B93 Mr. Conyngton: We ought to be very well contented to begin with those, and undoubtedly the ordinary business rules will then govern, and Mr. Edison will get orders that will justify him in resorting to this more expensive process hereafter. We ought not to bind ourselves to deal exclusively with the Edison Works, anyhow, because nearly every company in the country that is making cylinders at all makes some cylinders that we desire to have. Our friend, Mr. Andem, makes some Brady’s that we can afford to pay him five dollars a piece for, because we make money out of them. If you give me time I can go around and pay the same compliment to all the companies, because they furnish us good cylinders and we make money off of them. We do not want to shut ourselves off from dealing with them. Therefore, it seems to me that this matter will take care of itself. If we can only get cylinders like those we listened to yesterday we will send the bulk of our orders to the Edison Works, and all other companies will do likewise. The orders will accumulate, and Mr. Edison will increase his manufacturing facilities as the demand justifies it.
Mr. McClellan: I think we all recognize the fact that variety is necessary, especially where records are used on nickel-in-the-slot machines. It is true, a good many of us make a number of the records that we use; but in order to increase our revenue we buy records from all the other companies engaged in the manufacture. Of course we must not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Edison, as he said yesterday, will duplicate any record that we may send him. If we get a good record of any kind, a master record, we can have as many copies of it as we desire. I think, as Mr. Conyngton does, that this matter
B94 will regulate itself to a great extent, because I do not believe the companies can afford to make as good records as we heard there to-day, for less than he will furnish them.
The President: I have only one suggestion to make on the musical cylinder subject. I believe it has already been stated that it would not be possible for us to cut off any of these companies from manufacturing their musical and talking records. But Mr. Edison stated, as reported to me, that for anyone who will prepare a good cylinder and send it to him, he will make duplicates from that cylinder. He will take our cylinder and make duplicates at fifty cents each. It seems to me there certainly ought to be some sort of a resolution following up Mr. Edison’s proposition. I do not know in just what form it should be worded. I think, however, there ought not to be anything in the resolution to prevent anyone from manufacturing cylinders if he sees proper to do so. I do not think it is possible to do that. But we certainly ought to have a resolution drawn stating that we will most cheerfully co-operate with Mr. Edison in securing these duplicate cylinders. If we pay Mr. Andem five dollars for a cylinder, and Mr. Andem is willing, as we will be, when we get a good cylinder, to send it to Mr. Edison and get it duplicated at fifty cents apiece—
Mr. Andem: That co-operation would kill the profits of our business.
The President: That is the object of this arrangement.
Mr. Conyngton: Could I get a cylinder from Mr. Andem for five dollars, send it on to Mr. Edison and get a hundred duplicates for fifty cents apiece, and then sell them for seventy-five cents apiece?
B95 The President: I think no cylinders of that kind ought to go to the Edison Phonograph Works. The order should go to the original manufacturer. You will find some competition when you get home, right there, that you have not considered before in regard to this.
Mr. Clephane: Mr. President, there is a way by which Mr. Andem can preserve the monopoly of these choice cylinders of his; make a great deal of money for himself, and yet enable the local companies to have them at a reasonable figure. That is, to have him send the one cylinder to the Edison Works, have duplicates made, and then he get credit for all sales of that particular cylinder to the different local companies.
The President: At five dollars apiece?
Mr. Clephane: No; he would have to come down to reasonable terms.
Mr. Boswell: In other words, you would hold out to the local company a premium upon its industry in securing the very finest records, and having secured such you would give such local company the opportunity of making a reasonable profit upon those records?
Mr. Clephane: Yes sir.
Mr. Boswell: If Mr. Edison would make such arrangement, it seems to me it would be the proper thing to do.
The President: One of the points that you will find when you get home will be this problem of dealing with the local companies. I understand that there are companies that are now furnishing cylinders to other State companies that they buy from the North American Phonograph Company. I do not think it is a proper business for any company to be engaged in. I claim if I get a musical cylinder from Mr. Andem, I would have
B96 no right to send it to the Edison Phonograph Works to have it duplicated.
Mr. Boswell: But Mr. Andem has the right.
The President: What is to prevent me from sending it to Mr. Edison and having a duplicate made?
Mr. Conyngton: It would simply depend upon Mr. Edison’s recognizing the right of Mr. Andem, for instance, to a monopoly.
Mr. Dickinson: I do not know whether this voices the true sense of the Convention, but I offer the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That this Convention recommend to the various Phonograph companies to forward all orders possible to the Edison Phonograph Company, in order to enable them to furnish the best musical records for exhibition cylinders.
Mr. Conyngton: I would like to have the committee incorporate into that resolution a request to Mr. Edison to recognize in each company the right to its own cylinders.
Mr. McClellan: I think that would depend a great deal upon Mr. Edison himself. If he were to manufacture a great variety of records, of course he could himself about supply the demand.
Mr. Andem: Mr. President, it strikes me that the proper way of getting at this would be to have Mr. Edison consent to duplicate in such numbers as may be desired any record that a local company might send him; put such on his list of cylinders to be furnished to the local companies, and then have him pay to the local company furnishing the original, a small royalty on each one that is sold. In that way the local company would get repaid for such labor and expense as it may have been involved in.
B97 Mr. Sampson: Mr. President, Mr. Andem has struck upon the very point that I had in mind. It seems to me that it would be a very simple matter for any local company that had a specialty that was adapted to its locality, to make one fine master cylinder and send it to Mr. Edison, ordering as many as it might desire for its own use. Such company at the same time could give to Mr. Edison the privilege of manufacturing such additional number as would meet the demands of the other local companies, and allow him to sell such duplicates of this master piece, he allowing such royalties as he might think fair to the local company furnishing the original.
Mr. Andem: There is another thing I would like to suggest. When the companies visited the Edison Works in last December, the same question came up, and on a conference with Mr. Edison he suggested that the only trouble in the way was that he did not see where the money was coming from to pay for these cylinders. I think, on my own suggestion, we then each one of us ordered a number of cylinders as a kind of guarantee fund. I placed an order with him for one thousand cylinders for the Ohio Company. I never have been able to get them, or to in any way hear about them. I hope this present suggestion will not fall through in the same way. One drawback, in dealing with the Edison Works, is, that while we know of a great many good things that we can get there, we can only get those that have been officially adopted, and I am afraid that the cylinders talked about this morning may come within that category.
Mr. Hoit: Mr. President, in ordering these records, would it not be better to order from the North American
B98 Company, and possibly at the same time send a duplicate order to the Edison Phonograph Works, so that they might know that such orer had been given to the North American Company. It does not seem to me that the Edison Works would care to antagonize the North American company, or take their business from them. As I understand it, ordering through the North American Company would not increase the price of these cylinders at all. It would be the same as though they were ordered direct from the Edison Works.
If there is any profit in such business for the North American Company it seems to me they ought to be placed in a position to get it.
Mr. Kincaid: Mr. President, I understood from Mr. Edison that all the profit the North American people expect to derive from the sale of these duplicates is eight cents royalty on each cylinder. Mr. Edison is ready, as I understood him, to allow them that royalty. How, therefore, the North American people can be injured by our sending all orders direct to the Edison Works, I cannot see; provided he pays that eight cents royalty.
Mr. Hoit: The report of the Secretary as made here was that the orders must come through the North American Company. That information I understood the Secretary to get from the Edison Works.
Mr. Conyngton: I would like to inquire of Mr. Miller whether by this process all the cylinders are of equal quality. After you turn them out are they tested, or are they all known to be of equal quality, and therefore no test required?
Mr. Miller: We do not know yet. I have had as many as a hundred duplicates made, and there seemed to be no difference between them.
Mr. Conyngton: You go over them and test them and throw out any that happen to be defective?
Mr. Miller: Yes sir.
double adjustment difficulties. Mr. Andem: I would like to inquire if the question of the difficulties that we have in handling cylinders on one machine, and the question of double adjustment on a cylinder would properly be a subject of discussion, as well as the place at which we are to get them?
The President: I suppose that subject might be gone into.
Mr. Andem: It is a very important topic and ought to be considered. I thought, as a matter of information, I would state our practice, and see if I could get any suggestions. We sometimes, in a lot of twenty-four cylinders purchased from some local company, will find four or five cylinders that have what we call double adjustments. In other words, when you put them on a slot machine they will run about an inch and a half and then get out of adjustment. Our experience is that that is caused by a change of temperature. The other day in Cincinnati the lady who inspects our musical cylinders before they go out, said to me that although she had about three hundred cylinder on hand, the state of the weather was such that she was in doubt whether she had enough to fill the slot machines for the day. They had expanded, and could only be used for
B100 about half their length. I suggested that perhaps they had better be put on ice, or something done to contract them. We tried various plans; among other things we did we pressed them in our hands, and finally succeeded in molding enough into shape to get through with that day. The temperature changing the next day, we had no trouble. If any member here has any suggestions to make as to what should be done to restore cylinders to their original form, or if Mr. Miller can give us any information on the subject, as he is an expert, I would be very much obliged.
Mr. Miller: The only way, I presume, to meet that difficulty would be to strike an average temperature, and make the records at that temperature. For instance, where we make our duplicates now, we have lights in our room and have a regular temperature. When we strike an average temperature, we try to keep the room at that average while they are being made.
The President: Do you loosen your cylinders at night?
Mr. Andem: Yes sir; we have done all those things. I would like to ask Mr. Miller whether he makes cylinders for different localities.
Mr. Miller: We can do that just as well.
Mr. Conyngton: We have had the same trouble spoken of by Mr. Andem, and perhaps in a more pronounced manner than any other company. When the weather began to get warm this spring, we found that nearly all the records we had on hand were utterly unavailable; that just a slight degree of expansion in the length of the cylinder would change them so that they would not run through with one adjustment. We wrote to those companies with which we had orders at that time, and asked them to make the records in the middle of the
B101 day. This they did, and we have had very little trouble since then. I believe though that the weather will have to be taken into consideration. Records made in the winter cannot, as a rule, be used in the summer; and records to be used in the Southern States will have to be made at something like the same temperature which prevails in those States.
Mr. Ott: I would like to inquire of the gentlemen present whether it is their opinion that the double adjustment required on cylinders is always due to the temperature? My theory is that it is not. Mr. Miller who is an expert on this subject, may give me some information on that point. It is my opinion that when the diaphragm is once let down on to the cylinder for the production of music, it never should be raised until the entire cylinder has been traversed. I think the raising of the diaphragm and dropping it again is liable to cause it to drop at a point out of line with the one from which it was raised. I probably can give a diagram of that on an exaggerated scale, and Mr. Miller will tell me whether I am right.
Mr. Miller: I think that by using the new musical reproducer you will not have anything like the trouble with the adjustment you have now, as I find that that keeps track better than the other reproducers.
Mr. Andem: I want to suggest that the way to get over to some extent the difficulty of which I have spoken, is by having a place in which to keep what we call the exhibition cylinders. Those cylinders that require two adjustments, which cannot be used on slot machines, but which are perfectly good in every other respect, we sell to exhibitors who exhibit to twenty people at a time through hearing tubes and they adjust as the cyl-
B102 inder goes along. That is the way we use up that class of material.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. President, it ought, perhaps, to be stated in this connection that the Edison Company will send with the samples of the duplicated cylinders a small weight that is used to weight the diaphragm; that may have the effect of better keeping the adjustment.
Mr. Conyngton: I will suggest to those who are making musical cylinders that if they would send out selections suitable for reproduction through a horn in a hall there might be a market for a limited number, at a much higher price. A great many of our musical records, while admirable in the nickel-in-the-slot machines, fail entirely when they are reproduced through the horn. Occasionally we get hold of very excellent pieces that will come out loud and clear, but not often.
The President: I understand we can get the music made just as loud as we desire it. If you wish a loud musical record the best way would be to send an order for one, and if found to be satisfactory, to order as many more as you desire. There is a certain style of music of which you cannot get a loud reproduction. Of course you cannot get a fine quartette selection that will be loud enough to be thrown out in the hall.
Mr. Sampson: I would like to say, Mr. President, that I have a large number of band pieces that I have exhibited in halls that hold anywhere from a thousand to fifteen hundred people. I have filled the Hollis and other theatres in Boston with records that I have made, and have gotten as high as two or three encores for the pieces. We had eighteen pieces in the band. I will say also that I had a story by Mr. Russel Huntington on a cylinder, which was produced at the Hollis Street
B103 Theatre two weeks ago Sunday night at a benefit. It was thrown out through the hall so perfectly that everyone heard it. Mr. Huntington was well known, and he put this talk on a cylinder for the express purpose of a beneficiary entertainment.
Mr. Andem: The Ohio Company purchased of the New England Company some of the Levy cornet solos, and we have one now which I think we could reproduce in any public hall at any time. When we put one of them on a slot machine that particular machine will be surrounded by parties, and I have heard the remark made that there was no need of paying a nickel because they could hear enough of it on the outside of the machine. That shows how loud they are.
Mr. Dickinson: Mr. President, I beg leave to offer the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That this Convention recommends that the various Phonograph companies send all their orders for the manufacture of musical and other records to Mr. Edison, with a view to having such records reproduced at the least possible cost; and
RESOLVED FURTHER, With a view to improving the quality of musical records and increasing their variety to the greatest extent, that each company shall, from time to time, send Mr. Edison such carefully made records as they may desire to have reproduced; and the companies sending said records shall have the exclusive control of the sale of said reproductions at a price enabling such companies to make a reasonable profit on the same.
Mr. Haines: The object of this resolution is to reduce, as far as possible, the cost of manufacturing musical records, and to increase, as far as possible, the variety and the quality of such records. Each company will have special facilities for making musical records in their own territory, whether they are recitations, or musical records of those or any other class. It will
B104 therefore create a certain rivalry between the companies which will materially improve the records that are sent out, without necessarily raising the price of such records.
The question being put on the motion to adopt, it was unanimously agreed to.
The President: A copy of this resolution should be sent to the Edison Phonograph Works.
The next Topic for the discussion of the Convention is the question of Batteries, and we will have to very much abridge discussion on this Topic.
batteries. Mr. Hoit: With regard to the Battery question, I will say that we have tried a great many batteries, and have found the most successful one to be a storage battery. I think the Anglo-American storage battery is the one that has given the greatest satisfaction under all circumstances and conditions. Representing, as I do, the Anglo-American Company, I feel I can speak as one having experience. They have been tested by different companies, and, according to the reports, have given entire satisfaction. It is a compact battery, although you must necessarily have the weight to get the efficiency. It has a weight of about 50 pounds, and is guaranteed to give 150 ampere hours, but will frequently produce 300. It never will run below 200 ampere hours. It can be easily and safely shipped. Every day they are being shipped to Galveston, Texas; Helena, Mont.; New Orleans; Atlanta, Ga.; Canada and all over this country. I am convinced it is the best battery in use to-day.
Mr. Grant: In regard to the Battery question I would like to say a word. Adams Express Company’s office in
B105 our place refuses to receive them, and there are many points in our State which we cannot reach by any other line. The reason for this refusal is leakage.
The President: What battery?
Mr. Grant: The Anglo-American Storage Battery. Another reason for the refusal is because, on one occasion, they placed a can of varnish on top of the batteries in the car at one time, and in about ten minutes they had no varnish in the can and not much can. The battery was varnished when we received it, and had received a very thorough and thick coat. I would like to call to the attention of the manufacturers of storage batteries the necessity of providing some sort of an insulated cover. We have since that time used tape for insulating purposes. I think that the manufacturers of batteries for Phonographs should provide for this insulation.
Mr. Andem: I would like to ask Mr. Grant if he shipped the batteries without any crate or packing?
Mr. Grant: We have put the block on them with two holes in it, but that is not always satisfactory. I am willing, however, to endorse the Anglo-American as the best battery we have ever yet had experience with.
Mr. Andem: We ship a great many batteries over the State of Ohio to exhibitors, and we have had the same experience that Mr. Grant has spoken about. Two or three of the express companies refused to receive our batteries. Thereupon we had a wooden crate made which protected the binding posts, and put a handle on the top of the battery, so that it could not be handled except from the top, marked “This Side Up With Care,” also a little cork in the rubber tube and then called the manager of the Adams, the United States and all the
B106 other Express Companies to our office, showed them this battery, and asked them if they would please try and spill some of the fluid. The battery was kicked around our office, turned upside down, and notwithstanding this rough treatment they were unable to spill any of the fluid. They immediately issued an order to receive all batteries from us packed in that way. We have had no trouble since.
Mr. McClellan: We ship a great many batteries all over the State of Illinois; about as many, I presume, as most other companies. We use none at all in Chicago, where our office is located, and we therefore ship all that we use. I would recommend that the companies, if they can spare the time, ship the batteries by freight, if possible, as they receive a great deal better care than they do when shipped by express. I have had a talk with the express company’s agent in regard to the matter, and he says they cannot prevent their men from throwing the batteries around when they are in a hurry. As the trains stop but a little while oftentimes, the goods are rushed forward and thrown out in any condition at all; and it is very difficult to prevent the batteries from being tipped over on the side. This will, of course, cause the liquid to run out. On the contrary, when handled as freight, they are put in the freight house, and the men take their time to put them out, and you will find that they will receive a great deal better attention. Of course, in cases of necessity, you are obliged to ship them by express. I would recommend to all battery companies the placing of a handle on the top of the battery, because when the expressman in a hurry picks up a battery – the handles to most batteries tha I know of are on the side – they never