Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Transcription Mystery Disc #96

This one turns out to be pretty rare. It spins at 78 rpm and dates to June 1th 1943. It's a recording of a serviceman sent to his wife or girlfriend back home. the recording begins in french and then switches to English. He's been injured but expects to be walking again soon. He runs out of things to say and remarks that the other boys are singing into the other machines. Clearly the Red Cross was operating multiple machines simultaneously at the recording stations.
I've found two other images online. One was on Flickr and the other on the website of Sound Savers, a company that digitizes these sorts of acetates.Anyone who follows the hobby at all, knows that Voice-O-Graph's Wilcox-Gay, Audiodisc, Perma-Disk, Duodisc, Recordisc and Presto are all fairly common. This strikes me as something that should be, with the official Red Cross connection, but I've never seen one before. You can find transcriptions of the "Red Cross Show" and Red Cross Public Service Announcements... but no Red Cross acetates.

It's manufacture is very similar to the Wilcox-Gay Recordio Type 1A documented at Phonozoic. However the outermost line that marks the beginning of the recording is always red on Recordios. This one is blue. On the envelope it refers to the contents as a "recordiogram."  Wilcox-Gay referred to their mailed home recordings as recordiograms. You can see an image on the WFMU website here.  It's hard to see, but when held up to the light, the red cross disc also clearly has 2 more un-punched holes under that label. In 2000 we called those hanging chads. My suspicion is that Wilcox-Gay in fact did the manufacture, and that the Red Cross made their own labels to stick on them, the Wilcox labels are sometimes printed directly onto the disc, the Red Cross are glossy and might have just been stuck right over them.

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