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From 78...

Gramophone records were originally manufactured from a brittle, slate-like material called shellac. The recordings were made by cutting directly into a wax master, the turntable for which was driven mechanically by a lead weight driving a cam-and-pulley arrangement which provided the turntable rotation aswell as the lateral motion for the cutting stylus.
It was not until 1950 that EMI's studios at Abbey Road were equipped with magnetic tape recorders.

The 1939/40 Parlophone Catalogue

I'm sure you've heard of records being referred to by their 'catalogue number'.
Well, at one time, there really was an actual catalogue which you could buy and peruse. The number of titles available at any one time is astonishing, and the breadth of genres and artistes that were listed in the days of the 78 show that Parlophone (and the other EMI labels each) took an holistic approach to satisfying the record-buying market - that is, to be the best in all genres, rather than try and find niche genres for each label.

Note the selling point shown in the 'frontispiece' - "Hear What You Want... When You Want It..." - almost exactly the same marketing spiel that was wheeled out for the Sony Walkman in the early 80s and the iPod over the past few years.

It's interesting to note that the version of the Parlophone 'Trade Mark' shown in this catalogue was very much more modern than the version that actually appeared on their labels at the time, and is more in line with the logo used on LPs and 45s in the 1950s/60s.

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