The Crown name was used by several record labels, but around 1935 was used by the Crystalate company to produce a range of 9-inch (22.5 cm) 78rpm records for Woolworths in the UK.
Woolworths had been selling its Eclipse range of 8-inch records since 1929, but rising raw material costs forced them to try something new and they began selling the Crown range in 1935. Unusually, these were pressed on Bakelite, an early form of plastic, and as this was cheaper than shellac the size could be increased. The grooves could also be packed more closely, allowing more playing time, but Woolworths were still able to sell them for sixpence.
The music on Crown records produced by Crystalate was almost all from UK masters, and included popular bands and singers of the time, including Vera Lynn (though she was uncredited).
By 1937, costs had risen and selling records for sixpence was no longer profitable so Crown records were dropped.
Sources / Resources
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