Album containing handwritten comments on the Edison phonograph collected at the end of the 19th century, principally in Russia, by Julius Block. Comprises 17 holograph signed testimonials by P.I. Tchaikovsky, S. Tanejef, W. Safonoff, K. Rukawishnikof, J. Polonski, Alexis Potechin, Anton Rubinstein, Nicolas Rimsky-Korsakov, N. Solovieff, [Samueli?], 9 members of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, E. Napravnik, J. Hrjimaly, 16 professors of the Physico-Mathematical Faculty of Moscow University, A. Lenski, Leo Tolstoy, and Arthur Nikisch. All but one one of the testimonials are dated between 1889 and 1894 in St. Petersburg or Moscow; Arthur Nikisch's testimonial is dated 1900, Berlin. Album contains 30 pages of testimonials and 98 blank pages.
Accompanied by a portfolio containing 8 encapsulated mimeographed leaves entitled "Extracts from the Edison phonograph album" (transcriptions and translations of testimonials, on J.H. Block stationery) and 5 leaves of photocopies from another Edison album, housed at the Antique Phonograph Monthly, Brooklyn, NY.
Statement of responsibility: [testimonials collected by Julius Block], 1889-1900.
Biographical/historical: Julius Block (b. 1858, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; d. 1934, Switzerland) was a businessman and music lover. While residing in Russia, he demonstrated an Edison phonograph for many musicians and other celebrities and in many cases recorded them in performance. He "kept beautifully bound autograph books in which he collected written testimonials from those who had attended his phonographic soirées. He called these his 'Edison Albums'. Two are known to exist today: one at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Public Library, the other at the Antique Phonograph Monthly in Brooklyn, New York. The location and possible existence of additional volumes is unknown"--Liner notes for The dawn of recording : the Julius Block cylinders, p2008 (Marston : 53011-2), p. 41.