"How to pack wax phonograph cylinder records" - Wyatt Markus - EdisonDiamondDisc.com

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
YOUR RECORDS and RUIN your perfect
packing job!

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 rim)
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 fragile
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.
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.