Phonograph Library

A comprehensive list of currently available and out-of-print books relating to
the phonograph, its developers, and related items

In association with Amazon.Com, the Internet's premiere online bookstore, you may order any of these books that are available from them by clicking on the Amazon.Com logo shown after the book's title

Mr. Allen Koenigsberg, an avid collector and phonograph reference material supplier, stocks many of the books listed below. Books that display his name to the right of them are available from him at the price listed (which includes 4th class postage), and clicking on his name will take you to the Allen Koenigsberg Phonograph Publications page which contains additional ordering information, as well as a large selection of superb facsimile catalogs and manuals

"His Master's Voice" In America
By: Fred Barnum
Published by The General Electric Company
385 pages, hardcover (out of print)

Covering the early history of Nipper, Edison, Berliner, Johnson, and Victor, this excellent book also covers the years of the RCA acquisition, and the GE merger.

This out-of-print book was published privately by GE in 1991 and was available only to employees of GE. The press run was about 5,000, making this book extremely rare today.

A Streak of Luck - The Life and Legend of Thomas A. Edison
By: Robert Conot
Published by Seaview Books
ISBN 0-87223-521-1, hardcover, 565 pages

An excellent biography on the life and inventions of Mr. Edison.

Although the hardcover is out of print, the soft cover is still available.

Collecting Phonographs and Gramophones
By: Christopher Proudfoot
Published by Christie's International
ISBN 0-8317-3952-5, hardcover, 119 pages (out of print)

As the head of the Mechanical Music Department at Christie's since 1975, Mr. Proudfoot has certainly seen many fine instruments pass though the London auction house's doors. This book contains many photo's and good descriptive text of several of these.

Columbia Phonograph Companion, Vol. II
By: Robert W. Baumbach
Published by Stationary X-Press
ISBN 0-9606466-2-4, hardcover

Once again, Mr. Baugmbaugh works his authoritative magic on the Columbia phonographs. Volume II deals with the Disc Graphophones and internal horned Grafanolas. Volume I (not yet released) will deal with the Columbia cylinder machines


Edison - A life of Invention
By: Paul Israel
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISBN 0-471-52942-7, 552 pages, hardcover

This latest large work of Edison's life is sparse in photographs, but rich in information on Edison's inventions and his life, offering a new and different perspective.


Edison Blue Amberol Recordings 1912-1914
By: Ronald Dethlefson
Published by Stationary X-Press
ISBN 0-9606466-3-4, 208 pages, softcover

A complete listing of the Blue Amberol cylinders produced from 1912 to 1914, including descriptions and some sample record slips. Includes some transcriptions, manufacturing and dubbing techniques, and photos and biographies of some of the Edison recording stars of the period.


Edison Cylinder Phonograph Companion
By: George L. Frow
Published by Stationary X-Press
ISBN 0-9606466-1-4, hardcover, 384 pages

What Baumbach does for the Victor machines, Frow does for the Edison cylinder machines. Complete descriptions of all the machines, plus photographs, drawings, and a wealth of related information


Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912
By: Allen Koenigsberg
Published by APM Press
214 pages, softcover

This publication, which includes "An Illustrated History of the Phonograph", contains listings of over 10,000 2M/4M/Concert wax cylinders. Entries are cross-listed by title, record number, artist, and date. This is an invaluable tool for anyone who wishes to research and catalog their cylinder collection, or research the various Edison recording artists of the period.


Edison Disc Phonographs and Diamond Discs
By: George L. Frow
Published by George L. Frow
ISBN 0-9595462-5-9, hardcover, 286 pages

What he does for the Edison cylinder phonographs, Mr. Frow does for the Diamond Disc machines. Model information, pictures, drawings and photographs of the manufacturing process make this the ultimate DD reference guide.


Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound in the United States
Edited By: Guy A. Marco
Published by Garland Publishing, Inc.
Hardcover, 910 pages

From "AB switch" to "Zonophone", nearly every aspect of the recording industry is covered from the very beginning to the modern era.


From Tinfoil to Stereo
By: Walter L. Welch & Leah Brodbeck Stenzel Burt
Published by University Press of Florida
ISBN 0-8130-1317-8, hardcover


Hand-Cranked Phonographs
By: Neil Maken
Published by Promar Publishing
ISBN 0-9640687-1-0, softback, 87 pages

A good basic introduction to phonographs

His Master's Voice Was Eldridge R. Johnson
By: E.R. Fenimore Johnson
Published by State Media
hardcover, 179 pages

Though precious little about the Victor company is disclosed, this book presents a good biography of Eldridge Johnson, his family, and some of the persons that surrounded hum during the company's prime.


History Of Music Machines
The Smithsonian Institute
Published by Drake Publishers
ISBN 0-87749-755-9, 139 pages, hardcover (out of print)

This publication displays many of the music, and of course, phonograph machines in the museums collection

Look For The Dog
By: Robert W. Baumbach
Published by Stationary X-Press
ISBN 0-9606466-0-4, Softcover

This is THE authoritative book on the Victor Talking machine company. Covering every model up to 1929, it includes production statistics, machine characteristics, drawings of nearly every model, and several photos of the Camden factory.


My Dog
By: Fred Andrews
Published by Seattle Book Company

This quirky pictorial-only book, shows photos of the author's Nipper statue in a variety of scenes.

Note the Notes
By: Mike Sherman and Kurt Nauck
Published by Monarch Record Enterprises
ISBN 0-9632903-2-0, 64 pages, softcover

While much information has been availble on the Victor and Edison record labels, the Columbia label has often been the "stepchild" of the record collector.

This book, though not a discography, presents, through excellent descriptive text and beautiful full color images, a history of the Columbia disc record, as well as tools for approximate dating of a particular issue.

Phono Graphics
By: Arnold Swartzman
Published by Chronical Books
ISBN 0-8118-0302-3, softcover

As the back cover states: "A celebration of the dazzling array of graphic styles used to adorn and advertise phonographs and phonograph accoutrements during the golden age of the Talking Machine".


Procedings of the 1890 Convention of Local Phonograph Companies
Series Editor: Danny R. Hatcher
Published by Country Music Foundation Press
210 pages, softcover (out of print)

A reprint of a the rare transcripts of the first annual Convention of Local Phonograph Companies, held in 1890.

Talking Wax
By: Leroy Hughbanks
Published by The Hobson Book Press
142 pages, hardback (out of print)

Generally considered the first book on the history of phonographs, this 1945 book is "written in non-technical language for all who love recorded music"

The Collector's Guide to "His Master's Voice" Nipper Souvenirs
By: Ruth Edge & Leonard Petts
Published by The EMI Group
ISBN 0-9509293-2-8, softcover, 1022 pages

A mamouth guide to virtually everything related to Nipper and the items he adorns


The Compleat Talking Machine
By: Eric L. Reiss
Published by Sonoran Publishing, LLC
ISBN 1-886606-12-9, softcover, third edition

This book is a MUST for anyone who wants to do maintenance or restoration work on their cylinder or disc phonographs. Loaded with illustrative black & white photos, this book provides an overall look at several of the common (and not so common) problems one is likely to come across.


The Edison Phonograph Monthly
Compiled and reprinted by: Wendell Moore
Published by Pennant Litho
14 volumes, hardcover

Originally printed during the first two decades of the 20th century, these 4-6 page publications were provided monthly to the Edison dealers and jobbers. The complete set of 14 years, found in the 70's, was reprinted from 1976 to 1988. This is a facinating insight into the phonograph industry at its peak of popularity.


The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings
Compiled by: Ted Fagan and William R. Moran
Published by Greenwood Press
2 Volumes, hard cover

This two volume set covers the complete Victor disc library. The first volume covers the early pre-matrix issues, while the second volume covers matrix numbers 1-4999.

The Fabulous Phonograph
By: Roland Gelatt
Published by MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 0-02-542960-4, hardcover, 349 pages

A decent history of the development of the phonograph and the industry and technology that grew around it.

The Illustrated History of Phonographs
By: Daniel Marty
Published by Dorset Press
ISBN 0-88029-388-8, hardcover (out of print)

This book, although out-of-print, is still available, and was considered the only real coffee table format phonograph book, until that title was quickly usurped by the superior Fabrizio and Paul book, "The Illustrated Compendium".


The Patent History of the Phonograph, 1877-1912
By: Allen Koenigsberg
Published by APM Press
155 pages, softcover

This book is a complete reference to the over 2,118 patents and 1,013 inventors who helped create the talking machine business of the turn of the century. It includes a wealth of reproduced drawings and annotations to the significance of the inventions.


The Phonograph and How To Construct It
By: W. Gillett
Published by Spon & Chamberlain (originally), reprint published 1978
ISBN 0-9505462-4-0, softcover, 86 pages plus 6 pull-out drawings

This book actually gives information and diagrams for the construction and operation of both a tinfoil and a wax cylinder phonograph. The metal lathe and other skills needed to perform these tasks are beyond the means of most collectors, but it is interesting reading anyway.

The Phonograph And How To Use It
The National Phonograph Company
Published by The National Phonograph Company
Hardcover, 181 pages, (out of print)

This book from Edison's company, once in reprint in the 1970's, gives a brief history of the phonograph, and describes the correct operation and maintenance of many of the models current to 1900.


The Talking Machine
By: James N. Weber
Published by ADIO, Inc.
ISBN 0968215106, softcover, 147 pages

A wonderful collection of advertising, beautifully reproduced, relating to the Berliner Gramophone, and the Victor Talking Machine.

The Talking Machine: An Illustrated Compendium
By: Tim Fabrizio & George Paul
Published by Shiffer Books
Photograph examples and signed copies are available directly from Tim Fabrizio at the Phonophan web site.

Now the de facto coffee table book, this book is a delightful collection of some of the most beautiful phonograph pictures you are likely to see. Informative text and good general information and history make this book a "Must Have"