Cylinder of the Month


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One-of-a-kind souvenir records: one from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition and one from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.


World's fair souvenir records

Bird's Eye View of the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition.
[Officially, it was called "The Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair"!]
Image courtesy of Expositions Nationales

The Columbia Phonograph Company ran booths at both the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.   They made available tiny souvenir cylinder records, recorded on the spot.   These records – also known as napkin ring cylinders – were the same diameter as standard two-minute wax records, but were a stubby 1.5" tall.


The records came packaged in an equally tiny, but handsome custom carton.


 

 
Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # None
Category Talking
Title Souvenir record from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition
Performed by Donna & Gladys of Albina (in Portland)
Circa August? 31, 1905
Announcement "I'm just talking to hear myself talk . . ."
 

The recordings, of course, are one-of-a-kind and quite short – typically just over 40 seconds.

To hear a souvenir record from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition  —

For help playing these sounds, click here.

                   


To hear the official Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition March  —

From a 1905 Columbia disc record.


 
Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # None
Category Talking
Title Souvenir record from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Performed by Unknown Columbia booth operator
Circa October 1, 1904
Announcement "Souvenir record made at the booth of the Columbia Phonograph Company, October 1st, Nineteen-hundred and four, at the St. Louis World's Fair"
 

A (short) comedy piece – probably recorded as a demonstration by the Columbia booth operator in St. Louis.

To hear a souvenir record from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair  —

For help playing these sounds, click here.


— This cylinder is from the collection of Tyrone Settlemier —

To learn more, see:

                                       


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the


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