depends on what you mean by "late in the game."
He (Edison) cooperated with Wangemann's commercial recording activities
(on site) as early as 1889-1892, and the titles/artists have been published
in ECR (day by day).
Sadly the Walt Whitman recording didn't work out...
In a message dated 2/10/2016 1:22:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
And Edison really thought his new machine would be confined to secretaries
as a dictation aid. He wasn't keen on its phonographic uses until very
late in the game, but he stuck with it once he saw the possibilities.