Hello all,

I have recently come by some Rainbow Records tests, made in Cincinnati in
1921. A couple of interesting things about them; they are totally lacking
the usual "A0-11-S-11" type markings one usually finds in the runoff area
of Rodeheaver-made Rainbows, suggesting that such figures were added to
the stampers before plating, which stands to reason. The hand-inscribed
matrix under the label, however, remains present:

However, I do have some questions about the centering of the disc and hope
to run into someone who has had some experience with the wax masters
used to make such records. On some Rainbow issues the label area is removed
and replaced by a false center, and I thought this was to center the record
better, but the result is often a little off-center. In the case of the
test, the record is centered just right, but the disc is kind of odd, being
not quite round and
a little larger than 10". Note that in the center of the label area there
is a totally odd-shaped, close to 45 rpm recess that the center hole sort
of pokes through.
Is this something that came from the molding of this test disc, or does it
reflect the state of the original master? I would assume the wax master
would have
been larger still than the test?

The piece is "Standing in the Need of Prayer" and one verse of
"We'll Understand it Better By and By," sung by Homer Rodeheaver, Virginia
Asher and Bob
Mathews (with one "t," according to a letter from him to Billy Sunday in
the Grace College Archives.) Mathews was a composer and the principal piano
accompanist for Billy Sunday Campaigns of the 1910s and 1920s. What I can
make out of the label copy provides the title of the first piece; mx. 278
"Standing in the Need of Prayer" only on a short side, suggesting that the
addition of the other verse/chorus was an afterthought. "Rody - Asher"
the artists, whereas Mathews' name is included on the issued disc. At about
5:00 one reads "OK," but in the second piece there is some confusion as to
the words among the three voices. So upside down one reads "No good" in
Rodeheaver's handwriting, and the label is scribbled out. Moreover, a
was used to score a deep line into the surface of the disc to render it
unplayable. Some previous owner has repaired this with fingernail polish,
and the side
plays through just fine. For those interested, here is the audio:

I would appreciate any insight that may be shared on this topic.

Uncle Dave Lewis
Lebanon, OH