Getting the needle

I owe something to my father here. He had real foresight back in the 1960s and stocked me up with items I still use – old steel gramophone needles.

A shop in Bexhill – my dad’s original home town, had a stock of needles back in the 1960s. We bought thousands of them and I still use them to this day – 50 years on.

They were (and are) of the type known as Songster needles. And they came in neat little tins which suffered a bit from years of loft storage. But here is one of them.


We can see these were made of Sheffield steel and have the advice to ‘use once only. The tin has a little advert around the edge of the lid.image004 image006 image008

Electrical records – using a microphone rather than a horn to make the recording, came in in 1925 and rapidly became pretty well universal.

Further information is on the underside.


Inside, this tin still has plenty of the thin soft tone needles.image012From memory, back in the 1960s they cost half a crown for two hundred needles in a tin. You can still buy needles. However 200 needles might cost you more like £10 although you can shop around and get them cheaper. These days a tin in good order (which this one isn’t) is deemed collectible. When you buy needles today expect them in a poly bag


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