The majors began using vinyl for kiddie records around 1947 (earlier in the 
case of Cosmo's "Tubby the Tuba" in 1945) and Victor began pressing DeLuxe 
editions also in 1946 or 47. Decca put out a few pressings on plastic as well 
(Eugene List playing the Rachmaninoff 2nd). I don't think there was much use of 
plastic for commercial 78s until wartime restrictions ended, but of course 
V-Discs were vinyl (except the ones Columbia pressed).

Victor put out the Stokowski "Gurrelieder" on its Victrolac compound in the 
early 30s. Aside from their use of the stuff on 33RPM Program Transcriptions, 
that's the only example I can cite of commercial discs on vinyl at that stage.

DJ pressings used vinyl in the mid 40s, of course (except Musicrap). Mercury 
and MGM seemed to have switched to vinylite (Merco-Plastic, Metrolite) in mid 
1949, and a number of other small labels went along, while the majors stayed 
with shellac for the most part.

Anyone know why Mercury went BACK to shellac some time in the mid 50s? 
(Canadian pressings remained on Quality's vinyl-ish material to the end.)


Tom Fine wrote:
> What's the history of vinyl 78's? I have a small pile from I think the 
> very early 50's, these are pop and country tunes. Was vinyl used for 
> 78's in any mass quantities previous to when vinyl LPs were 
> mass-manufactured? The "newest" vinyl 78's I know of are kiddie records 
> pressed in the mid-60's. Aside from novelty stuff, was the medium used 
> after the mid-60's?
> Thanks for the coming history lesson!
> -- Tom Fine