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Sterling Cylinders

Sterling Cylinder

When other lips [Bohemian girl. Then you'll remember me] / Balfe, M. W. Ernest Pike. Sterling Record: 414. 1906.

Upon the expiration of Edison Bells patents in England, various manufacturers began selling cylinders in England, including Sterling. Sterling was founded in 1904 by Louis Sterling, an American who had moved to England and was employed by the British Zonophone Co. He resigned in 1904 and started the Sterling Co. and in 1905 formed a partnership with Russell Hunting, who became recording director of the company renamed the Russell Hunting Co. Ltd., the manufacturer of Sterling cylinders. Hunting was the American entertainer famous for his recording of Casey at the Bat who had moved to England in 1901 and became recording director for Edison-Bell.

Sterling cylinders are typically about 1/4" longer than standard cylinders. In advertisements, the Sterling cylinders were always shown next to the comparatively short and stumpy standard cylinder.

A noted and unusual recording issued by Sterling was a 1907 recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore on ten cylinders. Very few copies survive, but five of the ten cylinders are in the collection.

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Edison originally envisioned sound recording as a tool for office dictation, not entertainment.

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