Uncoated aluminums go back to 1929 and were in general use by 1930.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dating a Presto Recording Corp. Transcription Disc Label
It is hard to tell much, as the logo labels (assuming this was one, which is not apparent) could be stuck onto any disc, of the same brand or not, and the discs and labels could sit around a long time before being used.
It looks like the disc is aluminum-based that is coated with acetate or some other substance (the first instantaneous discs were uncoated aluminum,
from the mid-1930's). But from the photo, it also looks like the disc is
seriously delaminating, which of course will make it unplayable. Tom has attached interesting articles about Presto, but keep in mind that a Presto blank disc could be recorded upon by many other machines. I couldn't begin to guess at a date, based on the evidence presented, other than sometime after the mid-1930's. Generally speaking, we have very few instantaneous discs from the early 1930's. They are rare. Many more come from after 1935, becoming fairly common in the 1940's. You might find better clues as to the approximate date of the recording from analyzing the musical substance of what is recorded on the disc, if that is possible.
On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 10:20 PM, Franz Kunst <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Well that could be any kind of white paper label; the extent type and
> lack of printed graphics suggest a custom/homemade job. In my
> experience green stamped Prestos are late 1930s, but I'm sure there's
> someone able to provide more concrete facts. Of course, the blanks
> sometimes sat around awhile before they were used too.
> Franz Kunst
> On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 3:52 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> > Hi:
> > First of all, here is some useful info on Presto disk recorders:
> > http://www.preservationsound.com/?p=3162
> > also this:
> > http://www.prestohistory.com/Presto.htm
> > and this:
> > If the paper label on your disk was mostly white, I would date the
> > recording from the early 1940s. Like this one:
> > http://www.edselmotors.com/vintagehepcats/acepics/presto2.JPG
> > By the mid-50's, Presto disks had an orange outline:
> > There was also an off-white color scheme in the early 50's:
> > If you can find old editions of the Presto Recorder newsletter,
> > published by the company, you might find details of exactly when the
> > label colors changed.
> > -- Tom Fine
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Karlsberg, Jesse Pearlman" <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 5:26 PM
> > Subject: [ARSCLIST] Dating a Presto Recording Corp. Transcription
> > Disc Label
> > Hello ARSC friends,
> >> I'm trying to narrow in on the date of a recording on an acetate
> >> transcription disc of a Sacred Harp singing in the collection of
> >> the
> >> Harp Museum in Carrollton, Georgia. I gather that the various
> >> companies that manufactured transcription discs occasionally
> >> redesigned the labels and so am hoping that learning when this
> >> label was in production might
> >> narrow the likely date range for the recording.
> >> Does anyone on this list know of any resources for dating
> >> transcription discs on the basis of their labels? Ours is an
> >> aluminum acetate disc
> with a
> >> Presto Recording Corp. label. I’ve uploaded an image of the label
> >> to
> >> Drive here:
> >> .
> >> Thanks in advance for any help.
> >> Best,
> >> Jesse
> >> --
> >> Jesse P. Karlsberg, PhD
> >> Post-Doctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities Publishing, Emory Center
> >> for Digital Scholarship<http://digitalscholarship.emory.edu>
> >> Consulting Editor, Southern Spaces<http://southernspaces.org/>
> >> Emory University
> >> http://jpkarlsberg.com
> >> 617 984 9378
> >> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> >> Editor, Original Sacred Harp: Centennial Edition<
> >> http://originalsacredharp.com/centennial-edition/> (Pitts Theology
> >> Library, 2015)
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