Shellac record - the 78 rpm disc
We can thank Emile Berliner, a native German, for inventing the disc. In 1887 Berliner produced the first gramophone, which made a laterally-cut recording on a 12cm diameter disc. In 1898 the Deutsche Grammophone Company began commercial mass production, and in a few years had conquered the disc and wax cylinder markets. Both of these systems existed parallel for several decades, although separated into different areas of application - discs were preferred for music recordings while cylinders were mainly used for dictating machines. There were many attempts carried out to produce records from different materials. The most-used mixture to produce a disc with 78 revolutions per minute (rpm) resulted in the now famous "shellac" record. The reading speed, which during the early decades of the century was not uniform in the industry, was first standardized in 1948 as 78 rpm. Shellac records were produced until about 1960, as their attractiveness suffered from the introduction in the 50's of the long-playing vinyl record (LP) and the market dried up.