Thanks for the info.
As to your question of shellac LP's, I believe the answer appears to be yes but what I have might be
shellac/plastic mix. I don't want to drop any in the garage to find out if they're pure shellac!
They are definitely not all-vinyl. When gently "tweaked", they make the same sound as shellac 78's
or transcriptions and they are definitely not flexible like a vinyl LP circa 1970, for instance. The
LPs of that type I have are all very early Mercury LPs. The jazz Emarcy LPs from the mid-1950's were
not shellac but they were not the same vinyl as typical LPs of the early 60's. They were much
stiffer and seem to be thicker and they are prone to get some sort of white film that is also a
surface noise and can't be cleaned off, I'm assuming it's some sort of chemical reaction with the
air over decades but perhaps it's a reaction with the sleeve paper or inks?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 8:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] vinyl 78's
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
>> What's the history of vinyl 78's? I have a small pile from I think the very
> early 50's, these are
>> pop and country tunes. Was vinyl used for 78's in any mass quantities previous
> to when vinyl LPs
>> were mass-manufactured? The "newest" vinyl 78's I know of are kiddie records
> pressed in the
>> mid-60's. Aside from novelty stuff, was the medium used after the mid-60's?
>> Thanks for the coming history lesson!
> Yes! The manufacture of plastic 78's started during the WWII shellac
> shortages, as a "makeshift" measure. It was found that they suffered
> from short useful lives when used at home (on older players with
> heavy tracking weights)...but radio stations, who had better players,
> much preferred the relative noiselessness. When shellac became readily
> available late in WWII (and the AFM ban ended, as well)...at least
> some labels offered radio stations (who were starting to be provided
> with free "promo records" at the time) the option of service which
> provided vinyl copies.
> In the later forties, labels began to offer (nominally) "unbreakable"
> records...usually, as I understand it, mixtures of shellac and plastic.
> Of course, vinyl records became standard for 33/45 pressings (question
> of my own here...were any early shellac LP's ever pressed...?!), which
> made the pressing of plastic 78's a simple possibility.
> As far as "kiddie records"...plastic offered two major advantages:
> First, as 78's disappeared, and records became vinyl microgroove
> discs, plastic "kiddie discs" could be pressed on the same equipment;
> second, the "unbreakable" (comparatively, anyway...?!) vinyl discs
> stood the inevitable wear, tear and abuse much better than the old
> shellac ones ever had...!
> The few commercial and/or internal-use 78rpm pressings were made
> on 10" LP presses by c.1960 (Broadcast Libraries were on vinyl
> 78's until at least 1968; I have a (use unknown) STEREO(!) 78 made
> by RCA(C) in 1968; and occasional vinyl "test pressings" used
> either for evaluation or for LP creation appear on auction lists
> and/or eBay...!
> Steven C. Barr