Who wants to compile a list of pressing plant initials?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by James Glennon, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Excuse the BIG scan but I wanted to make sure that you saw the typeface properly. This is my little magnum opus 10" E.P. that I had pressed at Bestway in April of 1981. Unfortunately, there are NO markings such as the 'bw' on the label or 'Bestway' in the dead wax to show that it was pressed at Bestway. :(

    I should explain that the 'Love To M.L.' was what I had etched in the dead wax on side one and the 'catalog number' of TAG-3124 was nothing more than my friend Terri's initials and the extension of the mailroom where I was working at the time. :D

    What's killing me is that I can NOT find the paperwork for the pressing. I thought that I still had it after all these years but they remain illusive. I hope that I didn't accidentally throw them out. Because I don't have them, I can't remember where the labels were done other than the guy at Bestway at the time showing me my options. Obviously, I have NO idea what the fonts are.
     

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  2. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Okay I can't figure out why the picture isn't coming through. I'll work on it. :)

    Okay, I got it. See above. My original scan was WAY too big. Sorry. :o
     
  3. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    The big font at the top was Bodoni Medium, I.I.N.M. The other fonts were 14 point Erbar Light Condensed for the side indication; 10 point Spartan Medium and Heavy; 8 point Spartan Medium; and 14 point Gothic No. 13. Though no indication could be found on the dead wax, just by the fonts alone do they scream "a Bestway pressing." The background color looks like it could be Pantone 318.
     
  4. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Did I ever tell you that I was impressed by your knowledge and that you must be Batman?? Oh, yeah. I did. :)

    I don't remember if they sent the labels out to be done or if they were done 'in house'. I know that the covers were sent out. I think I picked the color of the label.

    Just for giggles, here are label scans of both versions of side two of Gilbert O'Sullivan's first album. The first picture is of the original pressing. Note that track two on the 1971 pressing is 'Susan Van Heusan'. The second scan is the 1972 pressing with 'Alone Again, Naturally' now at track two. Note that the label reflects the change. Barely visible on both labels above the 'A' in Made In U.S.A at the bottom of the label is the 'BW' signifying 'Bestway'. The first version of the lp has 'Best' in the dead wax and the second version has 'Bestway'.
     

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  5. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Attached are some Specialty label scans.
    The first one (Volt 152) is from June 1967. The next one (Stax 242) is from Sept 1967.
    I have no date for the promo EP (maybe end 1967). The Volt OS13100 is also from a later date (date unknown).
    Stax0038 is from June 1969. Stax 0054 is from October 1969 and finally Stax 0105 is from September 1971.
    From all the 45 pressing the Specialty sounded the best.
    Also, the labels are (sometimes, not always) very nice and glossy.
    The blue Stax one's are not glossy as the white promo's are.
    the red Volt are also on glossy labels as there white promo's.
    The yellow Stax started on no glossy labels (0038) but 0054 as well as 0105 are both on a nice glossy label.
    Same questions as usual. Did Specialty had typesetting facilities?

    Rene
     

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  6. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Sorry attached are the other two.

    Rene
     

    Attached Files:

  7. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    All labels from Volt 152 through to Volt OS-13100 bore label copy typeset at Keystone Printed Specialties Co., Inc., of Scranton, PA, thus up to 1969 Specialty did not have their own typesetting facilities. It would appear that by the time of Stax 0038, and to the other two releases they did. (Actually, the OS 13100 and "FROM VOLT 157" was apparently in-house as well.)

    Let's look at the fonts blow-by-blow, shall we?

    [​IMG]
    The catalogue number, song title and artist name are typeset in 10 point Intertype Futura Demi Bold (that size was in conjunction with the Medium size which is not in this example). The matrix number was set in 8 point Vogue Bold, and the text type was 6 point Vogue Bold. Ditto for Stax 246. Stax EP 100 as well (except I can't make out at this time the font used for the name on the top, though it is in Keystone's type library).

    [​IMG]
    The "(Sittin' On)" was set in 10 point Futura Demi Bold; the main title "The Dock of the Bay" and artist name was in 14 point Cairo Extra Bold Condensed, which was in conjunction with Gothic No. 13 amongst the Intertype typeface family (and we know what that company evolved into, based upon what's above). 14 point Gothic No. 13 with Cairo Extra Bold Condensed were first used by Keystone in 1966, and were also used on East Coast pressings of Capitol StarLine 45's. The publisher and time info are 6 point Vogue Bold, and the rest are in 8 point Vogue Bold. The OS-13100 and "FROM VOLT 157" were apparently in-house, being as both are different sizes of Varitype Univers Bold (a.k.a. Univers 65).

    [​IMG]
    It was around this time that Specialty were developing their own typesetting facilities, apparently to lessen their dependence on Keystone. The type here is Varitype's version of Univers Medium (a.k.a. Univers 55).

    [​IMG]
    By this time, they were using 10 point Varitype Univers Bold and 7(?) point Varitype Univers Medium. I prefer the dull coated version with the finger more photographic, as opposed to the cast-coated (Kromecote) label.

    [​IMG]
    By this time, they were developing the "Specialty look" as associated with many pressings from them up to 1975 (i.e. pre-1972 ABC/Dunhill's, Atlantic/Atco's, 1971-75 All Platinum/Stang/Turbo/Vibration's) when they made their next typesetting overhaul, at first using fonts like those employed in that 1972 Stax 45 label sheet from Plastic Products. The Varitype fonts here were 12(?) point and 7(?) point Varitype Univers Bold, plus 14(?) point News Gothic Bold from some phototypesetting program associated therewith. Some Specialty 45's apparently had the shape molds as in use on Capitol-pressed singles of the period (the raised area around where the label is positioned, only without the 360 interlocking serrations as associated with Capitol pressings of the time).

    As for Keystone . . . their fonts were in many Capitol "yellow/orange swirl" 45's and "black rainbow band" LP's of the period, most notably Beach Boys and Beatles, as pressed in Scranton, PA (they of the "IAM" symbol on the dead wax as indicating the International Association of Machinists' union whose workers were employed by the plant).
     
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  8. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    W.B.,

    Do you know when Specialty started?
    I was always wondering why the label of Stax 0038 was so bad compared with other Specialty labels. So it must be one of the first own printing/typesetting labels.
    Do you have other Specialty labels of the same period and do you own other "glossy" Specialty labels?

    Rene
     
  9. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    First, Specialty opened around 1950. It is of no relation to the Specialty label for which the likes of Little Richard and Larry Williams recorded. Until the late 1960's, they concentrated almost exclusively on 45's, then afterwards began pressing LP's.

    As for other "glossy" label Specialty pressings in my collection: In terms of the early-to-mid 1970's, a lot. Predominantly Atlantic, Atco and Elektra singles. Their ABC/Dunhill pressings from 1968-72, however, used uncoated stock. And Rolling Stones Records and Atlantic-distributed Capricorn singles used glossy paper, but with a dull surface compared with the super-glossy copies on Atlantic, Atco and Elektra.
     
  10. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    W.B.,

    What is your earliest Specialty 45 with their logo (big S with a small R and C inside the S) in the dead wax?
    My earliest one is from August 1966.
    Did Specialty pressed any 78's?
    Was there a special reason why some labels were glossy and why some were not?
    Next pressing plant: ARP.

    Rene
     
  11. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I discovered during a record convention today that there was another pressing plant besides American Record Pressing and the others, that handled Atlantic. Circa 1968, they had some of their 45's pressed by Midwest Record Pressings in Chicago, IL. The suffix after each matrix number was -WM; the code number used on the dead wax of the lacquer was -41. Down the road I shall provide a scan of a label therefrom.

    As for why some labels Specialty used were glossy and others not: I.I.N.M., the label sheets were provided for them by companies such as Queens Litho and Ivy Hill. Also, it depended on which record label that paper labels were printed for. Different companies printed different label sheets.
     
  12. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    As promised, here's a Midwest Record Pressing copy of an Atlantic single, from 1968, and after that the next-to-last Atlantic 45 to be pressed by Columbia, from 1969:
     

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  13. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    .

    What a coincident!! I found in my collection Atlantic 2527 with the suffix -41 with -WM and
    I just want to ask you about this pressing plant.
    Any details about in house typesetting facilities etc?

    Rene
     
  14. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    W.B.,

    Did Queens Litho also use "glossy" or "super glossy" labels during the late 60's? Any examples?

    Rene
     
  15. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Attached are ARP label scans.
    The first Volt (146) is from March 1967. The second Volt one is from June 1967. Note the unusual big VOLT name in the logo. Have you ever seen more Volt labels like that?
    The yellow Stax (0124) is from March 1973. The Respect one is from April 1975.
    Finally, the Stax album is from late 1971.
    Same questions as usual. Typesetting facilities?

    Rene
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Midwest Record Pressings was affiliated with Chess Records. It shut down in 1970, a year or two after Chess was acquired by GRT Corporation (of Janus Records fame). The fonts seen on Atlantic 2529 were in use since about 1967; all Varitype, the typefaces on that example were 8 point Sans Serif Light, 12(?) point Gill Bold and 10(?) point Sans Serif Bold. To my knowledge, they had their own typesetting facilities. Before that, they used Ludlow fonts (Ludlow was another hot-metal typesetting company, with a system different from the Linotype/Intertype setup, or for that matter Monotype). Other companies Midwest pressed for included MGM, Co & Ce, USA (of Buckinghams "Kind Of A Drag" fame) and Paula (of John Fred "Judy In Disguise" fame).

    Super glossy labels (trade name Kromecote) were used primarily for 45 RPM; the most famous example being their initial printing of Apple labels. They apparently used regular glossy paper for LP labels (not just Apple, but also Capitol's "rainbow band" labels, which in the summer of '68 had "Subsidiary" perimeter print added on).
     
  17. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    First, apparently ARP's typesetting was in-house, unless someone else indicates otherwise. But as for labels, let's see . . .

    [​IMG]
    These fonts primarily came out of Linotype. The text font was 6 point Century Bold (a serif typeface), the catalogue number and artist name in 10 point Spartan Heavy Condensed, and the title in 12 point Spartan Black Condensed. The earliest use I saw of these fonts was circa. 1963, and the last known use was early 1968. This was the American Record Pressing typesetting style: left side justified left, right side justified right.

    [​IMG]
    By this time, they switched to Varitype fonts. 7(?) and 10 point Univers Bold were on this label. Apparently, the big "VOLT" here was unique to ARP copies.

    [​IMG]
    This label actually appears to be from 1969 or thereabouts. (A Columbia/Pitman, NJ pressing of this, would have had the added "Div. of Paramount Pictures, A G + W Co." perimeter print along with the address of the label.) The small Univers Bold font is also on this label; for the MONO, side indication and catalogue number, 12 point Gothic Extra Bold Condensed was used. The artist and title were on a phototypesetting version of Futura Bold Condensed (18 point, I believe) as tied in to the Varitype typesetting model.

    [​IMG]
    This was actually around March, 1972; the plant closed down in late 1972 after a warehouse fire. I always considered this style to be quite clunky and inefficient in layout space compared with the likes of Columbia/Pitman (as witness the Atlantic 2605 example). The Respect 45 from 1975 was actually from Bestway Products in Mountainside, NJ, with the fonts associated therewith which I'd expounded on before.
     
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  18. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

     
  19. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Attaches are some Columbia label scans.
    The two albums are from 1967. Note the different fonts.
    The Koko 45 is from Nov 1972.What is the meaning of the letter "c" in the square box right below the publishing company's ? This record is from Pitman.
    Stax 0157 is from march 1973. What is the meaning of the letter "s" in the square box right below the names of the songwriters? this record is from Santa Maria.
    We Produce 1815 is from September 1974. what is the meaning of the golden "sun", left of the label logo? This record was pressed at Terre Haute
    Did Columbia has typesetting facilities for all pressing plants?
    Did all plants use the same fonts etc?
    Further questions as usual.

    Rene
     

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  20. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    [​IMG]
    This typesetting was from Pitman, NJ. Other than the "STEREO" line which was set in 8 point Erbar Bold Condensed, the rest of the type is set in Linotype Baskerville. This serif typeface was used primarily on Atlantic and Atco LP's of the period.

    [​IMG]
    The typefaces in use here are 10 point Erbar Bold Condensed (for artist, album title, catalogue number and side indication), 7 point Gothic No. 4 (for the line "STEREO") and 6 point Gothic Condensed No. 4 (for the small text type). Despite the "CT" code (for Terre Haute, IN), the typesetting was also from Pitman - and unique thereto. They were carried over from Bridgeport, CT, where Columbia's main pressing was based up to 1964. (Pitman opened in 1960.) The Gothic Condensed No. 4 font, whose use by Columbia dated back to the 1920's, was retired in mid-to-late February, 1968, replaced by 6 point Spartan Book Condensed with Heavy Condensed, used as the text type on . . .

    [​IMG]
    . . . this release. (The bigger font was 14 point Spartan Heavy Condensed, which replaced 14 point Erbar Bold Condensed in April of 1970.) I think the © designation was to distinguish Stax/Volt etc. releases from others. Ditto for the "square S" symbol (which apparently originated from Intertype), as on all Columbia-pressed Stax/Volt 45's from early 1973 on.

    [​IMG]
    Not only was this copy from Santa Maria, CA, but so were the fonts. 12 point Varitype Gothic Extra Bold Condensed and 7 point Sans Serif Bold. The fonts as shown here came together in 1968 after some tweakings over the previous two years. You can see these typefaces mostly on pressings for West Coast labels such as ABC/Dunhill, Warner/Reprise, White Whale and 20th Century (of Barry White fame). Columbia/Santa Maria had their own in-house typesetting facilities after '66, prior to which they used Bert-Co Press of Los Angeles to do their label copy. Pitman (and Bridgeport) had in-house typesetting facilities for as long as I can remember. Rarely up to 1974 was there an attempt to replicate the set of fonts used on the East Coast; one ill-fated attempt was in 1946-48 when their short-lived Kings Mills, OH pressing plant used a few of the typefaces associated with Bridgeport, but not all; the layout of Kings Mills label copy was not nearly as neat as on Bridgeport label copy. Speaking of which . . .

    [​IMG]
    . . . the fonts here are all phototypesetting. As on this copy, the fonts used are Franklin Gothic (for the catalogue number, STEREO, title and artist) and Spartan Medium Condensed (for everything else except the "square S"). Columbia/Pitman first used phototypesetting in June of 1974, and from then until mid-November alternated between using phototypesetting and their older hot-metal Linotype (and some Intertype) fonts. Around this period, Terre Haute began to use this group of fonts, replacing a batch of typefaces associated with IBM. Then in September 1977, Santa Maria replaced their old Varitype fonts with the same package of phototypesetting typefaces (from Linotype, which by then was pretty much out of the hot-metal typesetting business). Though all three of Columbia's plants ended up with the same group of fonts, they didn't use them the same way. These fonts all "died" with the demise of Pitman's vinyl-pressing operation at the end of 1986 (Carrollton, GA, which started pressing vinyl in 1983 and continued to 1991, had a whole different collection of typefaces than that used in Pitman). While this copy may have been Terre Haute, the fonts (based on the layout and line spacing) indicate Pitman origin.

    As for the "golden sun" symbol: It was in use from July 1974 to the end of 1975 on all Columbia and Columbia-distributed and -associated labels, after the rise in prices of LP's and 45's. This price rise also may explain the change in the last letter of Stax 45 prefices from "A" to "N" (i.e. STN- instead of STA-, VON- instead of VOA-).
     
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  21. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    W.B.,

    Attached is a King label scan. Usual questions.
    I just got in contact with 2 persons who worked at the King's pressing plant.If you have some additional questions please send it to me and hopefully get an answer.
    In any case King had typesetting facilities.

    Rene
     

    Attached Files:

  22. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    [​IMG]
    And in any cases, the fonts as used by King were from a typesetting firm called Ludlow. I've had the experience of actually working with such linecasting equipment - another brand of hot-metal typesetting different from Linotype/Intertype and Monotype.

    The typeface used for the catalogue number and song title was (I.I.N.M.) called Record Gothic Bold, which was the name Ludlow used for News Gothic (w/Bold). The text type was Tempo Medium (I believe 8 point), while the "HIGH," "FIDELITY," and artist lines were set in Tempo Bold Condensed. Besides King's own pressing plant, their typesetting was also used on pressings from other plants to which King subcontracted in times of, say, James Brown's big hits (i.e. Columbia, RCA) - just a case of sending their label copy artwork to the plants in question.

    Incidentally . . . in King's first year of existence (1947-48), their records were pressed by Columbia in their ultimately ill-fated Kings Mills, OH plant (apparently on the outskirts of Cincinnati). I wonder if it was in the vicinity of King's facilities.
     
  23. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Here are some Rimrock scans. I think Stax bought that plant in 1974. The first Stax 45 is from July 1974. This plant doesn't exist anymore as it was burnt down. Do you have anymore info about this plant?
    Stax 0238 is from April 1975; Stax 0248 is from June 1975; Resect 2507 is from April 1975. I don't know about Rimrock 243.
    The records from Rimrock are unusual thick and heavy.
    Questions as usual.

    Rene
     

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  24. Rene

    Rene Forum Resident

    Here is the last one.

    Rene
     

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  25. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Geez . . . now that's a new one on me. I've never seen those examples of typesetting before in that kind of configuration - though I'm aware the fonts are IBM. The example of STN-0248 used for the text font 6 point Classified News in a form I saw on pressings emanating from Holbrook, NY-based Goldisc Record Mfg. (formerly Sonic Recording Products) as from the late 1970's - especially as far as the numerals are concerned..
     

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