Historical information

Gramophone cylinders (phonograph cylinders) are the earliest method used to record and reproduce sound for the commercial market. Thomas Edison made his first successful recording at the end of 1878, recording sound on a tin foil sheet wrapped around a metal cylinder.

The cylinder boxes contained the gramophone record, either on soft or had wax, to be played on a mechanical gramophone machine.

These records were popular until the early 1920’s when they were slowly superseded by the flat disc records


These phonograph cylinders are an example of colonial recorded music and entertainment.

Physical description

Cardboard tube-shaped gramophone cylinder box with lid. The printed label on the outside of the box advertises the maker and patent details. The Catalogue Number and Title are either printed or hand written on the cylinder’s lid. This cylinder was made by Edison 1908 and contains Record number 53 by Sandy McNab. c. 1908

Inscriptions & markings

On label “Edison Record No. 53, Sandy McNab" and "Form no. 1130, April 1908. Patented December 6 1904, No. 2109, and December 6 1904 No. 2110. “This record is sold by the National Phonograph Company of Australia Ltd, at Sydney Australia.” Trade Mark Thomas A. Edison