Dating columbia 78 rpm records
As on all pages of this site, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contents they are only our thoughts, & so may be wrong.Also, terms like master, mother and stamper are used below.
If you are not sure of how records in general 78s in particular were made, The most important things about most recent records are their performer, and the title.They can tell us all sorts of things about the side. People used the term wax loosely, and it has gone into general use, so who are we to argue? The contrast and brightness have been stepped up to show the various numbers &c.The most important number we see in the wax is the same one we see on the label, to the right of the centre hole.This is the master number, sometimes called the matrix number.Here is such an Odeon: One can only have ordered it by quoting one side.Perhaps even people in Austria found difficulty in ordering these too, because they are quite scarce.
Still, catalogue numbers, however fascinating they are, are not particularly what this page is about. Of course, finished records have never been made out of wax.
The sort of letters and numbers were really interested in, are the other markings & printings to be found on the label, under the label and in the wax. But they were nearly all originally cut onto a wax blank between ~1902 and say the late 1940s.
But in order to keep records in logical order on their stock shelves, manufacturers & dealers need a catalogue number.
And often so do we, to help us keep our collections in order.
Mind you, early on, it was quite common to find records with a different catalogue number on each side!
As late as 1926, Odeon had a series for Austria that had no consistent number on each side there may be much later examples too.