Special Cylinder Series
Back to the Accessories
Three special Cylinder series were issued by the Edison company: the Special 4 Minute wax Amberol (10) in blue boxes, the Special 4 Minute wax Amberol (24) in orange & green boxes and the Special 4 Minute celluloid Blue Amberol (10) in blue boxes.
When Edison issued his new 4 M "Amberol" wax cylinders in 1908, he also issued "Combination Attachments" to transform the 2 M machines into 2 & 4 M ones. To persuade people to buy these combination kits and try the new cylinders, a special Amberol serie of 10 (A to K, without I) was issued. The 10 were sold for an extra $1.00 with the purchase of the attachment.
Special L through W serie was also issued after 1911 in Yiddish.
In 1910, to increase the sales of cylinder phonographs (nearly all the other companies had, at that time, abandonned cylinders for disc records; the last new Columbia cylinder Graphophone was issued in 1908) Edison isued a second 4 M wax Special Amberol serie called the "D" serie. These 24 cylinders, D-1 to D-24 were boxed in distinctive orange and green containers. If an Edison customer convinced another person to buy an Edison phonograph, and the sale was completed, the first customer could get 6 free cylinders from the list of 24.
I am looking for the missing lid for D-22. Anybody who would like to help me to complete the serie is welcome to communicate with me Me, thank you!
In 1912, when the 4 M celluloid cylinders were issued, a new Special Blue Amberol serie was also issued, even if at this time the combination attachment kits started to be quite obsolete (in fact, they were available untill as late as 1914). They were the same 10 titles (from A to K, without I) than the ones of the previous Special Amberol serie. The first sets of ten used the same lid label than the wax ones with "Edison Amberol Records" and the same young Edison portrait (A, B, D, G, and J above). The last sets have special lid labels marked : "Edison Blue Amberol Records" with no more mention of "4 Min" and an older Edison portrait (C, E, F and H). Notice that the Special K has a lid written in German without title. The blank center was used for the identification letter only. If the two first special series have boxes of same diameter, with inside coton for the wax protection (in fact this coton killed millions of cylinders due to humidity), the boxes of the third serie are smaller, then, they cannot accept the too large lids of the first series.
Back to the Accessories