The Edison Wax Cylinder - the father of all recorded media, and the way we 'used to' consume music.
From the Library of Congress database:
Recording Title: Sit Down (you're rocking the boat)
Composer: Jean Schwartz
Lyricist: William Jerome, Grant Clarke
Tenor Vocal (Artist): Billy Murray
Genre: Humorous Songs
Label Name/Number: Victor 17516
Matrix Number/Take Number: B-14165/2
Recording Date: 1913-12-09
Place of Recording: Camden, NJ
Friends are always asking what they can get me for Christmas, for a birthday... something music-related that I don't have. Admittedly, I've got a fairly extensive collection of various artifacts and collectibles throughout recorded musical history.
A few years back, a good friend of mine came through with a true surprise: a series of Edison wax cylinders. This was a missing piece in my audio history collection and as these photos showcase (and the MP3 above demonstrates) the details (on the cylinder itself) and the music contained therein are both mesmerizing, eerie and mind-boggling...and it still plays!