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The name 'Concert' -- what could be more suggestive? -- was a designation favored by many phonograph companies, and in particular by Edison. At least three Edison models were gifted with this moniker, including an early electric and a version of the Edison Opera. Nonetheless when most collectors discuss the Edison Concert Phonograph they usually have in mind this machine introduced in 1899 which played cylinders 5" in diameter.
The fat cylinders were not an attempt to increase playing time, but rather an attempt to increase volume through greater surface speed. Brown wax records were always faint; the preferred way to hear them was through listening tubes.
Columbia seems to have been the first to experiment with the 5" records, but Edison quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Columbia called their oversize cylinders Grands, but Edison settled on the term Concert records.
The first version of the Edison Concert Phonograph appeared in 1899, adapted from the Edison Spring Motor Phonograph. It was fitted with the three spring Triton motor, which would also later power the Edison Triumph. This version can be distinguished by its all-enveloping lid, and by a small drawer built into the front of the case. The second version of the Edison Concert appeared in the New Style Case of 1901. With a green oak case and florid banner decal it very much resembled the Edison Triumph of the same year.
By 1902 the problem of volume had been solved with the introduction of Edison's Gold Molded records, and thus the raison d'etre of the Concert machines had vanished. The machines and the records stayed in the catalogue for a few years, but sales greatly diminished. A 1906 version of the Concert in a Model B Triumph style case is illustrated in Frow's Edison Cylinder Phonograph Companion , but most collectors have never seen this variation, and only a relative handful were likely produced.
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