Phonograph cylinder

medium for recording and reproducing sound

Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial method for recording and reproducing sound.

Edison wax cylinder phonograph c. 1899

They were commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity (c. 1896–1915). They were hollow cylindrical objects with an audio recording engraved on the outside surface. The sound can be reproduced when they are played on a mechanical cylinder phonograph.[1] In the 1910s, the competing disc record system became the more popular commercial audio medium.[2]

Some of the cylinders and their recoreders can be found in local museums.


  1. Aodhan Phipps (November 8, 2013). "History of Recorded Music". Transcript of History of Recorded Music. Prezi. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  2. Callie Taintor (May 27, 2004). "Chronology:Technology and the Music Industry". FRONTLINE the way the music died. Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 2018-01-12.