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jeepwm69Offline
Post subject: New guy with box of OLD Graphophone records  PostPosted: Sep 30, 2014 - 09:57 PM
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Hi, my name is William, and I'm a hoarder, and come from a long line of hoarders.

I spend a lot of time, on a lot of forums, and have discovered that every hobby has forums, and the forums are usually fountains of knowledge on any given subject.

So, I'm getting hitched in December, and am living in a house that I inherited from my grandparents. The bride-to-be wanted to clean out the attic, and what should I discover up there (other than a brown recluse ranch and petting zoo), but a box full of about 50 old graphophone (gramophone?) records.

Columbia and Victor seem to make up the bulk, and looks like most are from the early 1900's. A few examples

Victor 17926-B "What's the use in going home (when there's nobody there to love) Billy Murray-Irving Kaufman

Columbia "Down in Bom-Bombay" played by Guido Deiro A1843 (45985)

Victor Il Bacio -Valzer (arditi) Giuseppina Huguet 55024-A

Victor "Dear Heart (Mattei" George Hamlin with accomp by Victor Orchestra 74140

So, in nosing around online, I've found similar titles, but very rarely do I find the exact record that I have (usually only different records by the same artist).

I realize this could be an enthusiast's dream find, or it could be a box that has no value other than a nostalgic "the good old days" feeling.

Looks like popsike is a good place to nose around for values. Most of the titles I've checked haven't shown up there though.

What is the best way to clean these things? Obviously the labels are 100 years old, and any dust/dirt/debris on them will probably scratch them if I just go to rubbing on them. Some are in the old Victor paper sleeves (which are worse for wear). All are dirty, a couple have chips and I assume are junk, but first order of business looks like cleaning them up.

Anyone happen to be in the Memphis/ Mid South area who might be an authority on this era of graphophone? I figured I'd try to either sell the lot to someone (or if they have little or no value, give them to someone). I have a lot of hobbies, don't really need another one, but I hate to throw anything old like this away when I figure there are always people out there collect just about everything.

Have about 50 all told. I know in old Jeeps, Firearms, tools, condition and rarity are everything to collectors, but there are a lot of guys like me who don't want the collectible stuff, but just want stuff we can use because we like it and the nostalgia that goes along with things from America's heydays.

Would appreciate any info and direction someone might give me on looking more into these.

I'll probably spend a little time plugging the titles into an excel spreadsheet and then spend some more time researching the titles. Would like them to go to a good home. My family all said "those are useless if you don't have a player, toss them". I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Guess that's why I'm a hoarder!
 
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mackdaddygOffline
Post subject: RE: New guy with box of OLD Graphophone records  PostPosted: Oct 01, 2014 - 07:55 AM
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I think that with 78's you're only supposed to use soap and water (nothing with alcohol in it), but wait for others with much more knowledge to chime in.

As for value, I'm guessing those have no monetary value. Musically, there might be some gems, but financially I think you may end up having to give them away. Having said that, if you want to go to the trouble of listing everything here, there are plenty of folks who can be much more specific.
 
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Post subject: RE: New guy with box of OLD Graphophone records  PostPosted: Oct 01, 2014 - 08:29 PM
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Welcome to the RCG jeepwm69.

From the titles you've listed, I don't recognize any "super collectibles" or rarities, but I'll stand to be corrected.

I wash 78s in a sink in lukewarm soapy water with vigorous scrubbing with a shoebrush and carefully dry off with a towel.

I appreciate that you're reluctant to just toss out old 78s as family members suggested. It would be nice to listen to them but lacking the equipment to do so, passing them on to someone who'd appreciate them is the best approach.

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jeepwm69Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Oct 02, 2014 - 07:52 AM
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Found a somewhat localish guy named Paul Solarski who apparently buys and sells old records. Figure I'll come up with a list, send them to him and see what he says.

Would like to make sure I don't have the equivalent of a Mickey Mantle rookie card in here, but the main thing is to find someone who either wants them, or even someone who is set up to sell the things to someone who would want them.

Anything that old that's survived this long deserves a home. I'll post up the list when I complete it.

Thank you for the advice on cleaning. I'm guessing the labels need to stay dry, right?
 
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CactusCowboyOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Oct 02, 2014 - 11:04 AM
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Further on cleaning...

I place a sheet of plexiglass in the sink, providing flat support for the records. (Shellac is very brittle and cannot flex without breaking). I quickly and vigorously scrub both sides of the disc and then rinse off and place at the edge of the sink for 15-30 seconds, letting water drip off. Carefully blot off water with a terry cloth towel, taking care to get water off the labels as much as possible. Place records in a wire rack to air dry.

Most 78s labels will withstand brief exposure to water with no ill effect. Those labels that will 'run' or bleed are white label promos and labels that use a dull matte finish color such as red, green, pink, etc...

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CactusCowboyOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Oct 02, 2014 - 11:07 AM
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I have a collection of about 8-10 thousand 78s and I'm constantly looking for them. My experience is that the vast majority have minimal value, typically the fifty cents or a buck apiece that one pays at thrifts or yard sales. The more valuable records include pre WW II Blues, early Rock 'N Roll and that sort of thing. Records that one rarely finds but that everyone is looking for.

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jeepwm69Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Oct 07, 2014 - 10:13 AM
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Kind of what I figured. Would hate to give them away only to find there was some super rare record in the mix, but given that I don't know anything about them, I'm going to basically hope that the first person who looks at them would be honest if anything of value is in the collection, and if not, simply hand over what I have to that person.

The little old lady down the street recently found a brand new in original box Colt 1908 pistol that her husband received when he retired from the Army (Brig General). Neat little pocket pistols that were discontinued in the late 40's IIRC (Patton carried one as a back-up gun). Fortunately she took it to the local "gun guy" who is honest, asking him if he thought she could get a couple hundred bucks for it. He did a little research and found a museum that bought it....for $4,000.

I realize that the chances of any of these records being worth over a buck is slim to none, but you never know......and if they aren't, at least they'll go to someone who wants them instead of taking up space in a landfill.
 
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ChadFromCanadaOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Oct 26, 2014 - 02:32 PM
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CactusCowboy is bang on with the genres that most people are looking for (pre-war Blues, some early Rock & Roll, and some Jazz). Fortunately, if you only have about 50 of them, it should be easy to quickly search for them all and see if they have any value, and avoid giving away something really valuable. If you see the label "Black Patti", or a Robert Johnson 78 (Vocalion label), or even Sun label records (Johnny Cash, Elvis) you've struck gold, but it's very unlikely that you'd have even one of those records. Crooner, classical and a lot of other genres that were prevalent in the 78 era are next to worthless. You could honestly just search all of the records on popsike.com and if no results pop up, you can assume they're worth next to nothing (popsike tracks any record sales that have completed on ebay above $25 I believe - it's fair to assume that a 78 below that is not worth much at all, rather than that it's a $20-24 record or something - just the nature of 78s, very few are worth much at all).

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