Happy Birthday to the 33 1/3 Microgroove LP!

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Happy Birthday to the 33 1/3 Microgroove LP!Wired.com posted a little bit of music history today. On this day in 1948, "Columbia Records puts the needle down on history’s first successful microgroove plastic, 12-inch, 33-1/3 LP in New York, sparking a music-industry standard so strong that the digital age has yet to kill it."

According to the post, there were several attempts to bring the microgroove plastic albums to market dating back to the early 30s, but technical difficulties, the Great Depression, and World War II forced its delay. With the recent news of a resurgence in the sales of vinyl records, this year, the vinyl album’s birthday takes on extra relevance.

According to Martin Mayer’s history of the LP, published by High Fidelity Magazine in 1958, in the late 40s, Columbia Records engineer Peter Carl Goldmark "assigned individual researchers to individual problems: cutting-motor and stylus design, pickup design, turntable design, amplifier, radius equalization… The 33-1/3 speed had been established before work began, and it already had become clear that a very narrow groove, something like the .003 inch groove finally adopted, would be necessary to record 22 minutes of music to a side."

The first microgroove LP pressing released by Columbia was the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor performed by the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York.

Read the post on Wired.com.

Record Player image from ShutterStock.com.

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