Cylinder of the Month

See also the Cylinders of the Month Archive.

For February 1997...

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Edison's birth with a 100 year old brown wax cylinder recording
– From 1897, John Philip Sousa's great Liberty Bell March played by the Edison Concert Band.


Liberty Bell March
Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 41
Category Band
Title Liberty Bell March
Performed by Edison Concert Band
Circa 1897
Announcement "Liberty Bell March, played by the Edison Concert Band."

Here we have a glimpse into the late 1890's, with a wonderful early brown wax recording of this great Sousa march. The announcement portion of this cylinder is damaged, but can still be made out.

Edison's early cylinders were recorded at 125 RPM and would run for about 2 & 1/2 minutes.

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), wrote about 100 marches. He led the U.S. Marine Band from 1880 until 1892, when he formed his own band. Sousa was not an admirer of the early phonograph, thinking the recordings sounded awful. That did not stop him, however, from having his band make many records for the phonograph -- usually without he himself attending the recording sessions. Click here to see a photograph of the U.S. Marine Band making a recording; to see more, click here.

To hear Liberty Bell March  —

To hear an excerpt   —  
For help playing these sounds, click here.


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the


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