In this article NPR covers a brief history of wax cylinders and the view they can provide into the past, the Endpoint Cylinder and Dictabelt Machine, and the Mapleson Cylinders:
“They could be people’s birthday parties,” Wood said, recordings that could tell us more about the social history of the time. “Or they could be “The Star-Spangled Banner” or something incredibly common,” she laughed. “I really hope for people’s birthday parties.”
She’s particularly curious about a box of unlabeled cylinders she found on a storage shelf in 2016. All she knows about them is what was on the inside of the box: Gift of Mary Dana to the New York Public Library in 1935.
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