I took some pictures of the edge damage. In cross section it looks like a layer of crumbly slate, if you can visualize that. Multiple layers of paper/fiber composite. Definitely looked nothing like shellac. They looked to be carefully made to maintain a smooth surface, unlike the lo-fi "V-mail" discs used during the war, still relatively fragile, though.
Office of Presidential Libraries
National Archives and Records Administration
>>> Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> 4/24/2012 1:32 PM >>>
From: Steve Greene <[log in to unmask]>
> I've come across laminated discs that have the NBC "Reference Recording - INSTANTANEOUS" label, that I think may have a fiberboard substrate. I initially thought they were shellac due to the thickness and the solid spindle cut-out, but edge damage from rough handling shows layers of material, which look like some type of paper or wood pulp composite. I think they were trying all types of aluminum substitutes during the war. Steve Greene Archivist Office of Presidential Libraries
National Archives and Records Administration (301) 837-1772
Especially since you thought at first they were shellac, is is possible
that they are Columbia-type shellac pressings that have had NBC labels
pasted on them? It would also make sense that someone might have asked
for blank-surfaced shellac pressings to be made for some company to use
as a substrate for a lacquer coating to be applied to. It might work.
Columbia laminated records were made differently from Edison laminated
Diamond Discs which started out with the center core "powder blank" made
first, and the top grooved layer applied after. Columbia used a lump of
coarse shellac which was placed inbetween the paper layers and the
fine-grade shellac which was already in flat sheet form. Someone could
have tried to use a sheet of cutable lacquer instead! AudioDiscs were
made by having a sheet of formed lacquer placed onto the aluminum or
glass substrate, which was different from most of the other companies
which either dipped, sprayed, or otherwise applied the lacquer as a
I would love to see those discs.
>>> Roger Kulp <[log in to unmask]> 4/23/2012 9:09 PM >>>
>> Don't forget all those WWII and earlier home recording records on cardboard,
>> that are now mostly unplayable. Roger
I have many of them of many different types which are playable.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]