Hello-I had this reply from Jolyon Hudson which sheds some light on the
studio issue in the early teens-Mickey Clark
I was not following that thread on ARSC but decided to do some digging.
I was wrong on my dates this is because several books are confused over the
site of the studio and various publications give the Woolworth Building as
the site. The offices of Columbia were consolidated in the Woolworth's
Building in April 1913 and this has led to the belief by some that the
studio was was also there. Thinking about the architectural construction of
this building it would be impossible for the studio to be there it would not
have been conducive to the other tenants to have Prince's band making a
However the answer lies in the October 1908 edition of Talking Machine World
whewre the following announcement appears:-
SECURE LARGER QUARTERS.
Columbia Phonograph Co. Move Their New York Laboratories to More Commodious
The Columbia Phonograph Co. have secured for a term of years the entire
ninth floor of the large building occupied by the Joseph W. Stern Publishing
Co., on Thirty-eighth street. This building was rented for recording
purposes after an exhaustive search and examination of hundreds of buildings
in order to find a place where the acoustic and other conditions would meet
the exacting requirements in the art of record making.
Victor T. Emerson, superintendent of the Columbia laboratory, is most
enthusiastic over the results secured in tests already made. He claims that
records made in the new laboratory will be notable for their increased
brilliancy, distinctness and musical quality. Mr. Emerson is probably the
best known and most popular record maker in the world. His enthusiasm in the
results so far secured guarantee that more than unusual success has been
This is number 102 West 38th street, a building that is still extant. The
ninth floor is also the top floor of the building, a preferred position for
a recording studio I believe. An overhead view of the building shows that
the ninth floor appears to be in two part with the back of the building with
skylights. I now think it was here that the recording were made from the end
of 1908 until the beginning of electrical recording. A couple of views of
this studio can be found here
http://www.mainspringpress.com/studio_photos.html.With a crush 90 people
could have been accommodated.
Someone local maybe could go and knock on the door and try and find out if
the layout survives> I won't be back in NY until April next year myself to
check it out.
Follow me on Twitter
M.C.Productions Vintage Recordings
710 Westminster Ave. West
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 7:26 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Acoustical Orchetral Records- A-440, was speaking of
> On 5/3/2015 6:58 PM, Steve Smolian wrote:
>> Absolutely none of the group of orchestras that recording for Victor
>> around this time have shown up in the throes of recording in any
>> photographs. It astounds me that such monumental occassions were not
>> taken down at the time. The same holds for Chicago and Cincinnati on
>> Columbia around that time.
>> The earliest ones I've found, obviously posed, are in the teacher's
>> manual for the Ginn & Co set of New York Philharmonic records in 1923.
> It should be remembered that the technology of photography in the early
> 20th century was comparatively primitive. Photographing indoors without an
> elaborate lighting apparatus was quite difficult, since the average
> photographic sheet film or plate had about the equivalent exposure index
> (ASA to fellow veterans) of about 5. Maximum apertures on the view cameras
> of the day were typically about f/5.6, so the exposure time *in bright
> sunlight* would have been on the order of 1/40 sec. qith the lens wide
> open (where it wouldn't perform all that well), or maybe f/11 at 1/10 for
> better lens performance. And the long focal lengths of typical "normal"
> lenses of the time gave little depth of field. Shooting indoors during a
> recording session? Forget it. Unless you used flash powder, which didn't
> exactly blend well with a musical performance.
> By the 1920s, handheld smaller-format cameras were beginning to hit the
> market (the Ermanox even had a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2). But
> films were still dreadfully slow -- ASA 32 was considered a high speed
> film. Candid photography was still a very troublesome endeavour until,
> propelled mostly by the movie industry, more sensitive films were
> introduced in the 1930s and 1940s. The great years of candid photography
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.