4.2 The form of V-Discs
You are now going to consider how the V-Discs compared in form with their commercial counterparts. At the time of their production, the standard 10-inch and 12-inch 78 rpm commercial records normally contained around three to four minutes of music per side. V-Discs on the other hand, also at 12 inches in diameter but with a greater number of grooves per inch, had a potentially longer playing time on each side – up to around six and a half minutes. Commercial records were produced from shellac – a material that was anti-abrasive yet fragile. However, this was in short supply during the war and not very practical; records often arrived overseas broken into several pieces. V-Discs were therefore eventually made from the harder wearing Vinylite, which was more flexible and not as fragile as shellac. When stocks of this also diminished, a similarly robust substitute, Formvar, was adopted for the records (Sears, 1980, pp. lxix, lxxv).