Beck’s Music-Playing Edison Bottle

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For their New Zealand market, Beck’s hired an ad agency, Shine, to create some buzz for their brand, and they came up with The Beck’s Edison Bottle, the world’s first beer bottle you can play like a record.

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Here’s the description from Vimeo:

The first playable beer.

19th Century technology meets 21st Century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project.

This time, the art label has evolved, and been replaced by the grooves of Auckland band Ghost Wave. Their new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph.
Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances.

The Edison Bottle made its public debut at SemiPermanent in Auckland in May to a standing ovation from the assembled media and design community.

Beck’s has had a long association with music and art. In fact, at about the same time Heinrich Beck was brewing his first beer in the 1870s, Tom Edison was tinkering away on designs for the first phonograph.

Considering how beer has influenced recorded music since then, this physical collaboration was very appropriate and long overdue.

And below is a video showing the design and manufacturing process, along with a short demonstration of the bottle being played.

These close-ups show what the grooves on the bottle look like.
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Comments

  1. beerman49 says

    Wonderful & clever “retro” using modern technology & reverse engineering – you probably hit the timing “connection” btwn Beck & Edison right on the head – 1st Edison cylinders debuted 1877 (commercial versions 10 yrs later).

  2. John Ahrens says

    Here at the BSCA (Beer Song Collectors of America) we are delighted at the natural convergence of two of our favorite things.

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