Ok, so we talk a lot about Cylinders on the show, and for those who have always been curious, but not curious enough to look it up, apparently…Before records were flat, they were cylindrical, and they were played on phonographs. Who can we thank for the invention? Good old Tom Edison, that’s who. And, look, we know it’s very “21st century” to mock the man for the Tesla feud, allegations of ruthless business dealings and, ahem, electrocuting that elephant…still, how’s that lightbulb thing working out for you?

The brown wax cylinder debuted in 1889. This recording, DeWolf Hopper’s “You Can Always Explain Things Away” was made the very next year.

Sound Beat is produced at Belfer Audio Archive, home to one of the largest cylinder collections on the planet. You can choose from over 1400 right now.