Gramophone Record

Gramophone Record bag 78 rpm

Just in case you picked this up in the early 1920s and didn’t know what it was? A record sleeve so basic you wonder why they even bothered to print anything on it at all, the vintage equivalent of those ‘basic’ supermarket range packets (which of course PiL pastiched on their first album…).
Getting metal type to go round a curve like that is quite difficult. You could have had an engraving made of the whole word but here they seem to have gone for the cheap option and used individual type blocks, you can see where the letter ‘o’ has just slipped. Perhaps the typesetter gave up after that and just set the word ‘record’ straight, rather than try to curve it the opposite way.
The bag is quite neatly made too, the usual straw coloured cardboard inside but surfaced with a smooth striped paper glued onto it, and the edges reinforced with paper tape.
As a lot of cheaper 78s were being sent out in thin paper sleeves perhaps these card bags were sold so people could give their records a little extra protection. Certainly the small pile of discs I found this in showed an owner who had looked after their 78s, as most were still tidied away in the original paper sleeves inside a card outer.
In the 1970s you could buy similar brown card covers for singles, lined with polythene, at Boots and other places. Yes they gave some protection, but it meant throwing away the record company bags the singles came in, some of which are in such short supply now they are being reproduced.

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About simon robinson

Having worked as a designer mostly in the music industry, and mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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