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----- Original Message ----- 
From: <[log in to unmask]>
> It would be interesting to research how the use of vinyl for 78s meshed
with
> the manufacture of lightweight consumer record players that could play
them
> without damage and why anyone would buy them when they could get 45s or
lps.
>
What I know so far...

Plastic records, mostly vinyl, were one of the suggested ways to deal with
the shellac shortage of early WWII. Some were pressed, but apparently the
lack of durability limited sales. However, after the war they began being
used for DJ promo copies (actually, those were new in and of themself!).

I would assume this was around the same time that record companies
began selling them at a premium as "audiophile" records?

I think this was also when the new "lihjtweight-arm" players with
crystal cartridges appeared. These were advertised as "putting only 1 ounce
of pressure on your records" and would have made the use of plastic records
possible. I don't have exact dates for any of this, though!

...stevenc
http://users.interlinks.net/stevenc/