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Phonograph cylinder duplicator, c 1897.

Phonograph cylinder duplicator, c 1897.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm


Cylindrical records were hard to duplicate. How do you release a grooved cylinder from its one-part mould? The problem was eventually solved with shrinking wax, but meantime multiple editions meant recording the same piece many times or using a duplicator like this. Master and blank rotate together while the movements of the pickup stylus are conveyed via levers to a cutter which makes the duplicate. The machine could produce twenty copies an hour, though quality could be poor and the master soon wore out.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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