Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Bell-Bettini-Marconi-Neuman "Brutus" 5ft Cylinder

In late 1901 or perhaps early 1902 Everlasting sought to create the ultimate record...

To that end, Everlasting secured four industry greats - Alexander Graham Bell, Gianni Bettini, Guglielmo Marconi, and Alfred Neuman – to develop the record with a goal to unveil the new format at the grand opening of the Flatiron Building in New York City. Aiming for playback volume rather than convenience, and revolving at a daring 160-RPM, the development team created this, the world's largest cylinder record, nicknaming it the "Brutus" cylinder.

With its unprecedented surface speed and spacious 13 grooves per inch (yielding a maximum recording of just over two minutes), the Brutus produced by far the loudest sound recordings of its time.

Unfortunately, the ambitious experiment was doomed to failure. Centrifugal forces caused chunks of the wax recording surface to fly off the record on its maiden showing.

The cylinder caused several minor injuries and considerable property damage before it could be stopped.

The resulting lawsuits eventually led to the dissolution of Everlasting, making it the only company shut down by a legal battle not brought on by Victor, Edison or Columbia.

More info at: http://www.tinfoil.com/brutus.htm

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