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Edison

OPERA
PHONOGRAPH

1912

Opera Phonograp
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Introduced in 1911, the Edison Opera Phonograph represents Edison's highest achievement in the acoustic reproduction of sound and is unequalled in Edison phonographs.

11 BLUE AMBEROL

CYLINDERS

FREE-STANDING
OAK CYGNET HORN
DIAMOND A REPRODUCER
33”5 x 17”7 x 12”

Edison
New York, U.S.
North-America

Manufacturer

In addition to being one of America's greatest inventors, Thomas A. Edison was also a remarkable businessman owning several industrial research facilities and production companies.

Becoming part of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1911, the company was equipped with a research lab in West Orange, New Jersey, and produced storage batteries, phonographs, and Ediphones.

One of its first products was the blue Ambersol cylinder that replaced common wax cylinders.

Keeping up with innovation, the company introduced the Edison Diamond Disc in 1912.

Nonetheless the Edison Record Group had great difficulties competing with the Victor Talking Machine Company and Columbia Records due to a lack of successful recording stars.

sources
Thomas Edison with phonograph, probably 18 April 1878.
The crowd is listening to the records on the Edison phonograph, in the United States section at the World Fair in 1889.
Thomas Edison with phonograph, probably 18 April 1878. The crowd is listening to the records on the Edison phonograph, in the United States section at the World Fair in 1889.

technique

The Edison Opera phonograph was an up-scaled model of its predecessor, the Idelia. A direct-drive motor results in peerless smooth and quiet operation which made the sound quality of a well-tuned 'Opera' a truly outstanding experience in its day.

Its Diamond A Reproducer amplifies the sound with surprising clarity, a sound quality that cannot be matched by any other Edison phonograph.

In late 1912 renamed to 'Concert', the Edison Opera Phonograph was restricted to a playtime of 4 minutes. The double spring motor plays for 10 minutes, enough time for two records in a row without rewinding. What is unusual about the 'Opera' is that the cylinder is moved below the fixed reproducer, not the other way around as in conventional phonographs with moving reproducers.

sources

The intention of Edisons invention of the cylinder phonograph becomes apparent in Edison's advertising silent film 
'The Stenographer's Friend' (1910) that promotes the business version of the phonograph, modeled for the office environment.

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