Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

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Hugues TR4
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Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Hugues TR4 » 18 Aug 2019 14:07

Hi All,

46337, 46338.

Just found this unusual pre-war 7" 79RPM record in a brocante yesterday.
It's made of shellac, has the size of a seven single and plays at 78.
No entry groove, but well exit groove.
The label says "The Victory" Electric recording, long playing record (British manufacture).
Titles are:
1. "Love Birds are better than Bluebirds", played by The Victory Dance Orchestra
2. "Meet me in my Dreams tonight", sung by G.Jack.
Does anybody know about these discs, their origin and diffusion?
Thanks a lot for your info!
Cheers,

Hugh.

Mrs Ritchie Valens
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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 18 Aug 2019 15:49

Hmm, never heard of these, but I do have a 78 in the size of a 45 record though.

circularvibes
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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by circularvibes » 18 Aug 2019 17:00

I think you might find it is actually an 8 inch disc. It looks like a department store record like Broadcast Twelve or Mimosa. Department stores had their own labels that were contracted out to major labels (and others) for shortened versions of popular recordings or test recordings and warm ups. They have come in many sizes from 6 to 13 inches. The "long playing" aspect may be due to the narrow pitch and quieter recording. These records would wear faster on period machines but can sound decent on modern reproducers. They were commonly made of cheaper materials than full price records. We had them on this side of the pond as well with labels like Little Wonder (Woolworths) and Silvertone (Sears-Roebuck).

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Bob Dillon » 18 Aug 2019 19:31

Little Wonders were manufactured by Columbia and marketed by the Little Wonder Record Company. I don't think they were exclusive to Woolworths. They are relatively common as far as these little records go. There was a little record fad of the late 'teens of which there were a number of labels.

I've never heard of the label in the first post. Being electrical it dates after 1925. There is a "Victory" label of the U.K. that I do know of but it's not "The Victory".

7" inch (or so) diameter was the original standard size of disc records in the late 19th and very early 20th century. I think it was the Victor Talking Machine Co. that first started with the larger 10" (and beyond) records.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Coffee Phil » 20 Aug 2019 05:15

High Hugh,

Good to hear from you!

I have not seen records like what you posted. Thanks for sharing!

Bob mentioned the Little Wonders which we had in the US from the late teen years to the early '20s.

I understand that they sold at news stands and drug stores. They were budget items selling for 15 cents while regular 10" 78s were ~ $1. They were one sided and of course acoustically recorded. The ones in my possession actually sound pretty good considering all that. There was competition from other labels such as Emerson.

Here is an example between a 45 and a CD for size comparison:

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 123/medium

Phil

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Hugues TR4 » 20 Aug 2019 11:16

Hi Phil,

Nice to hear from you! How is your little RCA changer? Still got both of mine, in mint condition and use them from time to time.
This peculiar little record is exactly 17.7 cm diameter and the label measures 5.4 cm diam.
Obviously British made and larger than the "Little Wonders".
Only trouble, it can only be played on a fully manual TT if you want to hear it till the end (my Dual, for which I have a 78 needle on the Shure cart won't play it past the normal exit position of a 45 RPM).

Wonder if one of our British friends knows more about it and could date it?

Thanks All for your input! Thought it was a quite interesting subject to tackle.

Cheers,

Hugh.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Bob Dillon » 20 Aug 2019 18:08

Coffee Phil wrote:
20 Aug 2019 05:15
High Hugh,

Good to hear from you!

I have not seen records like what you posted. Thanks for sharing!

Bob mentioned the Little Wonders which we had in the US from the late teen years to the early '20s.

I understand that they sold at news stands and drug stores. They were budget items selling for 15 cents while regular 10" 78s were ~ $1. They were one sided and of course acoustically recorded. The ones in my possession actually sound pretty good considering all that. There was competition from other labels such as Emerson.

Here is an example between a 45 and a CD for size comparison:

Phil

I have it that Little Wonders sold for 10 cents. They were sold through a number of department stores, including Woolworth's. Also sold at drug stores and dime stores and through mail order.

I don't know about them being sold on news stands. Maybe you're thinking of the cheap cardboard records like Hit-Of-The-Weeks that were sold on news stands during the Great Depression.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Coffee Phil » 20 Aug 2019 19:20

Hi Hugh,

I found this:

http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1920s-Victory.html

Apparently the two record suppliers to Woolworth merged and formed this label. This happened at the time when electrical recording was starting. Apparently these little records would exceed the fidelity of most 10" acoustic records in a smaller size and for less cost. I think the long playing statement was to assure customers that they would be getting the same amount of music which they could expect on a 10" inch disc. I have to believe these records were influenced by the "Little Wonders" and their competitors which came a few years earlier.

We had something similar in the US in the '50s. There was a label called Bell which made 7" 78s of mostly kid records. They were micro-groove and held the same amount of music as a standard groove 10" 78. Some were marked micro-groove but I don't think most were. If you find on in good condition it can sound pretty good, but I think many got played on wind-up acoustic machines so most will be trashed by now.

The little RCA still works fine and I drag it out and amuse myself with it on occasion. Hopefully when I finish my stereo room upstairs it will just be a flip of a switch to use the little changer.

Phil
Hugues TR4 wrote:
20 Aug 2019 11:16
Hi Phil,

Nice to hear from you! How is your little RCA changer? Still got both of mine, in mint condition and use them from time to time.
This peculiar little record is exactly 17.7 cm diameter and the label measures 5.4 cm diam.
Obviously British made and larger than the "Little Wonders".
Only trouble, it can only be played on a fully manual TT if you want to hear it till the end (my Dual, for which I have a 78 needle on the Shure cart won't play it past the normal exit position of a 45 RPM).

Wonder if one of our British friends knows more about it and could date it?

Thanks All for your input! Thought it was a quite interesting subject to tackle.

Cheers,

Hugh.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Bob Dillon » 20 Aug 2019 19:37

That site lets you listen to some samples of "The Victory" record : http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/78sVi ... nople.html

It's ok quality. Not nearly as good as the best Western Electric recordings of the early electrical period, but they are cramming 3 minutes onto a "long playing" 7 " record.

My own little records that I own - like my Little Wonders - don't play for more than about 2 minutes or less.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Hugues TR4 » 20 Aug 2019 20:19

Thank you both, Phil and Bob for the link.
Very interesting indeed, if only from the historical point of view.
Paid 1.5€ for it for this piece of ninety years old ancestor to our beloved Vinyls! How much would the sixpence amount to today?
Will certainly spend some time on the site you dig out for me.
The sound quality, although a little altered by age and use, is still as good as could be. Will have to try and clean it (clogs a lot of dirt on my stylus).
@ Phil: I remember the Bell records playing the top hits performed by unknown bands on 45 EP's with a beautiful long legged pin up girl in bathing suit on the sleeve! Still got a couple in my collection. Ideal to play on our little RCA!

Cheers,

Hugh.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by circularvibes » 20 Aug 2019 20:30

Here is a bit more reading on Department Store records.

https://www.78rpm.club/chain-stores-mai ... rd-labels/

Here is a quote from Wikipedia, The records retailed for ten cents each, some of the lowest priced recordings available at the time. This price point revolutionized popular recorded music, significantly expanding the market. The audio fidelity is average to slightly above average for the time, with rather narrow grooves (best played with a smaller stylus than contemporary discs). An estimated forty million of these records were sold,[3] principally through the sheet music counters of many five and ten cent store chains of the time and through Sears Roebuck catalogs, rather than in record stores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wonder_Records

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Bob Dillon » 20 Aug 2019 20:58

Still more Little Wonder history : http://www.littlewonderrecords.com/litt ... story.html

I thought LW's were fairly common but I didn't know they sold in such numbers. The linked article indicates around 10 million a year sold for a couple years there. I wonder how many of them got trashed on acoustic phonographs and were subsequently trashed.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Hugues TR4 » 20 Aug 2019 21:23

Found out my find was released in 1228!
Thanks again for your kind coop!

Cheers,

Hugh.

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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Bob Dillon » 20 Aug 2019 21:56

Hugues TR4 wrote:
20 Aug 2019 21:23
Found out my find was released in 1228!
Thanks again for your kind coop!

Cheers,

Hugh.
A few centuries before Magellan ! That is remarkable.

Hugues TR4
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Re: Unusual 7" 78RPM record.

Post by Hugues TR4 » 21 Aug 2019 08:59

Oops! Sorry, typing error of course! Meant 1928, that's already old enough! Cheers, Hugh

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