Although the first instantaneous blanks were cellulose nitrate, the formula
was later changed to cellulose acetate, hence the use of "acetate" as a
cognomen for discs which are properly called "lacquer(s)". The change was
prompted by some unfortunate accidents involving mastering engineers who
smoked while cutting lacquers. The vast majority of surviving lacquer discs
are cellulose acetate. No worries (at least not about combustibility).
On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Steve Greene <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> First time poster here. How big a concern is the storage of transcription
> recordings, a majority of which are made of coated cellulose nitrate
> lacquer? Coming from a moving image background, the "n" word (NITRATE) is
> scary, though presumably the volume of nitrate in even a large collection
> of coated discs is tiny compared to even a small collection of nitrate
> film. Were there components in the "recipe" for nitrate lacquer that
> tended to make them less combustible?
> Thanks in advance for your advice, perspectives.
> Steve Greene
> Office of Presidential Libraries
> National Archives and Records Administration
> (301) 837-1772
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023