Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Transcription Mystery Disc #125

This is a 78 rpm, 12-inch acetate with an outer edge start. The blank clearly reads "Presto" and includes some notes in red grease pencil. The paper sleeve is marked in two places once as "WORLD DAY OF PRAYER" in red grease pencil and then in black ball point pen below that with the name Betty Bagger, but on the disc she is listed as Betty Hodges. It may be a married name, or just different people. The audio is quite clear. The I did no editing and just applied a light low pass filter to take the harsh highs out of the narrators voice.

World Day of Prayer 1948 - Side 1

The inner sleeve is made of four round sheets of paper, two are heavy like oaktag, and two inner sheets that are like the paper towels from the washroom. One of those oaktag sheets is further marked in 2" tall letters 2277 and the initials POK. It's written quickly and sloppily in thick pencil. I have never seen packaging like this before, and there are two of them making up a 4-sided program about 15 minutes long.

The narrator, Betty mentions several details which might help aid in dating the work. She mentions the names Mrs. James Snydner (Japanese war bride),  a Dr. Schmoekel, the Lancaster Ministerial Association, Lancaster County Council of Church Women, St. Paul's Church and "their hospitals" indicating some affiliation. World Day of Prayer is a Christian women's event traditionally held on the last Friday in March.  It has been celebrated since 1887, but changed name to Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1927. This preference for the older name would tend to somewhat back date the age of the disc.

The earliest Presto discs were advertised in 1934, and they continued to be made until the late 1950s when that division was sold to Soundcraft. That narrows the window only a tad. Phonozoic doesn't date this type of blank at all.  More here.  Looking at the themes of past prayer day events I suspect this is from 1948. That year's  theme was "The Prayer Universal" and that idea is referred to a few times in the program. I know that's not solid, it's just a hunch.  I have posted the first segment above, and will make the rest of the audio available upon request.