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US Pressing Plant Numbers: as used on Polygram group vinyl editions…….
they appear as very small numbers, often inconspicuously on the paper labels.
16 = Goldisc Record Mfg. Co., Holbrook, NY
19 = Bestway Products, Mountainside, NJ
22 = Allied Record Co., Los Angeles, CA
24 = Monarch Record Mfg. Co., Los Angeles, CA
25 = Columbia, Santa Maria, CA
26 = PRC, Compton, CA
49 = Specialty Records Corp., Olyphant, PA
53 = Keel Mfg. (prior to 1979); Hauppauge Record Manufacturing, Ltd. (1979 and later)
54 = Shelley Products, Huntington Station, NY
56 = Columbia, Pitman, NJ
60 = Sound Makers. (U.S. PolyGram releases of the late 1970’s and early ’80’s) Pressed at SOUND MAKERS New Jersey.
70 = RCA, Indianapolis, IN
72 = PRC, Richmond, IN
73 = Columbia, Terre Haute, IN
76 = Hub-Servall Record Mfg. Corp.
W.B of New York, on Hoffman Forums:
(LIST OF US PRESSING PLANTS ACTIVE ’60s ’70s)
Among the other plants used by Polydor (for both LP’s and 45’s) in that period included:
– Columbia Record Productions, Pitman, NJ (56) and Terre Haute, IN (73) (their Santa Maria, CA plant  handled pressings for them in the late 1970’s)
– Philips/PRC Recording Corp., Richmond, IN (72) (also, after late 1970’s, Compton, CA )
– Capitol Custom Pressings, Scranton, PA (to late 1973) and Winchester, VA (I saw a copy of a 45 of James Brown’s “Sexy, Sexy, Sexy,” PD-14194, pressed there)
– North American Music Industries, Scranton, PA (plant spun off in late 1973 from Capitol)
– Shelley Products, Huntington Station, NY (54) (by this time, their “pop-off” 45 labels were but a thing of the past)
– Sonic Recording Products/Goldisc Record Mfg., Holbrook, NY (16) (typesetting on early 1970’s pressings from Progressive Label Co., Brooklyn, NY)
– Specialty Records Corp., Olyphant, PA (49)
– Hauppauge Record Mfg. (ex Keel Mfg.), Hauppauge, NY
– Bestway Products, Mountainside, NJ (19)
– Presswell Records Mfg. Co., Ancora, NJ (18)
– RCA Custom Records, Indianapolis, IN (70)
– Allied Record Co., Los Angeles, CA (22)
– Plastic Products Co., Memphis, TN (30)
Incidentally, their code for Monarch was (24)
The numbers in parentheses or brackets are the known codes used by PolyGram beginning in 1979 to indicate which plant was pressing for them.
As of 1974, Polydor LP’s were pressed by at least three plants – All Disc Records in Roselle, NJ (such pressings, with label copy typesetting from Progressive Label Co. in Brooklyn, NY, have a “6” right below the European xxxx xxx number on the label),
PRC Recording Corp. in Richmond, IN, and Monarch Record Mfg. Co. in Los Angeles. (All Disc and PRC pressings used uncoated paper stock for the labels, but their typesetting differed considerably.)
Can’t say about the former Capitol plant in Scranton, PA which by then was now owned by North American Music Industries of Pittsburgh; but selected “record club” copies were pressed by Columbia. I can’t vouch for what the “33” stood for on the deadwax, but generally the PolyGram pressing plant number designations were not written on the deadwax, only (after 1979) on the labels.
Keel Mfg. Corp.
Defunct Long Island record manufacturer/pressing facility which was located in Hauppauge, NY (USA). A division of Pickwick International, Inc., they at one time produced more than 25 million records per year and were also known as K. M. Corp., K.M. Corporation, Keel Manufacturing, Inc. (“Keel”), KEEL Manufacturing Corp., and Keel Manufacturing Division. Keel sourced nickel electroplated masters from Mastercraft Record Plating, Inc., and vinyl plastic compounds from Woodbridge. The company lasted until mid 1981 when it became Hauppauge Record Manufacturing Ltd..
10 & 15 Gilpin Ave
Hauppauge NY, 11788
COLUMBIA PRESSING PLANTS
Complex national operation of up to five plants at any one time, finally reducing down to three:
Columbia Bridgeport Conn. 1473 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06610 Founded in 1934 active until 1964.
WB: It was in late March, 1964, that Columbia shut down its Bridgeport plant, transferring all East Coast pressing activities to their newer Pitman, NJ plant that first went into operation in May 1961, closed in March 1981;
The label typesetting associated with Bridgeport would also go to Pitman, though on Columbia, Epic and subsidiary releases, the Linotype fonts would not really reappear on a regular basis until summer 1965. The Pitman plant ceased manufacturing vinyl in 1986-87
Bridgeport and later Pitman used paper labels with Artist, Title and Track names set in Linotype Erbar LT Bold Condensed – shown below is a 1959 KoB promo (with Erbar Light Condensed for comparison). This font set distinguishes Bridgeport/Pitman pressings from those at other Columbia Plants, where other fonts were in use.
WB: “Many have erroneously cited the code “CT” as signifying the Bridgeport plant when, in fact, it was a code for Columbia’s Terre Haute, IN plant (as was ‘CTH’). Back when Columbia was pressing records in Bridgeport, the common abbreviation for the state was ‘Conn.’; ‘CT’ was not used as a state abbreviation until starting in the later 1970’s;
Thereafter, all East Coast pressing was transferred to Pitman, NJ which began some pressing late 1960 and became more fully operational by May 1961. A Billboard article from September of 1963 noted that Columbia was phasing out pressing operations in Bridgeport. Given when the plant finally closed, this wind-down took six months.
At about the same time Bridgeport ended pressing operations, they also shut down a West Coast plant in Hollywood, CA (on Alden Drive) after a newer plant in Santa Maria, CA (which opened some time in late 1963 and would close in 1981) reached 100% online status in terms of pressing.
Thus, for a time in the late 1963/early ’64 period, Columbia operated five plants across the country”.
The old Columbia Hollywood Alden Drive plant signature is a hand-etched letter H
Pressings at Terre Haute commonly have a letter “T” hand etched or stamped in the run-out, and in some cases a mother code (A B and C have been seen) and here a stamper count five-bar gate.
Santa Maria plant pressings reportedly carry a letter S in the run out.
Though the subject is contentious, Columbia cut multiple lacquers “simultaneously” – some say “on the same day”, and distributed these laquers to plants, who used these to manufacture metal parts locally (Customatrix Division) which ensured equally quality of pressings between manufacturing locations. In this sense, it is not especially important which plant pressed a Columbia recording.
The presence of Columbia pressing plant etchings is inconsistent. Around half the Columbia records in my collection have no visible indicator, merely the matrix code, and often an etched stamper count.
However there is one unique Columbia etching, sent to my by Frederik from Stockholm. Seen below on a six-eye mono copy of CL 949, Miles Davis ‘Round About Midnight. My copy, which is without this etching, was pressed at Hollywood, Alden Drive CA plant.
Someone with access to Columbia metal stampers, and a great sense of humour. If you know more, email me.