University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the UT Texas Memorial Museum Music Collection, [circa early 1900s]



Descriptive Summary

Creator: UT Texas Memorial Museum
Title: UT Texas Memorial Museum Music Collection
Dates: [circa early 1900s]
Abstract: The UT Texas Memorial Museum Music Collection consists of 12 brown wax cylinders, encompassing a variety of recordings from the first decades of the twentieth century.
Accession No.: 2016-051
OCLC No.: 945632367
Extent: 9 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

Accompanying Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877 was the creation of tinfoil cylinders to allow for the playback of various audio recordings. The tinfoil method unfortunately tended to be unreliable, and subsequently, a wax cylinder was created. However, it wasn’t Edison who created the wax process. Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, financed by Alexander Graham Bell, developed these cylinders, which were produced on brown wax, and were originally designed for dictation (the wax could be shaved off, which allowed for multiple recordings). The sturdiness of the brown wax method prevailed and became the most popular way to distribute sound recordings until 1902, when the even more reliable Gold Mould method was developed.

The brown wax cylinders were produced without labels; thus each recording was accompanied with a slip of paper with credits. Furthermore, brown wax recordings came with a spoken word introduction on each cylinder. Later cylinders tended to include title, artist, issue number, and other identifiers imprinted on one end of the roll.

Sources:

Bruderhofer, Norman, "Cylinder Guide: Brown Wax Cylinders." Accessed February 17, 2016. http://www.cylinder.de/guide_brown-wax-cylinders.html

“UCSB Cylinder Archive,” UC Santa Barbara Library. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://cylinders-stage.library.ucsb.edu/index.php


Scope and Contents

The UT Texas Memorial Museum Music Collection consists of 12 brown wax cylinders, encompassing a variety of recordings from the first decades of the twentieth century.

Archivist’s note: Some cylinders are damaged. See inventory for information.


 

Arrangement

This collection has no identifying marks, and retains the Texas Memorial Museum’s original numbered system arrangement.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is restricted. Please contact repository for further details.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bell, Chichester A., 1848-1924
Tainter, Charles Sumner, 1854-1940
Subjects (Organizations)
Texas Memorial Museum -- Archives
Subjects
20th century American music
American popular music
Brown wax cylinder phonograph recordings
Cylinder recordings
Marches
Popular music -- 20th century
Sound recordings -- United States
Two-minute wax cylinder phonograph recordings

Related Material

See also the UT Texas Memorial Museum Collection, 1792- and the UT Texas Memorial Museum Scrapbooks, 1935-1936.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

UT Texas Memorial Music Collection, [circa early 1900s], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amanda Reyes, February 2016.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
2M505a Brown wax sound cylinders
1. Stars and Stripes Forever
2. Our Naval Reserve March
3. Selections from Bohemian Girl
4. Blue Danube Waltz
5. Hunting Scene [?]
6. Darktown Belles' March
7. Pizzicato Waltz [damaged]
8. Home, Sweet Home [damaged]
9. Hands Across the Sea
10. Selections from Wizards of the Nile
11. Gypsy Dance [?]
12. [Illegible]