Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Transcription Mystery Disc #151
I have no idea what happened to this disc. The original blank was a 6.5" Audiodisc, with a center start, but the surface looks like it's melted into the label. It looks like it was melted at high temperatures in a stack with other acetates and instead of bursting into flame they stuck together. There are chunks both torn out and stuck to the groove. My guess is that this disc fell victim to a solvent spill. Depending on the type of "lacquer" it could have been be acetone, turpentine, or even alcohol. Some frugal sadist tried to re-record something over that mangled disc surface.On the back side he/she clearly painted over the surface of an old recording with what looks like white latex paint. On that one bizarre surface I was able to recover some audio.
I ripped it at 33.3 RPM to help ease the needle over those chunks of acetate. When played back at slow speed the recording was strangely clear but also strangely unintelligible. It sounded like a cow wailing in pain, or maybe an insane person grunting. When I corrected the speed I realized that it was a baby crying.When the speed was corrected I found the engineer counting off the start of the recording. The disc stuck to it in the stack is dated 1947. That's my best guess. In that case, that baby would be at least 65 today.