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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
> I had a terrible experience a few years back,where my 78s were in an unheated
room for most of one winter.I came back in the spring,and lost at least a dozen
to breakage,and I never touched them.Among them,one of the records from my
Siemens Von Karajan set,my Ray Charles "Kissa Me Baby",on Swing Time,and my
Argentine Decca "El Rocko",by Bill Haley.Do they expand and contract or
something ?
>
I suspect they might...but I would also suspect that this would only
cause breakage of discs which already had cracks...even invisible-to-
the-naked-eye ones. In my experience, the only things which can damage
or destroy shellac discs are:

1) Any exposure or contact with ANY type of alcohol...be it liquor,
rubbing alcohol or whatever. That dissolves shellac!

2) Any long-term (i.e. 24 hours or more) exposure to water or water-
based liquids. I have no idea what the actual chemical mechanism is,
but I had several milk boxes of 78's which were partially inundated
when a plugged drain backed up. The discs appeared to have expanded
while under water, causing wide cracks, warpage and surface damage

Note that shellac records also soften at temperatures well above
room temperature...and can be warped if they cool while "bent."
However, this can be repaired by once again exposing them to
enough heat to become flexible, flattening them and allowing
them to cool while flat...

Steven C. Barr