1893 Recording Of Black Vocal Group Sells At Auction

BIDDEFORD, Maine (November 24, 2013) A 120-year-old wax-covered cylinder containing the earliest known recording of a black vocal group in the U.S. has sold at auction in Maine.

The recording, which was discovered in a private collection in Portland, Maine, is one of only two copies known to exist.

It sold for $1,100 on Saturday.

The other copy is in the Library of Congress.

The 1893 recording of "Mama's Black Baby Boy" by the Unique Quartet was made before vinyl records and is etched on a wax-covered cylinder using technology invented by Thomas Edison.

A second Unique Quartet song, "Who Broke the Lock (on the Henhouse Door)?" sold for $1,900 at the auction. It was recorded in 1896.


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