Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Single-Sided 78 rpm Record

Over the Christmas break we got out of the house for a bit and visited one of the local antiques warehouses, G.B. Antiques in Lancaster. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but I always have an eye out for old records (which usually means 78s) or old books, or really anything from my past which can give me a nice nostalgic kick.

Finding records in places like this is easy, Finding records in good condition and particularly finding 78s that are not just old collections of classical music is not always easy.

So I was pleasantly surprised to come across three different stalls that had something I could bring away with me. I even bought some 45s, though generally they are in much worse condition than the 78s. 45s didn't break - but they scratched much more easily!

The 10" record pictured dates from 1909. Unbelievable almost that it should be in its original sleeve and that the sleeve was in excellent condition. It was a bit faded and the colour was turning brownish at the edges - I've edited it in the scan to restore the colour.

It is Peter Dawson's rendition of Queen of The Earth and on the B side is... nothing. Many of the very early records were single sided. On the back of the record is an engraving of the Zonophone record company logo.

Altogether I spent £20.80 and came away with 24x 78 rpm records and 5x 45 rpm singles. Not too bad considering they were from antiques stalls, which tend to overprice stuff. The other trouble with antiques stalls is that they tend to think of records as "tat" and plonk sticky labels over them where they will ruin the record label or original sleeve.

I was lucky enough to get the sticky price label off this 1959 Marty Wilde record, but the damage over the record company's name is clear and permanent and caused by the desire to label it at 50p! It has J Mills written on it in pencil, which is harder to spot but in any case only serves to show that the record was loved and valued by a former owner.

I liked the look of these old bottles with the light shining through them, but records were the only things we bought on this visit. So to finish with, here's just a few of the rest of the day's findings.

The 45 rpm singles were in absolute mint condition, though most were in wrong or very tatty sleeves. Buying second hand vinyl is an extremely risky business and I never buy stuff that looks as though it has been given to a dog to play with!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting the Zonophone sleeve image. Had been curious if/how the early sleeves were decorated. Indeed amazingly well preserved, would have been a very valuable item when new.
    (Been discovering 78rpm over the last ~year and like to get records in their period correct sleeves...)

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