Tagged: 78 rpm

The speed of rotation of some formats of phonograph disc

Gala Goldentone (1960 – 1964)

Gala Goldentone records were a series of 6-inch diameter orange vinyl records aimed at children and played at 78rpm. They were produced by Gala Records between around 1960 and 1964, and about 54 titles were available.

Gala Records was a division of Musical and Plastics Industries Limited, which also owned Selcol (who manufactured the records) and Selmer, famous for organs and amplifiers.

In 1968, Gala Records produced another series of records for children called Gala Nursery Records. These were more conventional, being 7-inches diameter and pressed on black vinyl, but they still played at 78rpm.

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The Bell records (1921 – 1926)

The Bell was a record label issued by the Edison Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co in the UK starting in 1921.

The Bell has previously been used as a label for disc records between 1908 and 1912, but this time it was used for childrens records. Initially, The Bell discs were 5⅜ of an inch in diameter, but this later changed to 6-inches.

By the end of production, some titles were released on the label for adults, including some dance band items recorded specially for The Bell.

The label was discontinued in 1926, but Edison Bell continued to release some 6-inch discs under the Crown label.

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Victory records (1928 – 1931)

Victory record were manufactured by the Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company for sale in Woolworth stores in the UK.

They were 7-inch 78rpm shellac records, selling for just sixpence (2½p). As well as the latest popular songs, they also contained instrumentals, dances and music for children.

All Victory records were electrically recorded, and had a playing time similar to a standard 10-inch record of the time (hence the claim on the label of being a ‘Long Playing Record’).

They were replaced in Woolworth stores by the Eclipse 8-inch 78rpm, and were discontinued in 1931.

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Pygmy Gramophone (1923 – 1925)

Pygmy Gramophone was a record label owned by Crystalate (who also produced Kiddyphone records) that produced small records aimed at children between around 1923 and 1925.

The records were made for the toymakers Bing Brothers who produced the Bing Pygmyphone, a small tinplate phonograph for children.

The records themselves were 5½-inches in diameter. Catalogue numbers ran from 1 to about 80 and the recordings were a mix of early dance music and popular vocal and instrumental selections.

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Kiddyphone (1920s)

Kiddyphone was a recording label that produced small diameter (either 5½, 6 or 7-inch) 78rpm records aimed at children during the 1920s.

The Kiddyphone label was based in the UK, and was owned by The Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company Ltd. who also owned Imperial records. Hence, some releases on Kiddyphone are simply edited versions of Imperial recordings.

Kiddyphone phonographs were very small tinplate devices, wound with a key. Sound quality was very poor.

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8-inch 78rpm records (late 1920s – mid 1930s)

 

8-inch (20cm) 78rpm shellac records were introduced the late 1920s under labels such as Broadcast (British Vocalion), Eclipse (Crystallate Company), Edison Bell Radio and Plaza.

These records had a slightly narrower groove and smaller centre labels, and were able to compress 3 minutes on a disc that was 20% smaller than standard 10-inch 78rpm records.

Eclipse records were sold from 1929 in Woolworth’s stores for 6d (around 2½p). Eclipse records replaced the previous Victory range of 7-inch shellac records, and were cheaper to produce as well as giving an extra minute’s playing time. Eclipse promised two hits per record, one on either side. By 1935 Woolworth UK sold millions of Eclipse Records each year, but its margins were being eroded by escalating raw material costs. Eclipse records were replaced by the Crown range of 9-inch (22.5cm) records pressed on cheaper Bakelite.

Edison Bell’s entry into the 8-inch disc market came in 1928 with the ‘Edison Bell Radio’ label. These record cost 1/3d (about 6p). Almost all were recorded and made in Britain. It was a high-quality product aimed at the popular market, but the label was cancelled in 1932.

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Broadcast Twelve (1928 – 1934)

Broadcast Twelve was a type of 10-inch 78rpm phonograph record, introduced in 1928 by the UK-based Vocalion Gramophone Company Ltd.

Broadcast Twelve was so named as its narrower grooves and smaller centre label allowed the same playing time on a 10-inch disc as the equivalent standard 12-inch 78rpm record.

Records under the Broadcast label were also available in other sizes (including 8-inch), and were aimed at working-class consumers.

Vocalion sold Broadcast records in non-traditional outlets such as toy shops and stationers. Margins were very slim however, and in 1932 Vocalion went into liquidation, being bought by the Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company Ltd. who phased out the Broadcast label by 1934.

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12-inch 78 rpm record (1903 – mid 1950s)

12-inch 78 rpm records were introduced slightly later than the 10-inch version, becoming widely available in 1903.

They increased the playing time to 4 or 5 minutes per side, over the 10-inch version’s 3 minutes and just 2 minutes for contemporary cylinders.

Despite their longer playing time, there were fewer releases on the 12-inch size, and they appear to have died out in the mid-1950s.

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Electrical Transcription Disc (late 1920s – 1980s)

An Electrical Transcription Disc was a type of phonograph record intended for, or recorded from, a radio broadcast. Their use for this purpose persisted long after the advent of magnetic tape recording because it was cheaper to produce master disc and press 100 identical high-quality discs than to make 100 copies on tape.

They were most commonly 16 inches in diameter and played at 33⅓ rpm, although very early radio programmes (circa 1928-1931) were on sets of 12 inch or even 10 inch diameter 78 rpm discs, and some later (circa 1960-1985) ones were distributed on 12 inch diameter 33⅓ rpm discs. Although the earliest transcription discs were pressed in shellac, in the mid-1930s quieter vinyl compounds were substituted.

Standard 16 inch transcription discs of the 1930s and 1940s usually held about 15 minutes of audio on each side, but this was occasionally pushed to as much as 20 minutes. Unlike ordinary records, some were recorded inside out, with the start of the recording near the label and the end near the edge of the disc. The label usually noted whether the disc was ‘outside start’ or ‘inside start’. Beginning in the mid-1950s, some transcription discs started employing microgroove discs, allowing 30 minutes to fit comfortably on each side of a 16 inch disc.

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Cardboard record (1940s – 1980s)

Cardboard recordCardboard records were a type of phonograph record made of plastic-coated card, similar to Gramophone postcards. They had poor audio quality compared with standard vinyl phonograph discs, and tended to warp easily.

They were often used in promotional campaigns and were intended to be played once or twice. A number were pressed into cereal packets, including songs by groups as the Archies, the Monkees and the Jackson 5. They could also be inserted into magazines, or distributed as greetings cards.

The first examples appeared in the 1940s and were played at 78 rpm. Later versions were 45 or 33⅓ rpm.

They continued to be made well into the 1980s.