How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

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How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by scrapjack+ » 12 May 2019 06:39

It seems like I keep getting shellac records with no folder book, no jacket, and no sleeve, just the bare disk. Most of the 78 record books I see in stores are full of broken records, so those don't seem to be particularly safe storage. For all of the weird records I keep getting between standard sizes, 5", 6" 8" ect, I just fold paper into a jacket, and for 33's I could just buy a cheap cardboard jacket, but neither of those seem like adequate protection for shellac. Most of the loose 78's I get are of the 10" variety such as an odd Radiola Electro Record I recently acquired and can't find on Discogs. So, what do you do when you get a loose 78 shellac disk, other than play it of course?

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by AudioFeline » 12 May 2019 07:48

Many 78s are damaged in stores because many customers don't care or know how to handle them, and the same go for the store staff. I recall one store that put it's 78's in wire baskets that wedged the disks, so when a customer tried to flick through the pile they snapped off at the bottom. The staff didn't care when I tried to educated them on how they were damaging the disks. I get upset as history is being destroyed in front of my eyes.

I try to get paper sleeves for as many disks as I can. Some record supply retailers sell replacement 78 sleeves.
For example only, Many of my 78's without sleeves are stored vertically in wood boxes with lids to keep dust out. Because 78's can be edge-damaged by dropping them on a hard surface, the bottom of my boxes has a thin layer of polystyrene and a thin layer of rubber sheet to absorb any impact force when placing a disk in the box. And I am very careful to place them back gently.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 12 May 2019 19:00

The highest quality sleeves are probably the Disc-O-Phile sleeves that Nauck's sells. Not cheap, but very heavy paper stock.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by scrapjack+ » 14 May 2019 21:13

So you both just use sleeves, no cardboard jackets, to further separate them from each other?

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 May 2019 21:31

I use paper sleeves (newly purchased or original) and generic storage albums sometimes. You could buy plain 10" / 12 " cardboard sleeves meant for LP's I suppose. I don't think it's necessary for added protection, provided you store the records upright on shelves and not too many leaning on each other. So many 78's found in the rough are missing sleeves, crumbling sleeves or mismatched sleeves that it could get expensive and a hassle putting each in a cardboard LP jacket. I'm talking 1000's of records. Some records deemed for keeping aren't worth that much either monetarily or musically in the first place. They get reasonably careful storage, but not the whole nine.

It's the rare 78 that ever came in anything like a cardboard jacket in the first place. :) I'd say 99.99 % of 78 singles sold only ever came in paper sleeves. The Naucks sleeves I mentioned are quite stiff, not unlike cardboard. I haven't bought any of those in bulk, but if you win records at Naucks auction, your records will automatically come to you packaged in the Naucks Disc-O-File sleeves. But lighter paper sleeves are fine.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by scrapjack+ » 15 May 2019 00:45

Bob Dillon wrote:
14 May 2019 21:31
I use paper sleeves (newly purchased or original) and generic storage albums sometimes. You could buy plain 10" / 12 " cardboard sleeves meant for LP's I suppose. I don't think it's necessary for added protection, provided you store the records upright on shelves and not too many leaning on each other. So many 78's found in the rough are missing sleeves, crumbling sleeves or mismatched sleeves that it could get expensive and a hassle putting each in a cardboard LP jacket. I'm talking 1000's of records. Some records deemed for keeping aren't worth that much either monetarily or musically in the first place. They get reasonably careful storage, but not the whole nine.

It's the rare 78 that ever came in anything like a cardboard jacket in the first place. :) I'd say 99.99 % of 78 singles sold only ever came in paper sleeves. The Naucks sleeves I mentioned are quite stiff, not unlike cardboard. I haven't bought any of those in bulk, but if you win records at Naucks auction, your records will automatically come to you packaged in the Naucks Disc-O-File sleeves. But lighter paper sleeves are fine.
I get 33's with crumbling jackets, and almost never an inner sleeve. Flipping through records at my local stores they leave my clothes covered in paper crumbs. At least they listened when I told them the records shouldn't be stacked horizontally a million disks high, however I have to use a heat gun to safely remove their price stickers. I agree, If I bought sleeves and jackets for every disk missing them it'd cost more than I spent on the records. Still I think, a bare disk should be given something.

I thought most 78's were part of sets that had those heavy cardboard books with paper sleeve pages bound in between. I have a few old generic 78 books that have a marking for the table of contents on the inside cover. I thought most 78's were originally stored this way. A few of my 78 books have tears forming on the bottom of the pages from the record weight.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by AudioFeline » 15 May 2019 01:56

Many of my 78s don't have sleeves, but they are not in very good quality to begin with. I would like to have them in sleeves, but I haven't found a cheap supplier of the 10" sleeves to do this (postage from USA to Aust is often many more times the value of the items). They are stored without sleeves, but carefully - upright, and in a dust-free location.

My 78's which are particularly valuable or in very good quality are all in better quality sleeves - they need to be looked after. At some stage I will buy some new sleeves for these disks.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 May 2019 02:05

scrapjack+ wrote:
15 May 2019 00:45

I thought most 78's were part of sets that had those heavy cardboard books with paper sleeve pages bound in between. I have a few old generic 78 books that have a marking for the table of contents on the inside cover. I thought most 78's were originally stored this way. A few of my 78 books have tears forming on the bottom of the pages from the record weight.
The proper term for a 78 "book" or set is an album. That's where the term album originates from. 78 albums from back in the day were usually classical / opera. Popular music of various stripes, country, jazz, blues, etc. almost always sold as singles, not as albums sets. Most of those that do will date from the 1940's, post-war, in the immediate years before the LP record was introduced.

Generic albums with a table of contents were sold commonly for consumers to park / catalog their single records in. Sometimes empty albums were accountrements to cabinet style phonographs upon sale of such phonographs. When I use those albums, it will be to organize the records by one artist or band in, for easy access. Like Paul Whiteman's records or something like that who have a lot of records out.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by circularvibes » 15 May 2019 02:36

Records in the early part of the century were not sold in sleeves. Therefore books or albums were originally sold as an accessory to your Victrola. Some had record company logos imprinted, others had store names on them. Individual sleeves were quite often printed by the record/Victrola shop as a way to charge a penny or two more per record and to promote care of records. Eventually generic branded albums were available at any 5 and dime shop and record companies realised the advertising potential of printed sleeves. Back before the 1930's, records were sold for the song, not the artist in most cases. In this situation, record companies would advertise the hit songs on their label with the promise that their records were made better than the next company. Albums, at least in Canada, were still sold into the 1960's even though 10 inch records were passe by then. They did fit nicely into the hifi sets of the time. The biggest problem with albums is that the glue on the pages deteriorates and lets the records slide closer to the spine and when the pages are turned, they break the records inside. A dealer I knew in Toronto would actually cut the sleeves out and use them individually.

A simple and cheapish alternative is to buy 10 by 17 inch manilla envelopes and cut to size. If you look around, you can find deals sometimes on a box of 500 at stationers like Staples. These won't fit acoustic discs but for 1930's to 50's discs they are fine. A cheap circle cutter from an art store can custom cut holes for labels.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by scrapjack+ » 15 May 2019 03:06

circularvibes wrote:
15 May 2019 02:36
Records in the early part of the century were not sold in sleeves. Therefore books or albums were originally sold as an accessory to your Victrola. Some had record company logos imprinted, others had store names on them. Individual sleeves were quite often printed by the record/Victrola shop as a way to charge a penny or two more per record and to promote care of records. Eventually generic branded albums were available at any 5 and dime shop and record companies realised the advertising potential of printed sleeves. Back before the 1930's, records were sold for the song, not the artist in most cases. In this situation, record companies would advertise the hit songs on their label with the promise that their records were made better than the next company. Albums, at least in Canada, were still sold into the 1960's even though 10 inch records were passe by then. They did fit nicely into the hifi sets of the time. The biggest problem with albums is that the glue on the pages deteriorates and lets the records slide closer to the spine and when the pages are turned, they break the records inside. A dealer I knew in Toronto would actually cut the sleeves out and use them individually.

A simple and cheapish alternative is to buy 10 by 17 inch manilla envelopes and cut to size. If you look around, you can find deals sometimes on a box of 500 at stationers like Staples. These won't fit acoustic discs but for 1930's to 50's discs they are fine. A cheap circle cutter from an art store can custom cut holes for labels.
I wasn't aware of that issue with albums. I shall have to examine mine.
Thanks for the advice on making them. I might just tape an xacto blade to my wood circle cutter. One less specialty tool that gets far too little use.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 May 2019 03:15

circularvibes wrote:
15 May 2019 02:36
Records in the early part of the century were not sold in sleeves.
I think we need some verification on this point. How early are you talking about ?

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 May 2019 03:20

scrapjack+ wrote:
15 May 2019 03:06

I wasn't aware of that issue with albums. I shall have to examine mine.
It's true. You have to be careful flipping through records in albums. Placing the partially open album on a tabletop and pulling the records out from the top is best.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by circularvibes » 15 May 2019 03:23

Bob Dillon wrote:
15 May 2019 03:15
circularvibes wrote:
15 May 2019 02:36
Records in the early part of the century were not sold in sleeves.
I think we need some verification on this point. How early are you talking about ?
Before 1920. Most of the acoustic era. Quite often early records were stored in the bags from the stores they were purchased from or just stored loose in the bottom of the machine. Books were an accessory not always thought of as necessary in the early days. The more affluent would have certainly bought them for their Caruso discs of course. Edison discs and Pathe discs were the exception as the makers knew the value of their recordings. Edison discs quite often had a sticker applied to denote the contents of the "container" as Tom called the sleeves.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 May 2019 03:26

Well, I have paper record sleeves in my possession dating back to at least 1905. If you're talking about real early Berliners or something, maybe that's something else.

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Re: How do you store loose 78's shellacs?

Post by circularvibes » 15 May 2019 03:28

I should also note that 78's were kept in slots on a wall behind the counter in better shops before the 1920's. The customer would ask for a sleeve or album with the purchase of records. I have seen a number of photos of early music shops with records in no sleeves. It is amazing that so many survived in playable shape. My old circa 1918 Brunswick machine came with 5 drawers that records were stored in vertically. The drawers had rounded bottoms to stop the discs fromrocking around when you pulled out a drawer.

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