[Dixielandjazz] acetate or Cardboard

Ron L'Herault lherault at bu.edu
Sun Dec 4 17:55:46 PST 2005

Rick is a little off here.  Edison's .25 inch thick disks were made with a
thing coating of a material that was just about the same as Bakelite.

However, most 78 rpm records from the early 1900s to the late 1940s were
made from shellac, clay and other fillers.

So called acetates are actually lacquers.  The lacquer was a coating on
metal or glass and could be cut easily and then used to make more records or
could be replayed multiple times especially if a lightweight stylus was

Some home recorders used lacquer on a cardboard base.  They were also used
in the recording booths found at amusement parks.  I have one of these that
my dad made in 1948 at Crescent Park in Riverside RI.  He sounded a bit like
Bing.  The tune, "East of the Sun" was my parents' 'song' and you can hear
my mom asking him at the end of the record "how was it?"  Thankfully it is
still playable.  I've transferred it to tape and have a copy on my hard
drive as well.

Ron L

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of RICK KNITTEL
Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2005 4:28 PM
To: robert at ringwald.com
Cc: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] acetate or Cardboard


Most 1920's to 1940's 78 rpm records were made from phenolic resin or
Baekelite. Acetate, I believe is cellulose acetate (similar to the
material used to make cellophane) but is probably the material you could
"cut" to make a one of a kind record or to use to make the masters in
another process (electrolytic) to make molds to press 78 phenolic

1950's through 1960's LP's and 45's were originally tried in phenolic but
when PVC (polyvinyl chloride) became available, it was found to be much
better at replicating the finer grooves than were in 78 rpm recordings.
The masters for these were usually made on coated metal plate that would
be used in the electrolytic process to make the molds to press the LP's
from PVC (vinyl)

Carboard laminated with PVC could be used to make less expensive
recordings which were not as durable. 

The 1970's and 80's found music on tape (cassettes cartridges etc) and
then came digital on CD's and MP3's



On Sun, 4 Dec 2005 12:37:03 -0800 "Robert S. Ringwald"
<robert at ringwald.com> writes:
> Listmates,
> I have an argument going, well not exactly an argument, a friendly 
> discussion, with Mad Dawg.  He claims the material that the Bing 
> Crosby out 
> take would have been pressed on is cardboard with some sort of 
> plastic 
> coating like what home made records were made of back in the 50s.  I 
> remember those as my parents had one of those turntables.
> As I remember, the flexible 78 that my grandmother had was more like 
> a LP. 
> I don't think it was cardboard but it could have been as Mad Dawg 
> says, 
> cardboard with a coating of something.
> In an post from Bill Haussler, who also had that recording, Bill 
> says it was 
> acetate.  Is acetate, cardboard?  Or what they make LPs out of?  or 
> was 
> acetate the hard material that most 78s were made out of?
> --Bob Ringwald K6YBV
> The Fulton Street Jazz Band
> The Boondockers (Jazz and Comedy)
> 530/642-9551
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

Rick Knittel - RK Associates, LLC - Film Extrusion Engineering Services
37 Ship Channel Road; South Portland, Maine 04106-5136
Bus phone; (207)-741-2407; fax 2409; Cell: (207)-233-3480; Home;
E-mail; Knittelsportland at juno.com; Winter (mid Jan to mid April) Office; 
7657 Bergamo Ave; Sarasota, FL 34238-4765; Phone/Fax; (941)-924-5186

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