Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2013.036.051
Description Edison Royal Purple Amberol Record Case is cylindrical in shape and made of cardboard. Cardboard is colored purple on the outside, and plain on the interior and base. Tube has a dark purple border/background, with a light purple center band that is made up of two rectangular sections. One of these sections is larger, and contains the text "EDISON ROYAL PURPLE AMBEROL RECORD" in white text with a black outline, as well as two Edison logos placed in opposite corners (upper left, lower right). The smaller section contains a black and white image of Thomas Edison, with patent information below. There is also a circular ring of embossed text around the pinhole.
Object Name Case, Audio Recording
Collection 3D - Sound Communication Tools & Equipment
Title Edison Royal Purple Amberol Record Case
Date c. 1912 to late 1920s
Creator Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "EDISON / ROYAL PURPLE / AMBEROL RECORD" (in white print on side); "TRADE MARK / Thomas A. Edison / A PRODUCTION OF / THE EDISON / LABORATORIES" (Logo text by title text); "4000-5M418" (black ink above Edison image); "Patented in the U.S. July 12, 1910, Sept 29, 1914 . . . Edison records for such countries" (beginning and ending text below Edison image); "SEELEY TUBE / NEWARK N.J. / U.S.A. / ANDBOX CO." (embossed/stamped on base)
Provenance Items from the estate of Edmond Marchais who spent almost all of his 93 year life in Menlo Park. He worked in a machine shop in Redwood City. The phonograph player and cylinders were from his Menlo Park childhood home when he lived with his father (French) and mother (French-Italian) Maurice and Emily Marchais.
Notes Beginning in 1912 Edison began to make Blue Amberol celluloid cylinders to replace wax cylinders which broke more easily. They were made of celluloid and had plaster of paris inside. Edison manufactured these until the late 1920s.
Case used with Blue Amberol Cylinders
Dimensions H-4.25 W-2.25 D-2.25 inches
Search Terms Marchais, Edmond
Music Equipment
Cylinder, Phonograph
Subjects Phonographs
Phonograph industry
Audiovisual materials
People Marchais, Edmond