edison introduced the world's first long-playing record in 1926. Like the standard Diamond Discs, you could only play them on his machines. Naturally, that meant buying a very expensive phonograph for this new format or using a conversion kit sold by the company.

These records were a marvel of their day. They contained 450 threads-per-inch, finer than the width of a human hair and also higher than the TPIs found on post-1948 LPs. Yet, the record still played at 80 rpm. This allowed for twelve minutes per side on a ten-inch disc and twenty minutes on a twelve-inch one. However, this technology had limitations. Such small grooves didn't produce a high volume. They also wore down quicker after so many playbacks. That included breaking of the groove walls, causing the stylus to skip. If the record wasn't pressed very-near center, skipping could occur as well and a swishing sound at the beginning was usually inevitable. Transferring them with modern equipment can be quite challenging but computer editing can clean up and repair much of these defects in the sound. Finally but not lastly, the musical offerings on these discs were even more limited than on the standard discs. It was mostly all dinner/classical music, very little jazz or popular music of the day was to be found. Even those few selections weren't recorded specifically for the LPs, they were dubbed from earlier standard Diamond Discs. If you listen carefully, you can actually hear when the recording engineer started each of those discs. Continuous recording of an LP from start to finish wasn't possible at the time; too much wax debris would pile up from the cutting head. The wax master had to be stopped after each song for cleaning. Like the standard discs, Edison's LP was not long for the market, being discontinued the following year. If it was possible however, uninterrupted recordings of long Classical works might have made up for those other limitations until they too could have been solved. One can only wonder.



Favorite Airs from "H. M. S. Pinafore"
"The Pirates of Penzance"
"The Mikado"

"Naughty Marietta"
"The Red Mill"
"Mlle Modiste"
"Babes in Toyland"
"The Fortune Teller"
Herbert Soman's Salon Orchestra Herbert Soman's Salon Orchestra
Edison 10002-R Edison 10002-L
Matrix# 12004-F-1-14 Matrix# 12005-J-1-4
Mastered on September 1, 1926
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
Mastered on August 31, 1926
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Some skipping at the beginning of the -R side. This one might be re-worked in the future.


William Tell Overture
(80128-R&L; May 21-28, 1917)

(80239-R; March 2, 1915)

La Gioconda-La Furlana
(50268-L; June 1915)

Tannhauser March
(50150-L; October 23-27, 1913)

Poet and Peasant Overture
(80342-R&L; October 3-6, 1913)
American Symphony Orchestra

Norma-Hear Me, Norma
(80063-R; May 1915)
Julius Spindler and Anthony Giammatteo

La Gioconda-Dance of the Hours
(80438-R&L; November 1917)
(or Sept.-Oct. 1918 for -R)
American Symphony Orchestra
Edison 30002-R Edison 30002-L
Matrix# 12017-B-1-5 Matrix# 12018-F-1-5
Mastered on November 10, 1926
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
Mastered on November 16, 1926
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
New York, New York New York, New York

(82043-L; May 1915)

Chant Sans Paroles
(82064-L; October 2, 1914)

Spring Song
(82135-L; May 15, 1925)

(50980-L; August 1920)

(82154-L; October 1916)

Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
(82184-R; October 1-2, 1919)

ANDRÉ BENOIST at the Piano
(82047-L; May 1915)

Valse Bluette
(82192-R; November 1919)

Melody in F
(82135-R; May 15, 1925)

(80408-L; March 1918)

Roses of Picardy
(82215-R; October 20-29, 1920)

(82047-R; March 1916)

ANDRÉ BENOIST at the Piano
Edison 30003-R Edison 30003-L
Matrix# 12031-A-1-3 Matrix# 12022-A-3-4
Mastered in February 1927
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
Mastered on January 6, 1927 (give-or-take)
(dubbed from earlier recordings)
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Lamination crack on edge, audible until 0:45.

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