Before Emile Berliner introduced the flat rotating disc for his gramophone, people listened to music on the rotating cylinders invented by Thomas Edison.
Cylinders were wildly popular for a couple of decades but were plagued by a variety of problems. First, they were extremely hard to duplicate with the technology of the era. Second, they were extremely fragile and tended to wear out rather quickly. And finally, they couldn’t store a lot of music; there was no B-side.
By WWI, even Edison had given up on cylinders, moving to a rotating disc similar to Berliner’s invention. Cylinders disappeared.
This week, a guy named Justin Martin issued the first new cylinder release in about a hundred years (or so it is claimed) when he offered up a Tiny Tim record done in this super old-school way. Read more at The Vinyl Factory.