The Talking Machine Forum • For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

TMF Label Gallery & Guide • A Visual Resource for 78 RPM Labels

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
acoustic recording/record
The records and the process of making audio recordings without electrical amplification; a purely mechanical process (i.e., with a horn).
catalogue number
A number assigned to a record for public usage.
This substance is made from a combination of mainly nitrocellulose and camphor. It is considered by many to be the first thermoplastic. Among its many other uses, such as pool balls, motion picture film and men’s shirt collars, it was used in the manufacture of Blue Amberol cylinders.
client label
A label pressed under contract for another company (e.g., department stores, music stores or phonograph manufacturers).
An early type of plastic, similar to Bakelite, used by Edison for Diamond Discs.
dead wax
The space between the end of a recording and the label. This is a throw-back term to the earliest days of recording when records were actually made out of wax.
Diamond Disc
Edison’s first disc records made with a proprietary process of a wood flour core encased in Codensite (an early plastic). These records are unusually thick.
Early term for a record with a recording on both sides.
eccentric groove
An off-center end groove used by the Victor Talking Machine Co. to activate their early automatic brake.
electric recording/record
The records and process of making audio recordings with electrical amplification (i.e., with a microphone).
hill & dale
(see ‘vertical recording’)
lateral recording
The system whereby the record’s groove, of uniform depth, wavers from side to side to create sound. Also known as ‘needle-cut’ and occasionally as ‘zig-zag’.
A record manufactured in layers of at least two different materials, usually as a smooth outer coating over a coarse but strong inner core (e.g., late twenties Columbia products and Edison Diamond Discs).
matrix number
A number assigned to a specific recording by a record company—occasionally this number could be assigned to a newer recording of the same song. On some records this can be seen stamped beneath the label or in the dead wax. Other labels included this on the label itself, but this number was primarily intended for internal use.
The original metal stamper for pressing a recording.
(see ‘lateral recording’)
A trade name used by VTMCo. and partners for their electrical recording process, which was licensed to Victor and Columbia by Western Electric. It was also used by Victor as a designation for their new line of phonographs in 1925 with folded exponential horns designed for these recordings.
Brunswick-Balke-Collender’s trade name for their new phonograph line designed to play the then new electrically amplified records. Brunswick had a much-touted contest to name these new machines—and after declaring a winner, they tossed out the winning term (‘Prismatone’) and used ‘Panatrope’ instead.
A term designating recordings made specifically for the Negro market.
A trade name that Edison used for a short time for his Diamond Disc records.
A pairing of two recordings not originally paired with each other on one record.
A new issue of a recording or two already paired recordings with a new catalogue number by either the same company or a subsequent owner.
A re-recording of a previously recording number usually, but not always by the original artist used to replace the earlier recording.
A much later re-release of a recording under the same catalogue number.
The start of the record groove before the recording start, designed to guide the needle or stylus. For the most part, this will be found on records from the mid-thirties onward, in the United States.
The end of the record groove after the recording finishes, designed to guide the needle or stylus to the end and hold it there—also to activate the auto-stop.
A resin excreted by the female lac bug to form a cocoon, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It was used to manufacture most 78 RPM records from the aughts to the thirties, among other things (such as a clear coat for wood furniture).
single-sided (faced)
A record with a recording on only one side. The earliest disc records were single-faced. Victor Red Seals were the last regular issues in the U.S. to be released as single-sided records—until 1923.
subsidiary label
An alternate label pressed by a record company to fill the market (e.g., Columbia owned and pressed Velvet-Tone and Harmony, among others).
scheme machine
Also known as premium machines—phonographs made with odd-sized spindles or other features allow only records from the same company to be played on them.
A specific recording of a song; often a song could be recorded more than once in a recording session, and each recording would be issued a ‘take number’ or letter. Occasionally more than one take would be issued under the same catalogue number.
talking machine
The original generic term for phonographs; most of the others were trade names.
trade name
A name for a talking machine originally registered by a specific company (e.g., Victrola Gramophone, Graphophone, Grafonola and Phonograph).
vertical recording
The system whereby the record’s groove is a constant width and perfectly concentric, and the depth of the groove undulates to produce the sound. This is sometimes referred to as ‘hill & dale’.
Columbia Phonograph Company’s trade name for the electric recording process, licensed from Western Electric. Also, this is the name for the phonographs they designed to play these recordings.
A throw-back term to the earliest days of recording—used to designate the actual surface of a record, no matter which material was used to manufacture it.
(see ‘lateral recording’)
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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