Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Durium Dance Band

A rather unusaul disc from the dusty vaults of my collection now - a Durium label "flexidisc" that seems to be made of cardboard coated with some kind of plastic. It enjoyed a brief popularity in the inter war years and sometimes sold at news stands and kiosks for a few pence. They were amazingly bendy and not as fragile as the heavier shellac 78's but sadly curled up aftera few plays and never really caught on. Being one sided, two tracks had to be squeezed onto one side which didnt help the sound quality much. This disc is rather worn and the second track has a nasty jump half way through. Also as you can see I had to employ a novel way of weighing down the centre with a roll of sticky tape, the middle was apt to rise up the spindle and distort the sound even further!

Here is a quote from Time Magazine in 1937-

"On news stands in Springfield, Mass., and Hartford, Conn., last week, there appeared for sale an article which set many a passer-by to wondering. It was a phonograph record, not black but brown; no thicker, scarcely any heavier, than a stiff piece of paper; and it bore the name of an unknown corporation called Durium Products.
Durium is the recent invention of Dr. Hal Trueman Beans, Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University. It is a synthetic resin, somewhat like bakelite. In its original form it is a liquid composition the color of varnish which when exposed to heat becomes so solid that dropping or mild whacks will do it no harm. Like varnish too it can be spread with a brush but there the resemblance stops. Durium hardens so quickly that phonograph records, which are pressed from metal disks, can be stamped on it with the speed of a printing press. The manufacture of records is the first commercial use to which durium has been put, and so cheaply was it accomplished that first ones were offered at 15¢ apiece."

Durium Dance Band - Back Again To Happy Go Lucky Days

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Howlin' Hobbit said...

Don't know if they used "durium" but I remember getting recordings by the Monkees and the Archies in my youth that were on the backs of breakfast cereal boxes.

You cut them out, punched out the spindle hole and rocked on.

Durium said...

Thanks for your nice blog about Durium records. As author of the Hit of the week - Durium Discography, nicknamed "Durium", I am familiar with rthese great series of card board records. All Hit of the week records ( the US series) will be released on four 2CD sets. Two have been relkeased up to now. You can find your your record in my online disography ( there is a more extensive paper version too). There is a Durium blog too.

Keep swinging