orthophonic...???


So recently I picked up a $.99 'bargain' from the dust bin. This is a RCA Victor Red Seal recording, dated 1959 with the following description on the back cover:
Important Notice
This is a "New Orhtophonic" Hi Fidelity recording, designed for the phongraph of today or tommorrow.Played on your present machine it gives you the finest quality reproduction. Played on a "Stereophonic" machine, it gives even more brillant true-to-life fidelity. You can buy today without fear of obsolescence in the future.

Can anyone give me a background on the history of "Orthophonic"?
Should I play this with mono cartridge?
jlamb
I play mine with a stereo cartridge with no issues. I think the point was that the "orthophonic" mono pressings were compatible with stereo cartridges.
Johnny53, so this is a mono recording; which is what I suspected but there was nothing on the cover to say so.
At the time this record came out, the terms monophonic and monaural hadn't yet come into common usage. There was only stereo and, um, not-stereo, which was why RCA came up with the "orthophonic" term. Certainly, BEFORE stereo there was no need for a monaural/monophonic term since that's all there was!
04-01-08: Jlamb
Johnny53, so this is a mono recording; which is what I suspected but there was nothing on the cover to say so.
That's because mono was the norm and stereo was the new thing, which had just come out in 1958, the year before your LP. If an RCA from that era was stereo, it trumpeted "LIVING STEREO" across the top of the front cover.

Similarly, today most music discs are 2-channel, but if an SACD or DVD-A is in surround sound, it says so on the front cover.

Also, when the first stereo records came out, they had warnings that you could ruin them if you used a mono cartridge/needle. So there was some anxiety in the buying public in the early days of stereo LPs as to what was safe to play with what. The "Orthophonic" label and explanatory text put the buyer's mind at ease that it was compatible with mono or stereo cartridges.
thanks all...very informative
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