While Edison’s company was producing the cylinder records, the first in 1887. Berliner Gramophone was the first company to produce disc “flat records” by Emile Berliner in 1889 and sold in Europe. These records were only five inches in diameter and were leased to toy companies that made toy phonographs.
In 1893, Berliner commercialize the record. His company offered the first 7 inch disc in 1894 on the Berliner Gramophone label. From there on, many companies took on the flat disc as the standard record to use for their phonographs. Edison, on the other hand, kept his cylinder records in production for many years thereafter.
Edison would later create his "Diamond Disc", a vertical cut flat disc record. This record was not playable on machines other than his own brand. Diamond Discs are easy to recognize. They're about 1/4 inch thick, 10 inches in diameter and usually have Edison's Face embossed or printed on a paper label. See below.
Edison later produced his own Needle Cut 78rpm record discs to compete with Victor and others, but by this time, his company lost a huge share of the market.
There were literally hundreds of record companies, producing flat disc and cylinders, during the phonograph industry boom. Some of the more successful labels of the time were Victor and Columbia. With the race to sign new artists their label, many small companies were developed. Most smaller companies eventually went out of business or were bought up by larger record companies. Victor was one of the first to see the importance in assigning contracts with musical artists, making them exclusive to the record label.
How to Clean your Old 78rpm Disc Records
1. Rinse the 78 rpm record with water, taking care not to get the label wet.
The Most Popular Question about Metal Needles
Do I need to replace the needle after every play of the record?
YES. The needle tip gets worn down during the play of the record, it is advised to replace the needle after every play to help keep the record in good shape. No matter the composition of the needle, the grooves of the record file away at the metal tip and make it dull.
This isn't a ploy to sell more needles. This is a fact and not replacing them will scratch up your records. So be aware of anyone selling "Multi-Play" needles.
Do you have any Tungs-tone needles?
During World War I, restrictions were placed on commercial uses of steel, so Victor Talking Machine Co. developed a needle with a reproducing tip made of tungsten, a metal that never made the list of restricted materials. These needles lasted up to 50 plays of a record. These needles are no longer produced and are hard to find never used.
What is a Fibre needle?
Fibre needles can still be found today by individuals who put time into slicing and dicing these into shape. They are long and triangular in shape. These needles put less stress on your record grooves. They need to be sharpened after every play and sound aweful (my opinion). The sound quality from these are low and muffled. Fibre needles are usually made of Bamboo.
I hear a thump when I crank up my phonograph?
When you crank up the phonograph, a thump occurs. This can be a number of things. But the most common reason is that the grease inside the spring housing is getting gunked up and the spring is sticking. The only way to remedy this is to have the motor cleaned and the springs regreased.
There's no tension when I crank my phonograph?
This is most likely due to either cracked springs or springs that released from the pin withing the housing case. The springs within the case will have to be fixed and regreased.
I see "New Old Stock" on some sales listings,
New Old Stock (NOS) really means, "I have something that is old and never used". This is a fancy way to say, "Buy it cuz it's old and pay more money for it". In my eyes, NOS is just a way to get people to buy something readily available for more money.
Do you sell Amberola cylinder discs?
Yes, I have these in stock and will list them onto the site as time allows.
Can I play common discs on my Edison and Pathé Phonograph?
Edison and Pathé (Pronounced, Pah-tay), are the only records that use a special stylus that lasts much longer than the standard metal needle. These were constructed of either a Sapphire or Diamond tip.
Edison used the Diamond stylus and was made to play its Diamond Disc records.
Pathé use a Sapphire stylus and were made to play Pathé discs at 90rpm.
Using these two different stylus on your old records can ruin them instantly. Never use a metal needle on Edison or Pathé records. The only Pathé record that actually uses a metal needle are called "Actualle" made by Pathé.
Do you sell the needle for my Edison?
Edison decided to use his own technology and his own style of records. He called his records, Diamond Discs. You can identify these records from other 78's because they are about 1/4 inch thick. They also will have Edison's face embossed or on the label too. The Edison phonograph stylus was meant to play thousands of records without replacing. The stylus was made of Diamond tip. These were not meant to be switched out like the common metal needles. These are still available although may need to be replaced by a professional repair service. They can also get more spendy.
Do you sell Pathé Needles?
Early Pathé records were made to use the Sapphire Stylus, which looked like a ball at the end of a metal shaft. These were meant only for Pathé records that spun at 90rpm. This stylus lasted a long time and for many plays of the record. Using this on standard records can ruin them. Pathé eventually stopped production of these records and created the record called "Actuelle" that used the metal needle and spun at 78rpm. Yes, I may have the Pathé Stylus available. Check my Store.
I am your Phonograph Needle supplier since 1991!
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