Preliminary Couplings

During the early development of Edison Diamond Discs, the factory issued several groups of records that are now known as Preliminary Matchings, or Preliminary Couplings. These were for advance sale to jobbers and dealers and later to the public. Two matrix numbers were paired for each preliminary coupling, such as matrix 1052 and 999, which were assigned to disc 80001. Some of these matrix numbers were also assigned to other preliminary coupling numbers, perhaps as a way to test the pairing of repertoire on a two-sided disc. 

Each of the main label series had a set of preliminary couplings. The pairs of matrix numbers appearing on the 50000 and 80000 series are well documented in articles for the New Amberola Graphic by Ray Wile, though he never published a complete list of the titles from the 82000, 82500, and 83000 series. The entire series was deleted from the catalog in July 1913 and only about 10 of the preliminary couplings survived the transition to the main catalog, though some of the matrixes used on the preliminary couplings appeared on later, regular catalog issues. In all, it makes the first couple hundred issues from Edison very confusing! 

The following Preliminary Couplings survived into the main catalog:











(Sources: and

- David Seubert, UC Santa Barbara (David is the Project Director of the Discography of American Historical Recordings)