[78-L] Flexo Record questions

Michael Biel mbiel at mbiel.com
Fri Mar 14 16:18:18 PDT 2014

Uncle Dave Lewis can tell you more about the Unity record, and there was
one pictured and discussed last week on facebook.  I believe the answer
to why Flexo instead of a shellac pressing is that Flexo was in Kansas
City which was more convenient for the KC church.  They did a whole
series of these records.  Mailing convenience might be another reason.

When Flexo move to San Francisco in the 30s they did the pressing for
Brunswick 16-inch transcriptions, and I have one of Kool Aid spots
advertising a contest with a prize of a trip to the Chicago World's Fair
2nd year, 1934.  Brunswick used the same red and black labels on these
and shellac pressings and had a notice on the label that black records
were shellac and could be played with regular steel needles but purple
records were acetate and should be played only with a new shadowgraphed
needle.  This is one of the reasons why broadcasters mistakenly called
lacquer coated discs acetate.  Flexo pressings WERE acetate, as were the
floppy clay colored World pressings.  Lacquers, of course, are NITRATE. 
I haven't smelled any vinegar on Flexos but I have on World and other
floppy Western Electric pressings.  Lacquers, of course, can't get
vinegar syndrome because they are not acetate.

Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com

  -------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Re: [78-L] Flexo Record questions
 From: "neechevoneeznayou at gmail.com" <neechevoneeznayou at gmail.com>
 Date: Fri, March 14, 2014 6:13 pm
 To: 78-L Mail List <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
 Come to think, I did see a 16" Flexo at Kurt's once upon a time. I
 remember what it contained. I do recall that it seemed rather curled.
 The label and the little insert that I discovered after I posted do say

 that a new steel needle is OK, but not one that has been used
 on a shellac record. It also suggests letting it ride thru the quiet 
 inner grooves just a little bit before playing the record (outside 
 start). Never saw this before.
 joe salerno
 On 3/14/2014 3:14 PM, David Lennick wrote:
 > They did indeed do vanity records, radio transcriptions (imagine a
 > 16-incher..I've transferred one), promos, giveaways, and I don't
think the
 > steel needle did that much damage. Warped edges are more of a
 > http://78rpmrecord.com/flexo.htm
 > dl
 > On 3/14/2014 4:08 PM, neechevoneeznayou at gmail.com wrote:
 >> Just acquired my first Flexo Record. This is a 10" record "Recorded
 >> Produced by UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY (Record Dept.) 917 Tracy,
 >> Kansas City, Mo.
 >> Original sleeve too, although it is torn. "Play With New Steel
 >> it says, and "Keep Record Lying Flat"
 >> 406-A is A MESSAGE OF JOY In My Neighbor's Garden (Nevin) Piano
 >> Interpretation by Mrs. Arthur Comstock. 406-B, by the same
performer, is
 >> A MESSAGE OF PEACE Adagio from Sonata Pathetique (Beethoven)
 >> I haven't played it yet.
 >> Is this a vanity record? Why produce a vanity record as a Flexo
 >> of the usual shellac? I assume this is not breakable, and has a
 >> surface. Other advantages?
 >> Would a steel needle not wear out such a record? It certainly is
 >> and apparently warpable, hence the admonition to keep it lying flat.
 >> also is translucent, reminds me of a lacquer, except there is no
 >> I have a hard time imagining that such a record would survive long
 >> a steel needle.
 >> Joe Salerno

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