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GUEST,Phil d'Conch Stinson Records Revisted (58* d) RE: Stinson Records Revisted 01 Jul 21


Everybody speculates on Asch Recording's lack of pre-Stinson market success. As above, the standard 'shellac rationing' urban legend doesn't hold up to review.

In fact, I've looked high and low, with zero success, for whatever became of Charlie Stinson's warehouses and retail store(s) full of bargain bin shellac records and old aluminum masters. Either it all caught a slow boat to Russia or Stinson Trading was not a ration-starved shellac consumer but rather a net supplier to industry or…?

Skipping ahead, post war records labeled “NON-BREAKABLE (under normal use)” like Stinson 3160 and others shown in the Barton lectures are not made of shellac. They are the early attempts at substitutes mentioned above and here:

“The reclamation of shellac from old records began almost at once; the surfaces that resulted from the reclamation process were rough and noisy, but until a substitute was found for shellac there was little alternative (by August, the Clark Phonograph Company in Newark, New Jersey, was pressing records for a new company – Capitol – using a secret shellac substitute). Nationwide drives were established to collect some portion of the estimated two hundred million records then “cluttering up the attics, cellars and closets of the American home.” For a short time, the majors cut the shipping of records to a minimum and stopped recording altogether.”
[Goldsmith, p.107]
LoC Now See Hear! – Scrap for Victory!

The Petrillo Ban also gets a lot of coverage but Asch rarely used union musicians; temporarily switched to a 12” format incompatible with the offending jukebox tech (standard 10”) and was one of the first to settle with the union. Stinson Trading/Artkino didn't pay royalties to anyone but themselves, period, paragraph.


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