Hi Allen-

Edison hired young women to perform for doll cylinders during late 1888, and the earliest doll 
recording that survives is from late 1888.  It is a tin cylinder, rather than wax.  See reference: 
“Dolls That Really Talk,” New York Evening Sun, November 22, 1888 (TAED SC88130a; TAEM 146:357).

Regarding the historic significance Edison doll records, this is how we've described it on the NPS 

What makes the Edison Talking Doll Recordings historically and culturally important?

They are the earliest commercial sound recordings known to survive.
The factory program that produced these records was probably the first time people were paid to perform 
for sound recordings.
The girls (or young women) hired by Edison were arguably the world's first professional recording 
These records carry the earliest known recordings of women's voices made in the United States.
They are the oldest Children's Records known to survive.

Link to website FAQ here:

-Jerry Fabris, TENHP

Allen said:
> I have seen this comment a few times (regarding the "first"), but of  
> course Wangemann's Logbook (published in ECR) shows that  Edison entertainment 
> cylinders (2" by 4") were regularly supplied from May  of 1889, and could be 
> played, quite successfully, on Class M phonographs.
>> "Yet  sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment 
>> records ever  made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the 
>> world's first  recording artists."