Vintage 78 RPM Records


 (click on pictures for larger image)

These old records went to auction and never sold.  They are old 78 RPM records.  RPM means Revolutions Per Minute and these 12 inch records spun at a high speed.  Because of the limitations such as the length of the tone arm, or the needle following the grooves in these records, they only held about 3 minutes worth of music.  The reason why they were 79 revolutions per minute, was that they ran on an Alternating Current motor which had an electrical supply of 60 cycles per second and ran at 3600 revolutions per minute and was geared down by a ration of 46:to:1.  The actual rotation was 78.26 revolutions per minute and it became a standard.

These records were fragile and breakable if you dropped them.  They were made from a shellac material.  Wikipedia describes it this way:  Exact formulas for this compound varied by manufacturer and over the course of time, but it was typically composed of about one-third shellac and about two-thirds "mineral filler", which meant finely pulverized rock, usually slate and limestone, with an admixture of cotton fibers to add tensile strength, carbon black for color (without this, it tended to be a "dirty" gray or brown color that most record companies considered unattractive), and a very small amount of a lubricant to facilitate mold release during manufacture. Some makers, notably Columbia Records, used a laminated construction with a core disc of coarser material or fiber. The production of shellac records continued until the end of the 78 rpm format (i.e., the late 1950s in most developed countries, but well into the 1960s in some other places), but increasingly less abrasive formulations were used during its declining years and very late examples in truly like-new condition can have as low noise levels as vinyl.

Vinyl records replaced these and slower speeds such as 33 and 45 rpm allowed for longer songs.

The songs on this particular series include:


  • Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy sung by Red Foley
  • Sugarfoot Rag sung by Red Foley
  • M-I-S-S-I--S-S-I-P-P-I again by Red Foley
I have no idea as to what these discs are worth.

No comments: