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>>>>>I've just finished listing my accumulation of small diameter 78's and
was surprised at how few there were. For many years of thrift store
browsing I've always poked my finger through the holes of the stacks of 45s
looking for anything unusual. I ignored the five inch colored plastic
records since they are usually in such poor condition as to be unplayable,
but have hundreds of 7" LPs. However most of the children's 78s are ones I
had myself as a child. I suppose a 7" shellac disc in the hands of a typical
five year old would last about as long as a chocolate chip cookie.
In shellac at that age I had two albums of Dr. Sigmund Spaeth's "Little
Masters," only three of which survived, and two Pied Piper albums, all but
one disc intact.
A few are cardboard. There a couple of Picture Tone double sided folk song
records by "The Merry Singers" and Christmas novelties by Record Guild of
America and VOCO.
Vinyl is represented by single samples of Rocking Horse, Spear, Mouseketeer
T-V, and Tops for Tots.
Then there are some cardboard cutouts from cereal boxes or books:
Mouseketeer and Disney.
It doesn't seem that very much survived of this specialized medium. What
are other collector's experiences? How many on the list still have the
records they had at kindergarten age?
1) In an odd sort of way, I do...but not "kiddie discs!" My father had about
200 or so 78's...mostly pop music from the mid/late thirties (he was a big
TD fan) but with things like the Decca/Brunswick Boswells set, some Louis
Jordan and Lionel Hampton, and so forth. From the age of three or four, I
was allowed to play my favourites from these and often did. When my father
died in 1973, I inherited the records and that started me collecting. I can
dimly recall one children's album, probably bought for my brothers, but I
didn't like it and never played it!
2) (and someone may have posted to this effect) Kiddie discs go way back in
78 history...in fact, the first two-sided record was one put out by Eldridge
Johnson as a children's record! Columbia, in conjunction with Harper, put
out the "Bubble Books" (which were 6" mini-albums whose pages carried text
content and also sleeved the records) in 1914; Plaza/Regal introduced the
Playtime and Little Tots labels in the early 1920's, and these were quickly
countered by others such as Cameo-Kid, GG's
Youngster and a line of 7" Victors for children. Playtime, in fact, lasted
early 1960's, although it was changed from shellac to vinyl (and received a
prefix and a new numeric sequence) c. 1950.
Also, I think that some standard 10" issues were intended for children,
judging from their musical content!
Steven C. Barr