Thank you for this suggestion; Mainspring also has a volume by Raymond Wile
detailing the last years of the company, The Edison Discography: The Final
Years. It has even won an ARSC Certificate of Merit. And I admit that,
while I must have at least known of them at one point, neither volume
sprung to mind when I took this project on, though I will be happy to add
That said, I probably wouldn't use either of these books for a reference in
cleaning up this list, nor the Wimmers' spiral bound book, nor the
Dethlefson-Buchak, Dethlefson-Wile or nor the Dethlefson-Shaw books, one of
which probably served as the model for the Wimmers. The Wikipedia list was
started by an Australian collector who was merely posting entries derived
from his own records, and I'm mainly updating it to put it into a more
readable format. It is not imperative to me at the moment for it to be
complete; just a quick reference.
This does bring up an important point that should be discussed someday.
Mainspring used to run a Cameo Records discography on their website, but
have taken it down; on it, Allen Sutton (?) penned a comment whereby he
stated a stiff objection to the existence of online lists like the Online
Discographical Project for circulating bad information and impinging on the
research work of authors such as are published by Mainspring. I totally
understand this viewpoint, and yet I feel compelled to defend the concept
that for common records that anyone is likely to find in the field there
ought to be some kind of quick reference on the web to look those up. Blue
Amberols are a case in point as if a cylinder is found with no box, or no
lid, than what could be read on the cylinder edge itself is necessarily
incomplete. Not too many of us are so expert, or devoted to the hobby, that
we can come up with $75 to spend on the Mainspring books, though if you've
bought a machine then it is probably not a unrealistic option as an
additional expense. And of course if the web didn't exist at all we would
be required to resort a library anyway for the information. Nevertheless,
the cost of these books barely reflect the expense that went into them,
though the list price for academically inclined books is naturally higher
across the board than it would be for a mass market paperback.
The question is, how much is too much when you are gathering data for an
information based webpage containing discographical information? My
perosnal answer to that would be that information -- particularly in regard
to the Edison company -- such as appeared in a vintage catalog or on
records one might find at the local antique shop is not in itself
proprietary, but that data collected internally at the Edison National
Historic Site about releases that were not in the popular series or
otherwise not widely available in the public space ought to remain in the
books where they are recorded, for example. And that every page which
presents itself as a discography ought to provide reference to a published
resource, if there is one.
What say you, list? I'll gladly take even angry comments.
David N. Lewis
On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 12:46 AM, John Eberle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In the realm of Blue Amberols , the Alan Sutton book :
> " EDISON BLUE AMBEROL CYLINDERS 1912 to 1929 "
> covers the subject in fabulous detail . Anyone with more
> than a few Blue Amberols needs ( or already owns ) this
> authoritative work . It is available from the Mainspring Press .
> Yes it is nice to have a list of sorts available on Wikipedia
> and it may prove useful to some collectors .
> John Eberle - Member AES , IBMA
> OWNER : AMERICANA CD MASTERING
> 313 EAST COLLEGE STREET SUITE 3A
> DICKSON , TENNESSEE 37055