Cylinder of the Month

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An early wax cylinder recording remembering mother –
From 1894, Edward M. Favor sings Mother's Twilight Song.

Mother's Twilight Song
Company North American Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 983
Category Song
Title Mother's Twilight Song
Performed by Edward M. Favor
Circa Early 1894
Announcement "Edison record number 983: A beautiful song entitled 'Mother's Twilight Song', sung by Mr. Edward M. Favor of Rice's 1492 Company."

This over 115-year-old wax cylinder recording was produced by Edison's Phonograph Works for, and in the last months before the breakup of, the North American Phonograph Company.   This record is part of Edison's "numerical series" which ran from 1892 to 1894 in which his records were numbered successively and whose relatively elaborate announcements were often uniquely ornamented with the record number declared in the announcement.

Also typical of the state of the art, this particular cylinder was a copy made by means of a hollow tube carrying the sound from the master phonograph to the duplicating phonograph.   Tube-copied cylinders possess a classic and distinctive "hollow" sound and are prone to acoustic distortion during louder passages.

Pioneering recording artist Edward M. Favor, who also announces the recording, advertises himself as a member of "Rice's 1492 Company", a well-known theatrical troupe of the period headed by Edward E. Rice.

To hear Mother's Twilight Song  

For help playing these sounds, click here.

Interested in hearing other examples of early tube-copied recordings?

Key Title Category Performed by Circa
10/1997 Lanciers with Figures Called Orchestra Issler's Popular Orchestra 1893-1894
05/1999 Take Your Time, Gentlemen Song Press Eldridge 1892

To learn more about Edward E. Rice and his 1492 Theatre Company, see these New York Times articles from 1894-95 (rendered as PDF files) of Broadway and "Theatrical Gossip" news:

— This cylinder is from the collection of Jeffrey Wood —


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

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