What is 78rpm disc? It is a fragile disc, made of shellac. Shellac is made out of crushed beetle shells apparently. They run at 78rpm, were the forerunners of vinyl singles and albums. I first became aware of 78rpm discs at the tender age of around 5. Up in our attic room at home my father housed his collection of 78 discs, some his but the bulk were from my Great Uncle’s collection. My brother and I liked to play them on the wind up gramophone that was stored in the attic room. The sound from 78rpm discs was surprisingly good, rather like 15 ips reel to reel recording were superior to those recorded at lower speeds. The discs did have a surface noise and after many plays some cracks and pops were inevitable. Here is a selection of 78rpm discs, labels and sleeves I sampled in a local charity shop.
My favourite labels are the Regal Zonophone and Rex labels.
My father used to have some comedy discs – some of Sandy Powell the comedian, tame by todays standards but interesting to a youngster hearing sound coming out of a revolving disc.
It amazes me that the video above shows a chap putting a 78rpm disc on an autochanger and allowing it to drop down.
Some of the later 78rpm discs were made of vinyl, if you have an Elvis Presley on 78 it is worth something!
Also Frank Crumit
If you have time here are two videos which explains how 78rpm discs are made
Never say the Wireless Waffler does not inform and educate!