New Meetup: Curator of Edison Historical demonstrates recording on wax cylinders @ BPL

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Friday, January 1, 2010 4:06 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Curator of Edison Historical demonstrates recording on wax cylinder @ BPL

When: February 9,[masked]:30 PM

Where:
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
[masked]

From the Boston Public Library site:
http://www.bpl.org/news/calendar.htm

When: Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 6:30pm
Where: Rabb Auditorium, Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA[masked]

"The New England Institute of Art in partnership with the Education Committee of the Audio Engineering Society invites you to an old fashioned Edison recording session. Join Gerald Fabris, Curator of the Edison Historical Site, as he demonstrates the process of audio recording on a wax cylinder...the way it would have been done over 100 years ago. This event is free and open to the general public".

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will be waiting in the lobby of the new wing of the Boston Public Library starting at 5:45 pm. We can grab seats downstairs in the Rabb Lecture Hall at 6:15 pm. T.J is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, and a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.

About the Audio Engineering Society:
http://www.aes.org/about/

"The Audio Engineering Society is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Founded in the United States in 1948, the AES has grown to become an international organization that unites audio engineers, creative artists, scientists and students worldwide by promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research.

"[...] The AES also serves the educational needs of its members and the audio industry at large through international technical meetings, equipment exhibitions, and a wide range of publications.

"Conventions, which include scientific presentations, student activities, workshops, and exhibitions, are held annually both in the US and Europe. Additional conferences and regional summits are held periodically throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe, and North America".

About the Edison Historical Site:
http://www.nps.gov/edis/index.htm

"Imagine your day ending at sunset. Life without music, motion pictures, radio. Life without light itself. Our modern lives began at the turn of the century in West Orange, New Jersey. The Laboratory and home of Thomas Edison, stopped in time, continue to teach a new generation.

"History and Culture: At the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Avenue in West Orange, New Jersey stands a group of red brick buildings. To the passing motorist the buildings betray little evidence of their glory days and of the people who worked inside. A short distance away is Glenmont, Thomas Edison's estate. Together, the laboratory and residence preserve the work and character of America's foremost inventor, Thomas Edison and the family, friends and business associates who played a key role in his success".

"Recording Archives: The archive at Thomas Edison National Historical Park includes approximately 48,000 disc and cylinder records produced by Edison in West Orange, New Jersey, between 1888 and 1929. Many of these, including unreleased and experimental recordings, have been at the Laboratory since Edison's lifetime. Some of the earliest examples of recorded sound in existence are preserved within this unique collection". ( Listen to selections, recorded by Edison: http://www.nps.gov/edis/photosmultimedia/the-recording-archives.htm )

About Edison's Wax Cylinder ( according to Wikipedia ):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonograph_cylinder

"The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison on 18 July 1877 for recording telephone messages, his first test using waxed paper. In early productions, the recordings were on the outside surface of a strip of tinfoil wrapped around a rotating metal cylinder. By the 1880s wax cylinders were mass marketed. These had sound recordings in the grooves on the outside of hollow cylinders of slightly soft wax. These cylinders could easily be removed and replaced on the mandrel of the machine which played them. Early cylinder records would commonly wear out after they were played a few dozen times. The buyer could then use a mechanism which left their surface shaved smooth so new recordings could be made on them. In 1890 Charles Tainter patented the use of hard carnauba wax as a replacement for the common mixture of paraffin and beeswax used on phonograph cylinders.

"[...] Cylinders were sold in cardboard tubes, with cardboard lids at each end. These containers helped to protect the recordings. These containers and the shape of the cylinders (together with the 'tinny' sound of early records compared to live music) prompted bandleader John Philip Sousa to deride the records as canned music (though that did not stop him recording on cylinders). Record companies usually had a generic printed label on the outside of the cylinder package, with no indication of the identity of the individual recording inside. Early on such information would be written on the labels by hand, one at a time. Slightly later, the record number would be stamped on the top lid, then a bit later the title and artist of the recording would be printed on to labels on the lid".

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/NerdFunBoston/calendar/12189001/

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