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> Edison Records, Value
retmilpostman
post Oct 21 2003, 03:49 AM
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Does anyone have any idea what Edison Records are valued at these days? These are the 1/4 inch thick records. I think most are pre 1915.
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rocky
post Oct 28 2003, 02:35 AM
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I think I clicked on the wrong button to answer your inquiry on Edison diamond discs, so I'm rewriting it.

I'm no expert on the value of old records. However, Edison diamond discs are going for about $4 or $5 apiece on the 20th Century Records site. I'm sure valuable ones will bring in more.

Edison manufactured disc records between 1912 and 1929. Tim Graczyk wrote an interesting article on Edison diamond discs. A quick Google search under "Edison diamond discs" will bring up the article for you.
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Fredrik
post Oct 28 2003, 09:44 AM
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A problem with these thick vertically cut Edison discs is that they can only be played on Edison's own machines, not on standard 78 rpm players, which of course limits the circle of potential buyers and therefore also - I assume - the commercial value.

Fredrik
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rocky
post Oct 30 2003, 02:25 AM
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There's a one-hour program devoted to Edison diamond discs on Mac's Antique Phonograph Music Program. This jazz and blues diamond disc program aired on October 14, 2003 and can be heard at the archives.

Go to http://wfmu.org/playlists/AP
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dismuke
post Oct 31 2003, 05:32 AM
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QUOTE(retmilpostman @ Oct 20 2003, 09:49 PM)
Does anyone have any idea what Edison Records are valued at these days?  These are the 1/4 inch thick records.  I think most are pre 1915.

As with most other varieties of records, their monetary value is, in large part, determined by how much the musical content of a given record is in demand by collectors.

As Rocky points out, Edison Diamond Discs were made between 1913 and 1929. Prior to 1921, the trademark and label information was etched into the center of the disc. The black and white paper label appeard in 1921 and was of rather poor quality as, unlike most other records from the period, it is not uncommon to find Diamond Discs with missing labels. The records that will command the highest sums are those featuring jazz, ragtime and specific performers of interest to collectors - most of which will be listed in Les Docks' American Premium Record Guide price guide. Also of interest are issues - usually distributed to employees in the company's network of retail dealers - featuring recordings of Thomas Edison himself.

While the discs had moderate marketplace success during the 1910s, sales continued to fall throughout the 1920s because of Edison's difficulty in signing big name artists as well as the fact that the records were incompatible with all non-Edison players. As a result, later Diamond Disc releases are often much more difficult to find than are earlier ones. Edison did not beging to record electrically until around 1927 and the electrically recorded issues tend to fetch a bit more. As for records with content of minimial interest to collectors, Edisons tend to fetch a little bit more than similar content on other labels - I rarely see them go for less than around $3 each.

There are a couple of other varieties of Edison records that are worth money regardless of their content. In 1926, Edison released the first commercial Long Playing record. Unlike RCA's failed early '30s and Columbia's successful 1948 Long Play records which revolved at 33 rpm, Edison's Long Play records were played at 80 rpm - the same speed as regular Diamond Discs. Edision was able to accomplish the increased playing time through the use of much smaller groves. As a result, he was able to achieve a playing time of around 20 minutes on 10 inch issues and around 40 minutes on 12 inch issues. But because the records required a specialized stylus and because the smaller groves resulted in diminished volume, the records were not a commercial success and are extremely difficult to find. They are definitely worth some money. I have actually seen and heard one from someone else's collection but do not have one in my own collection. Also, in 1929, in an attempt to win back lost market share, Edison finally released a standard "thin" 78 rpm record which he called the Edison "Needle-Type Electric." These records were made for only a few months before the stock market crash of 1929 forced Edison out of the record business. These records are extremely hard to find and are worth some money. I consider myself to be very lucky to have 3 such records in my collection.
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paulmg57
post Feb 23 2009, 04:13 AM
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In searching for information for a record that I have, I came across your forum. I think I might have the 1/4 inch thick microgroove Edison record that you describe. The label is black and white and has "Edison Re-Creation" written aross the top of the label. Since I don't have the player that is required to actually play the record, I have no practical way of timing the length of play per side. The grooves, however, are obviously much smaller than the usual 78. How can I find out more information about the record and what it might be worth?
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victrolajazz
post Feb 23 2009, 05:15 AM
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QUOTE (paulmg57 @ Feb 22 2009, 10:13 PM) *
Since I don't have the player that is required to actually play the record, I have no practical way of timing the length of play per side. The grooves, however, are obviously much smaller than the usual 78. How can I find out more information about the record and what it might be worth?

You might be surprised to learn that if you have one of those old-fashioned devices from the late 50's through the 70's known as a Stereo, because of the nature of the grooves on the thick-disc Edisons and the stereo needle, these records can be played on one of these machines.

Eddie the Collector
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paulmg57
post Feb 23 2009, 05:45 AM
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That's good to know. My regular turntable doesn't have 78 speed, so I'll have to be on the lookout for one that does. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks.
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paulmg57
post Feb 23 2009, 03:46 PM
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Good and bad news. The good news is that I have a portable tuntable that will play the record. The bad news is that the playtime per side is only slightly more than 4 minutes. I guess that means I have a record worth about $3 since the content is not jazzy. Thanks for helping me out.
I'm glad that I found this site, though. We have several 78s and a 1937 Philco radio/phonograph to enjoy listening to them on. It's quite a kick.
Thanks again,

Paul
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