The spooky record of 33 – 78 – 45

So, those of us who are over 40ish or know about “records” know the 3 formats as 78, 45 and 33, it’s also fair to say most would also know the 78 came out first and so on.

The spooky bit……

Lets say you were born in 1933 then in 1978 you would be 45 years old.

I’ll just leave that there….

78 RPM

Inventor Emile Berliner created the first true disc record in 1888. However, unlike the Edison model, his playback device used an electric motor. The motor played back a disc at times between 70 and 80 RPM. As more and more audio manufacturers turned to producing record players, the idea of a 78 RPM turntable became the norm. This is because the 3600 RPM motor used within the turntable saw peak performance at 78.26 RPM.

45 RPM

The commercial rivalry between RCA Victor and Columbia Records led to RCA Victor’s introduction of what it had intended to be a competing vinyl format, the 7-inch (175 mm) 45 rpm disc. For a two-year period from 1948 to 1950, record companies and consumers faced uncertainty over which of these formats would ultimately prevail in what was known as the “War of the Speeds” In 1949 Capitol and Decca adopted the new LP format and RCA Victor gave in and issued its first LP in January 1950. 

33 RPM

Eventually the 12-inch 33 13 rpm LP prevailed as the dominant format for musical albums. The ​33 13 rpm format was developed by Columbia Records and marketed in June 1948.

Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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