RPM Birthdays and Unbirthdays


Phonographians find many days and many ways to Celebrate the Phonograph!


Phonograph records have revolved at many speeds, most of which have come and gone.

Record speeds are, however, one way to remember the Phonograph.

There are currently seven Friends of the Phonograph "RPM Birthdays".

These RMP birthdays are an opportunity to "tip your cap" to the history of phonograph RPMs and doing so as part of a Friend of the Phonograph's birthday celebration.

These "tip of the hat" RPM birthdays are based on the phonograph record speeds of "8 1/3" , 16 2/3" , "33 1/3" , "45" , "78" , "80" , "90" (1)

If you are a Phonographian and your birthday age is one of those RPM speeds you should give the phonograph a tip of the hat as part of your RPM birthday celebration.




Obviously invented by a Phonographian, an RPM birthday is an addendum to a birthday. As such, it's an opportunity for Phonographian's to mention the phonograph and explain phonograph RPMs to all in attendance (something that only a guest, celebrating your birthday, would probably listen to with a smile).



Happy 33 1/3 Birthday



If it isn't an RPM Phonographia Birthday or Phonographia Red-Letter Day, it can still be celebrated!

Friends of the Phonograph look for any excuse to celebrate connections with the Phonograph.

Lacking an RPM Birthday, a Phonographia Red-Letter Day, or a Friend of the Phonograph's Birthday there are many other Phonographia On This Day events that can be celebrated.

Check the Phonographia On this Day Calendar for what happened today related to the phonograph's history.

Nothing on any calendar? Then simply remember that a Phonograph's Unbirthday can always be celebrated.


1951 Walt Disney record that can be used to celebrate un-Phonographia birthdays.


"The Mad Tea Party" (Courtesy of Emily Winfield Martin)


"Tea for Two" at 2:22 02-22-2022



Phonograph ties for an Unbirthday, June 2005






Friends of the Phonograph Birthday Song



Phonograph History Remembered

The "On This Day" PhonoCalendar



(1) - The celebration of the phonograph's RPMs - Although early disc and cylinder recordings were produced in a variety of speeds ranging from 60 to 160 RPM, FOTP Red Letter RPM Birthdays are currently the following:

8 1/3 RPM (used by the National Library Services starting in "1969 to record magzines and the recording of all disc talking books at 8-1/3 rpm began in January 1973. Use of these slow recording speeds made it possible to include almost twice as much material as on a disc of corresponding size recorded at 16-2/3 rpm.

16 2/3 RPM (first used in early 1930's and subsequently used for 1) spoken word recordings, 2) car music systems like Chrysler's Hi-Way Hi-Fi 2 of the 1950's 3) background music systems for restaurants and businesses 4) limited music formats - see Canada Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) May 2010 article by Mike Dicecco for history of 16 2/3 format);

33 1/3 RPM (first used by Vitaphone in 1930 for electrical transcription recordings and introduced in 1948 by Columbia Records as the Long-Playing Record (LP));

45 RPM (introduced by RCA in 1949); For a brief history of the 45 rpm go to Historys Dumpster

78 RPM (the standard for early disc records from 1890s into the 1950's);

80 RPM (for Edison Diamond Disc records),

90 RPM (for Pathé disc records with vertically cut grooves requiring a special sapphire ball-shaped stylus).



The Big Four (Record Speed Selector - turn the knob to select turntable speed)

Record Protection for the Future: "Any record speed from 10 to 85, including the coming 16 R.P.M.!" Zenith, 1951