YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

About The Record

February 21, 1993

Howzat, again?

"He carried the delicate acetate pressings to the Brooklyn basement studio . . . ." ("Cantor Buried Tale," Palm Latitudes, Jan. 17).

There's no such thing as an acetate pressing.

Pressings, back in 1950, were either in shellac or vinyl; acetates were made by being cut on a lathe, and they were called originals.

They were cut neither into wax nor into an acetate plastic but rather into a complex mixture of organic resins and oils that had been applied to a base material, usually aluminum. And, yes, they were indeed delicate.

Between acetates and pressings came many steps, including metalization of the original and a lot of electroplating. The discs of Eddie Cantor's 1950s performance were never run through this process, so they were truly unique.

In a recording industry city like Los Angeles, we should be careful to get it right.


Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Articles