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Blue Amberol Records

Blue Amberol Records are cylinder recordings manufactured by the Edison company in the USA from 1912 to 1929. See also: Edison Records

Package lid (left) and rim of Edison "Blue Amberol" cylinder

These cylinder records are made of an early variety of plastic pattented by the Edison company called "Blue Ameberol", which was able to withstand hundreds, possibly over a thousand, playings, with only moderate increase in surface noise if played on well-maintained machines with a stylus in good condition.

The cylinders have a maximum playing time of just over 4 minutes. They can not be played succesfully on older machines set up to play the earlier standard of 2 minute cylinders, as the Amberols require a smaller stylus to track the groove and the worm-gear which moves the stylus over the surface of the cylinder must turn at a differnt rate. The Edison company sold kits with gears and reproducers which could be attached to older vaieties of cylinder phonographs by those who wished to be able to play the new Blue Amberol records. The Edison company marketed phonographs capable of playing both the older style 2 minute and the new Blue Amberol records; with these machines the user needed to adjust a lever (which changed gearing) and change the reproducer (which held different sizes of stylus) when going from one type of record to another. Other phonographs were manufactured which could only play the Blue Amberols, these were called "Amberolas".

"Amberola 75" model phonograph

The early issues of Blue Amberols are of higher audio fidelity than later issues. From the mid 1910s on, the Edison Company concentrated most of their research on improving the sound of their disc records, and their later cylinders are simply dubs of their discs. The dubbing technique used, acoustical-mechanical until the late 1920s, resulted in a somewhat hollow "dead" sound on theses cylinders compared to the original discs they were dubbed from. On many such cylinders, one can hear the sound of the disc machine being started just at the beginning of the record and of it being stopped just before the end.

The "Amberol" plastic of the cylinders is molded around a core of plaster. This plaster core has proved the greatest problem with long-term survival of Blue Amberol Records, as the plaster often tends to expand over the decades, especially if exposed to mosture or kept in humid conditions. The expanding plaster in less severe cases can make the inside of the record not fit properly on the phonograph mandrel (which can be fairly easily remedied by reaming the inner surface of the cylinder out, or can warp the cylinder out of round making it not play properly. In worse cases, the expanding plaster will crack or split the plastic playing surface, rendering the record unusuable.

The Blue Ameberol plastic is highly flamable.

Numerical listing (incomplete)

The initial number is the record number, followed by the tune or selection title. After this is the writer credits in parenthesis; "w." indicates writer of song's words; "m." indicates composer of a tune's music. After this is the name of the artist(s) performing on the recording.

1518 Whispering Hope (w.m. Alice Hawthorne) Helen Clark & Harry Anthony
  • 1529 Row Row Row (w. William Jerome m. James V. Monaco) Collins & Harlan
  • 1568 On A Beautiful Night With A Beautiful Girl (w. Will D. Cobb m. Gus Edwards) Walter Van Brunt
  • 1589 That's How I Need You (w. Joe McCarthy & Joe Goodwin m. Al Piantadosi) Irving Gillette
  • 1643 Yiddisha Professor (w.m. Irving Berlin Maurice Burkhart
  • 1737 That Old Girl Of Mine (w. Earle C. Jones m. Egbert van Alstyne) Frederick J. Wheeler
  • 1738 When I Lost You (w.m. Irving Berlin) Irving Gillette
  • 1743 Trail Of The Lonesome Pine (w. Ballard MacDonald m. Harry Carroll) Manuel Romain
  • 1749 Goodbye Boys (w. Andrew B. Sterling & William Jerome m. Harry Von Tilzer) Billy Murray
  • 1796 Snookey Ookums (w.m. Irving Berlin) Collins & Harlan
  • 1931 You Made Me Love You (w. Joseph McCarthy m. James V. Monaco) Anna Chandler
  • 1941 Somebody's Coming To My House (w.m. Irving Berlin) Walter Van Brunt
  • 1943 There's A Girl In The Heart Of Maryland (w. Ballard MacDonald m. Harry Carroll) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2022 Curse Of An Aching Heart (w. Henry Fink m. Al Piantadosi) Will Oakland
  • 2036 Peg O' My Heart (w. Alfred Bryan m. Fred Fisher) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2114 Southern Dream Patrol (by Franz Mahl) New York Military Band
  • 2258 I Miss You Most Of All (w.m. Joseph McCarthy Sr & James V. Monaco) Manuel Romain
  • 2263 Peg O' My Heart (w. Alfred Bryan m. Fred Fisher) violin solo Charles D'Almaine released May 1914
  • 2264 Love's Own Sweet Song (w. C. C. S. Cushing & E. P. Heath m. Emmerich Kalman) Elizabeth Spencer & Irving Gillette
  • 2270 Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (w. A. Seymour Brown m. Albert Gumble) Al Campbell & Irving Gillette
  • 2344 On The Shores Of Italy (w.m. Al Piantadosi, Dave Oppenheim & Jack Glogau) Albert C. Campbell & Irving Gillette
  • 2375 This Is The Life (w.m. Irving Berlin) Billy Murray
  • 2395 When You Play In The Game Of Love (w. Joe Goodwin m. Al Piantadosi) Manuel Romain
  • 2404 Something Seems Tingle-Ingling (w. Otto Harbach m. Rudolf Friml) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2428 When The Angelus Is Ringing (w. Joe Young m. Bert Grant) Irving Gillette
  • 2448 Roll Them Cotton Bales (w. James W. Johnson m. J. Rosamond Johnson)< Premier Quartette
  • 2468 Aba Daba Honeymoon (w.m. Arthur Fields & Walter Donovan) Collins & Harlan
  • 2507 I Want To Go Back To Michigan, Down On The Farm (w.m. Irving Berlin) Billy Murray
  • 2513 He's A Rag Picker (w.m. Irving Berlin) Peerless Quartette
  • 2530 Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers (w. R. P. Weston m. Herman E. Darewski) Billy Murray
  • 2542 My Melancholy Baby (w. George A. Norton m. Ernie Burnett) Walter Scanlan
  • 2547 When You Wore A Tulip (w. Jack Mahoney m. Percy Wenrich) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2548 Goodbye Girls I'm Through (w. John Golden m. Ivan Caryll) Owen J. McCormack
  • 2561 On The 5:15 (w. Stanley Murphy m. Henry I. Marshall) Pete Murray
  • 2580 I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier (w. Alfred Bryan m. Al Piantadosi) Helen Clark
  • 2586 Little House Upon The Hill (w. Ballard MacDonald & Joe Goodwin m. Harry Puck) Manuel Romain
  • 2607 Play A Simple Melody (w.m. Irving Berlin) Mary Carson & Walter Van Brunt
  • 2628 What Is Love (Irving Berlin) Elizabeth Spencer & chorus
  • 2658 There's A Little Spark Of Love Still Burning (w. Joe McCarthy m. Fred Fisher) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2663 Alabama Jubilee (w.m. Jack Yellen & George L. Cobb) Collins & Harlan
  • 2687 Hello Frisco! (w. Gene Buck m. Louis A. Hirsch) Harvey Hindermyer & Helen Clark
  • 2693 By Heck (w. L. Wolfe Gilbert m. S. R. Henry) Jaudus Society Orchestra
  • 2700 My Little Girl (w. Sam M. Lewis & William Dillon m. Albert Von Tilzer) Arthur C. Lichty
  • 2749 When I Leave The World Behind (w.m. Irving Berlin) Glen Ellison
  • 2759 They Didn't Believe Me (w. Herbert Reynolds m. Jerome Kern) Gladys Rice & Walter Van Brunt
  • 2773 Keep The Home Fires Burning (w. Lena Guilbert Ford m. Ivor Novello) Frederick J Wheeler
  • 2776 When Old Bill Bailey Plays The Ukulele (w.m. Charles McCarron & Nat Vincent) Billy Murray
  • 2797 Molly Dear It's You I'm After (w. Frank Wood m. Henry E. Pether) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2814 M-O-T-H-E-R (w. Howard Johnson m. Theodore F. Morse) George Wilton Ballard
  • 2819 Just Try To Picture Me (Back Home In Tennessee)(w. William Jerome m. Walter Donaldson) George Wilton Ballard
  • 2835 There's A Long Long Trail (w. Stoddard King m. Zo Elliott) George Wilton Ballard
  • 2839 I Love A Piano (w.m. Irving Berlin) Walter Van Brunt
  • 2842 I've Been Floating Down The Old Green River (w. Bert Kalmar m. Joe Cooper) Billy Murray
  • 2877 Memories (w. Gustave Kahn m. Egbert Van Alstyne) Burton Lenihan
  • 2897 I Can Dance With Everybody But My Wife (w. Joseph Cawthorn & John Golden m. John Golden) Billy Murray
  • 2931 Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday Night? (w. Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young m. George W. Meyer) Billy Murray
  • 2942 Are You From Dixie? (w.m. Jack Yellen & George L. Cobb) Billy Murray
  • 2957 Baby Shoes (w. Joe Goodwin & Ed Rose m. Al Piantadosi) Elizabeth Spencer
  • Continued on Blue Amberol Records Part 2

    List of record labels