It is assumed by many people that 78s were only
available as 10" and 12" discs, but there were other sizes
and formats as well.
These are some of the sizes that were available: -
- 1.3125" - These were specially made by The Gramophone Company, they also
made a gramophone to play them on. Various British companies produced miniature
products for Queen Mary's Dolls House that was exhibited at Wembley in 1924.
This was to demonstrate British skills at the time.
Queen Mary's Dolls House is now housed in Windsor Castle
- 3" - These were used on small portable gramophones
- 5" - This was the size of the first records and in addition they were single
sided (almost the same size as a CD).
- 6" - These were sold in the Woolworths chain in the UK.
- 8" This size of disc was marketed by a number of labels, the most notable
in the UK being Broadcast. It was marketed as the long playing record. It
would play for about the same time as a 10" record.
here for an example
- 9" - These were marketed by a number of labels, but not so widely.
- 13" - These were sold for a short time, and used for extra long works that
would not fit on a 12" record. Once sizes were standardized, this size along
with all the other odd sizes went off the market (with a few exceptions).
- 16" - The first sound films used these records to provide the sound for
the Vitaphone sound recording system. This was soon superseded by the superior
optical soundtrack that continued through until magnetic soundtracks became
commonplace on film, allowing multichannel audio.
- 20" - This size of disc was used in public places like restaurants. This
disc had a very much coarser groove and rotated at 120 rpm the needle (stylus)
was larger than a standard needle of the time.
© 2005 M F Hazell