"How to pack wax phonograph cylinder records" - Wyatt Markus - EdisonDiamondDisc.com
DO NOT SHIP VIA MEDIA MAIL!!!
The Post Office is very aware that many
people are taking advantage of the low
Media Mail rates to ship OTHER ITEMS
that are NOT media! They OPEN and
INSPECT items OFTEN! This can DAMAGE
YOUR RECORDS and RUIN your perfect
Packing wax cylinders can be an
overwhelming task. These valuable records are sensitive to SHOCK
and TEMPERATURE. So, shipping them
can be a very specialized task. Thankfully, it is an easy
one. I'll explain how in a minute. First I would like to
explain (vent) why this is such an important
item of discussion. Wax cylinders are a diminishing
treasure. They break, shatter, crack, wear out, and are also
vulnerable to mildew which literally EATS
AWAY at the grooves, causing permanent damage. Each year, at
least $10,000 of collectible wax cylinders are damaged in
shipping. This leverages the
increasing price of the "surviving" good cylinders, thus making it
harder for collectors to obtain records at fair and reasonable prices.
EXAMPLE: I purchased 40 brown wax cylinders made by the
Consolidated Record Company, and 3-4 very early North American (channel
wax cylinders. Estimated value I would place each record
at: $100-200 ea for the Consolidateds, $500-$1000 ea for the
North American records.
Here is where the story gets interesting. I provided CLEAR and
EASY TO FOLLOW instructions to the "antique dealer" on how to pack the
wax recordings. 2 weeks later, after my sizable check cleared, I
received a box of RATTLING BITS OF WAX!. The antique dealer
literally placed the wax
cylinders in a box, added some cheap bubble wrap that they bought in
the lobby of their local Post Office, and then SHIPPED THEM TO ME.
Are you crying yet? I was. The dealer was nice enough to
include all of the original matching record slips. Too bad the
records now resembled
crusher run gravel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, this is the lesson learned.
OKAY, here's how to pack standard sized wax cylinder records. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE ORIGINAL RECORD "TUBE" BOXES.
THERE REALLY IS NO WAY TO SHIP THESE WITHOUT THESE!
Place the cylinder in its box. Now, place styrofoam peanuts into
the center of the cylinder. Fill the void. Put top on the
cylinder box, and gently shake
the box to check for rattle. If it rattles, even slightly, in the
box, add one styrofoam peanut and try again until it stops
rattling. The styrofoam "grabs" the cylinder from the inside,
with gentle pressure, and keeps it from rattling. Put top on box
and wrap with 3-4 rubber bands to keep lid on. Then wrap the
record in a sheet of bubble wrap. Allow 4" (at least) of packing
material around the item in its final box.