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Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Emory and Martha Cook

Emory Cook (1913-2002) was an audio engineer and inventor who used his Sounds of our Times and Cook Laboratories record labels to demonstrate his philosophy about sound, his recording equipment, and his manufacturing techniques. From 1952 to 1966 Cook recorded, manufactured, and distributed some of the highest quality audio recordings in the world. The 140 titles on Cook Records include European and American concert music, U.S. and Caribbean popular and traditional music, as well as mechanical and natural sounds. Emory and Martha Cook donated their record company, master tapes, patents, and papers to the Smithsonian Institution in 1990.

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Cook Recordings Inventory

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Cook Records founder Emory Cook. Photo from Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections.