Startup: Candles You Can Hear

Back before vinyl records, music was recorded on wax cylinders. The “gold” referred to by Edison was the gold plating on the master cylinder used to make the mould. Cylinder records were played back on a phonograph; not to be confused with the vinyl disc players which were gramophones. Cylinders were the first mass produced recordings starting in the 1880’s, but by 1910 the gramophone was the clear winner and the last cylinders went out of production in 1929. After the jump, one of the earliest videos on YouTube – and still one of the best: an old fart on TechTV (back before they got “hip” and added the G4) talking about how rare they are just before his shaky arthritic grip smashes it to bits.



  • OA5599
    • TechieInHell

      Yes, I re-read that now and realize that the sarcasm was completely lost, even on me.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    "Went Gold" is a term that is in use now-a-days. It's when it is too late to submit any bug fixes to software since the software had been shipped off to get pressed (well too late even before then since testing needs to have time but some places I worked testing could be run in India, Russia, Germany, and/or Ireland and results ready the next day). That's cause even in the making of a CD or DVD they still called it making a "Gold Master" from which all the other CDs or DVDs that got boxed and sold were pressed (ha). Anyway I really do not think the masters were made of gold, nor was any pressing involved anymore.

    • OA5599

      The term "golden unit" (sometimes shortened to "gold unit") is used in manufacturing to describe a finalized and perfected sample against which later production units will be evaluated to see if they comply.

      • Which gets confusing in the jewelry manufacturing industry.
        Yellow gold? Rose gold? White gold? then the sub-species for each 10k? 18k? 24k?

      • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Cool, thanks! So really the term probably predates the gold master cylinders used here even.

  • OA5599
    • What the hell… is that?

      • Obviously a lady who has so much earwax, they make candles from it.

      • The Professor

        Yeah, that's a new one. I've seen them stuck in someone's third eye, but not the ear.

  • tonyola

    Since the analog vs. digital sound argument has been done to death (I vote digital), let's start a cylinder vs. disk recording battle!

    • OA5599

      The cylinder has less capacity, is more fragile, and is harder to store than the disc. The ones I've heard sound worse than 78's, but I'm not sure how much of that was inherent in the design vs. degradation over time.

    • RahRahRecords

      the disk won.

  • RahRahRecords

    the modern equivalent courtesy of Flo Kaufmann : Yes, that's a beercan.
    <img src=""&gt;
    ( I've got a spare cutter head lying around I was thinking about making something similar)