Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Unexpected Blast from the Past

Not long ago, I carted a lot of old books to the used bookstore. I was hoping to get some money back, or at least some store credit, for them. Unfortunately, they couldn't take them, and I ended up donating them. 


This was placed in my book bin, even though it wasn't mine. Apparently, someone tried to trade this in and couldn't, and the bookseller had thought it was mine:




That's a box of "French: Level One" practice record sets. Yes, RECORD, as in 33 1/3 RPM. 14 Longplay microgroove, hi-fi records, copyright 1960. There were only 6 of the 14 in the box:




At the bottom there's a strip titled, "Care of the Record".

1. Store in this protective sleeve, to avoid scratching and dirt.

2. Handle this record by the edges and center only.

3. Use a microgroove needle only. Keep it clean, and have it checked occasionally to be sure that it is not too badly worn.

4. Keep record away from heat. Do not lay it in direct sun or on a radiator. (on a radiator?)

5. Always store records upright (not flat)

6. Play manually at 33 1/3 RPM.


And this is Practice Record Side A of Unit 8:




Most of my students wouldn't know what to do with this. In fact, they'd think it was a weird, oversized CD or a frisbee. Considering this set is 41 years old, it's in pretty good shape. I remember records like this, though I'm not going to tell you just how old I am.


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