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Object Record

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Object Name Shaver, Dictating Machine
Catalog Number 2014.27.01
Description Edison Shaving machine used for dictation and transcribing.

When the typist had finished transcribing a message, she (mostly but sometimes he) removes the cylinder from the transcribing machine and moves it to the shaving department. There the cylinder is placed on a shaving machine and all traces of the message are removed.

The shaving machine is fairly similar to an ordinary lathe. The wax cylinder is placed on the revolving mandrel and as it revolves a sapphire disc or cutting knife is held against the cylinder and shaves a very thin layer from its outer surface. The layer removed is so this that one cylinder may be used as many as one hundred times.

Below the cylinder is a bag that collects all the shavings to be tossed away
Source Smith, Carol D.