Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Matinee: How Records Were Made (1942)

In the 1950s, when I was little (but not too little), my mom occasionally let me look through her boxful of old 78 rpm records. My favorite among them was Baby, It's Cold Outside. These platters were almost 10" across, and stiff as... well, stiff as a platter. By the time I was old enough to buy records, technology had raced forward to 45 rpm singles (much smaller, but still one song on each side, like the 78s) with a much bigger hole in the middle. Don't ask me why! Capitalist plot to sell 45 rpm record players with a big fat spindle instead of the thin spindles already in use, I suppose, and also "adapters" made of metal, and soon plastic, to wedge into those big holes so you could play your 45s on your regular old record players, or on the new "hi-fi" record players you bought to play the new 33 rpm albums (bigger than the 78s, with about half a dozen songs on each side). Still called platters by some, they also picked up another vernacular name, vinyl, a reference to the new material they were made of, lighter and more flexible than the old 78s. Don't even get me started on 8-track tapes, and cassettes, and CDs, and iPods... it's amazing, when you think about it, the technology that's evolved just in my lifetime.

When I came upon this film, I had just found the 78 rpm recordings made by my auntie Marceline and my mom. Although the production of their records was nowhere near as elaborate, the process described in the film was nonetheless fascinating to me. I can only scratch my head and wonder who thinks these things up!

Run time: 18:58


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Neat, huh?!? Thanks for sharing... brings back many old memories!

Bill ;-)

Lori said...

I still have a few 78's that my brother used to collect. My favorite one is White Christmas by Bing Crosby. My brother framed it for me one Christmas with a collage of pictures from the movie. I loved it!

Apple said...

I was shocked that it all started with wax! A very labor intensive process. Thanks for sharing this.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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