Profile America: The First LP ( What’s that?)

Tuesday, June 21 — One man’s devotion to classical music led to a major advance in the music recording industry. Dr. Peter Goldmark of CBS Labs was fed up with the frequent record disc flips and swaps required to play a symphony in the then-current 78-rpm format, which held only three to five minutes per side. So he developed the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing record — first shown to the public on this date in 1948, and the standard for decades to follow. A similar revolution occurred in the 1980s as CDs began displacing LPs.  But the vinyl LP still clings to a small market share that actually grew 30 percent last year. Whatever the medium, the market for music is great enough to sustain nearly 17 hundred sound recording studios in the U.S.

Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email