From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi, Jonathan,
> My only reaction was OMG was someone actually manufacturing and flogging 
> this as late as 1950????? I guess I would have thought that
> production ended on this stuff earlier.
> Wow, I am amazed.  Cheers,   Richard

McGraw Edison was still manufacturing the dictation lesson cylinders
until around 1955 or 56 using the same celluloid Blue Amberol process
from 1912.  I have a metal cylinder mold marked as being taken out of
service in 1953.  It was around that time that McGraw Edison started
making a disc system dictating machine also called the Voicewriter. 
Gray and Soundscriber were two competing disc systems, and the Dictabelt
was the main new system for dictation.  If you look at what the belt is,
it is really just a floppy cylinder!  In fact I have a large carton of
experimental floppy cylinders from the early 1940s that were shaped for
use on an Ediphone like these, and I have the shaved wax cylinder that
these celluloid cylinders fit on!

Yes, there were magnetic discs, belts, rectangular sheets, and tapes
developed in the 1950s and 60s, but the insecurity of erasability made
them unpopular in business and government. (The magnetic sheets were
fitted onto a cylindrical mandrel -- I have a machine.)  Magnetic
dictation machines before the cassette are relatively rare compared with
grooved machines. 

The set pictured might be worth $500 at the most because of the multiple
devices.  Most collectors rather have the earlier wooden cased machines.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]   

On 2013-07-02 11:21 AM, Jonathan Wise wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> Would anyone be kind enough to provide me with an approximate value of a set of Edison Voice Writers (ca.1950) for cylinder recording, listening, and shaving (for re-recording). Apparently all are in cabinets and in good condition.
> Image here:
> Many thanks,
> Jonathan