Richard is correct about several companies having used vinyl for 78s to
varying degrees, especially after World War II. Mike, RCA Victor (at least)
introduced its "Red Seal Deluxe" series in 1946, before the company introduced 45s
around 1949 or its LPs in the spring of 1950, so unless the vinyl 78s were
kept in print after 1949 there was no competition.
It would indeed be interesting to research whether any equipment
manufacturer introduced lighter-weight pickups to play the vinyl records. Without having
done so, I'd suspect that few if any did because the number of commercial
vinyl 78s was small. RCA Victor may have issued no more than a total of thirty
"Red Seal Deluxe" album sets and only a few vinyl Red Seal singles aside from
the highly specialized "Heritage" series of acoustical vocal reissues. That
would apply to home-use equipment because, as Richard pointed out, a lot of
material supplied only to radio stations was pressed in vinyl. Professional playback
equipment was apparently made to handle lighter tracking pressures. Does
anyone know for sure?
I do know that standard home phonographs of the late '40s weren't kind to
the "Red Seal Deluxe" records. They're quiet when they're in mint condition,
but most that I've ever encountered that were played to any degree exhibit wear
plus surface noise, all probably the result of the heavy pickups designed for
Dear Mike and List Readers,
As you've probably found, some manufacturers released vinyl 78's without
notice or with minimal notice. I've seen Columbia 78's pressed in black
vinyl with very little if any indication of that fact; and several small
labels used vinyl, usually either black or red, most or all of the time.
Many children's records were pressed in vinyl, perhaps in order to use
colored discs, probably also because of shatter-resistance. Many promos for
radio station use were pressed in vinyl, while their marketed versions were
made of shellac. Most vinyl 78's seem to have been marketed after WW II
(but there are probably exceptions to that observation).
At 09:39 AM 9/22/2005, you wrote:
>In a message dated 9/21/2005 1:30:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
>[log in to unmask] writes:
>It is worth noting that very few "78's" were ever pressed from vinyl.
>At one time I thought the RCA Victor "Red Seal Deluxe" series was unique but
>since I've found that several manufacturers released vinyl 78 consumer series.
>It would be interesting to research how the use of vinyl for 78s meshed with
>the manufacture of lightweight consumer record players that could play them
>without damage and why anyone would buy them when they could get 45s or lps.