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Pathé Cylinders

Pathé Salon Cylinder

Mme. Gregoire / Pierre Jean de Béranger. Andre Maréchal. Pathé: 3426. 1902 or 1903.

Pathé was a French company that produced both motion pictures and sound recordings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The history of Pathé cylinders is not well documented in English, but it is believed that the company may have produced as many titles as Columbia or Edison, though they were not widely imported and are relatively scarce in the United States. Pathé's recording process was unique in that the recordings were originally made on large "master cylinders" and then dubbed to various disc and cylinder formats. The dubbing process sometimes resulted in inferior sound compared to that of Edison cylinders. In addition to standard 2 1/4" x 4" cylinders, Pathé also manufactured 3 1/2" x 4" Salon cylinders, pictured above. Unlike the musical repertoire and performers found on American cylinders which differed very little from company to company, the repertoire on Pathé cylinders is exclusively French and totally different from that of the U.S. companies. Click here for examples of Pathé cylinders in the collection.

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The first African-American recording artist, George W. Johnson, became famous for his song "The Laughing Song."

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