Dear Tom, Franz, John, Steve, and others,
Thanks to all for sharing insights and resources in response to my question yesterday
about dating a Presto transcription disc label. To add a bit more information:
1. From examining the disc my impression was that the paper label was home-made
and pasted over the Presto logo and has since largely been torn off. The Presto logo
underneath is blue-green and appears to be stamped or printed directly on the acetate.
Franz: is that what you're referring to when you mention a "green stamped Presto," and
what leads you to associate such a label with the late 1930s? John: what is a "logo
label"? In this case it doesn't look like the label was stuck onto the disc, but rather, that
it was printed directly onto the acetate if that's possible.
2. As John speculates, the disc is aluminum and is covered by acetate or some similar
substance. Although the disc is indeed delaminating we fortunately were able to have it
digitized by Michael Graves of Osiris Studio before any serious damage was done to
3. The material on the recording itself doesn't help us date the item. The disc contains
four songs sung by a medium-sized group of Sacred Harp singers. The sound is more
consistent with a live singing convention than with a studio setting. For those
interested, the songs are "Raymond" (p. 441 in The Sacred Harp) and "Cowper" (p. 168)
on side A and "The Church's Desolation" (p. 89) and "Christian Soldier" (p. 57) on side
B. All are relatively common songs that have been in active use over the entire period
when the disc could have been recorded. The person from whom the Sacred Harp
Museum purchased the disc believed that the recording had been made some time in
the 1940s in East Central Alabama but had no specific information.
What I am hoping is that others may have encountered identically designed stamped
Presto labels. I recognize that the disc might have sat around for a while before it was
used, but am hopeful that if any other such discs have been dated it might at least help
us approximate the earliest the recording could have been made, and may offer other
clues as well.
One last question: in the 1940 Presto catalog linked from the Preservation Sound blog,
the final page in the second file lists various discs for sale.
content/uploads/2011/09/Presto_1940_cat_2.pdf) All but one, the "monogram" disc,
mention a colored seal, yet the monogram disc has a "composition base." Is the
stamped label on the disc in question a "monogram"? What is a composition base?
Does anyone have access to earlier or later Presto Recording Corp. catalogs with
different listings of available Presto discs?
Thanks again for all your help. I appreciate it.