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.

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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.

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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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