Cylinder of the Month

See also the  Cylinders of the Month Archive.

From 1899, a special recording of the story of Cinderella, by William Jefferson (Len Spencer).

Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 11057 G (5-inch "grand" cylinder)
Category Talking
Title Cinderella
Performed by William Jefferson (Len Spencer)
Circa 1899
Announcement None

Enjoy this early example of the Columbia Phonograph Company's then state-of-the-art grand (5" diameter rather than the standard 2") wax cylinder record performing as a storyteller.   Here, according to the original record slip, William Jefferson (a pseudonym for Len Spencer?) performs as "Uncle John" telling the story of Cinderella and the glass slipper.

During the era when wax cylinder recordings typically began with an announcement, reenactments of speeches or other recitations would be the exception by omitting an announcement – probably when it was judged to interfere with the feel of the piece.   Interestingly, here Columbia performs a hybrid introduction/announcement/advertisement by having Uncle John invite children to gather around the Graphophone grand (phonograph) for the abbreviated story.

To hear the story of Cinderella   —

For help playing these sounds, click here.

— Reproduced from ca. 1898 Columbia Phonograph Company booklet The Graphophone Grand

Note: When this was printed, a Graphophone Grand cost $300, and the grand cylinders were $5 each (standard cylinders cost $1 or less apiece).

— This cylinder of the month is from the collection of  Kurt Nauck —


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

Home Early recorded sounds & wax cylinders Cylinder music shop An Edison commemorative
2nd page Note to early recordings collectors Cylinder of the month Links to related topics
What's new Tinfoil resource center Cylinders of the month archive Donate to

Copyright (C) (P) 1996-2024 Glenn Sage, Portland, Oregon.  All Rights Reserved.  Contacting