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5 inch Zonophone Discs
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Author:  Mlund2020 [ Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  5 inch Zonophone Discs

I am curious if anyone has any information they can share on the 5 inch records released by Zonophone International of Gremany. I have collected 3 of these 5 inch records over the years, one of which came with an original K&R phonograph that I purchased along with some 5 inch K&R Berliner records. I have been able to find out very little about these 5 inch zonophone records and I am very curious as to when and why Zonophone International released these 5 inch records and how common or rare that they are. I am sure that there are a lot of knowledgeable folks in this group that I hope can help me shed some light on the 5 inch Zonophone record.

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Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5 inch Zonophone Discs

The only thing I own that gets close to these is in the attached picture.

I had a standard 78 RPM, visible on the right, which unfortunately was cracked (the crack is not easily visible in picture, but it goes from the centre spindle hole to the outer border and it has a gap, as if the material of the record was shrinking, or it had internal strain). I thought I was never going to see another unit of the same record in my whole life, but shortly after I've found a "smaller" version of the same title and I couldn't believe my eyes!

The two records contain a faux war scene re-enacted in studio - not to an impressive effect I would say - and titled Le Grandi Manovre. This type of records were called scene dal vero"(scenes from life), and although not best sellers, I suppose they must have had a market at their times as I own several. Aside from wartime sketches, I recall harvesters singing while they go to the vineyard, people taking trains at the station, and so on.

The standard record is one-sided, and on the back it has the big "cross" logo of Zonophone and the reproduced in Germany claim. Quite oddly, the smaller record is instead two-sided, and has another re-enacted military scene on the back (Uscita del Tenente Colonnello Galliano da Makallè - and yes, he is the Galliano to whom the Galliano liqueur is dedicated to). There is no reference about it being pressed in Germany or elsewhere, but I believe it was manufactured in Germany just as well. The smaller record was also recorded at an odd speed; when I used it in my Il Suono della Grande Guerra commemoration I marked down that the voices sounded natural at 70 RPM.

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