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Archive of Pepsi-Cola: A Recorded Message from Your Man in Service

Discussion in 'Other Militaria' started by Dutchsteammachine, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    "During World War II, Pepsi-Cola set up recording booths around the U.S. so that service members could send messages home to their loved ones."

    Such a record read:
    This is a recored message from your Man in Service

    Dear Friend:
    Just this minute completed recording the voice of your Man in Service.
    You will be happy to know that he is thinking of you and greatly enjoyed sending you this personal message.
    It gives us great pleasure to send you this record with our compliments.
    Cordially,
    Pepsi-Cola
    Records By The Recording Corp. 395 Broadway, N.Y.C. 13, N.Y.

    "Pepsi-Cola Company operated three canteens or centers around the country: one in New York City’s Times Square, one in Washington, DC and one in San Francisco, CA.

    The centers provided shaves, showers, checking, a lounge, and reading and writing facilities, all at no cost to service men and women. They also offered a low cost sandwich bar with free Pepsi and a central place to leave and receive messages. Pepsi-Cola branded records were sent in the mail to the servicemen’s family in hopes of giving them comfort while their loved one was at war."


    I am curious to know if there are any U.S archives that try to preserve, archive and make available these recordings on a large scale? If there is not, there should be...


    I am currently setting up my capability to play back and digitize 78rpm shellac records for the public. Just because I think shellac recordings and their music are so neat. Of course with a modern record cartridge and special 78rpm stylus, only using 2-4 grams of tracking weight.

    So I should easily be able to digitize Pepsi-Cola recordings, it would certainly be a worthwhile extension of my equipment! In order to build a comprehensive public archive of them online. Possibly locate the families they were meant for.

    Do you think such an archive could be significant when it comes to cultural, WW2 history/research and would be all-around important to preserve these moments in time? Or is it undignified towards those people and their families.

    Trying to gauge interest and opinions for such a project.
     
    Otto and Slipdigit like this.
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Have you spoken with Pepsi?
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I think it's a great idea...previous projects with a similar goal have always added an extra dimension. Providing another "sense" record can only be a good thing. Good on Pepsi also, what a great way to contribute (although i'm sure there was a degree of competing with Coca Cola in this too).
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The National Archives is collection oral histories from WW2 veterans last I heard.
     
  5. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Staff Member Patron  

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  6. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    Will be receiving this collection which is quite large, very exciting!Interesting to see a varied assortment of discs.

    PepsiCo Message From Your Man In Service 1-1.jpg PepsiCo Message From Your Man In Service 1-2.jpg PepsiCo Message From Your Man In Service 1-4.jpg

    Going to be really interesting to share. Probably very important to some people at one point in time, enough to record on a record and send back home.
     
    Otto, Slipdigit and Biak like this.
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The National Archives are looking for things like this. I imagine they'd take a digital copy.
     
  8. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    If the family could somehow be traced back so I can share the audio with them too that would be great. Unfortunately I do not really have the resources for that, and would not know where to look.

    I would like to work with the NARA, but I am not sure if they do accept files of off third parties, and if I can comply with their standard and level of quality. It is also possible they only house digital files of items they physically got in their collection.


    These records are basically cardboard with a (very) thin coating of varnish/lacquer and are EXTREMELY fragile and susceptible to humidity/temperature changes. In this they basically have to handled and stored with the same care as an original brown wax cylinder from the 1800s.

    While research has showed that tactile playback with modern, light-weight equipment does not damage wax cylinders, it should still be assumed that it does. And so the very first modern playback should be digitized right away in the industry preservation standard (192Khz/24Bit) and saved in a lossless audio codec.


    For records that can not be played back the tactile way, scanning devices exist -Only a few in the world, I think NARA has one?- that optically scan the groove and use algorithms to extract sound. (In this case the optical scans become the preservation/archive master, not the extracted audio files)

    This is a very interesting read on some of the things I mentioned:


    The right sized styli should be chosen, and there is a huge array to chose from: 1mil to 8mil.
    Then there is shape: Spherical, conical and elliptical.


    Finally, a phono amplifier that is 100% flat and does not apply any EQ curve like RIAA de-emphasis or similar. No chain should introduce mains/earth humm, static, distortion or other artefacts that are not actually on the record.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2022
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I volunteered at NARA (remotely, of course*) for a few decades. The very fragility of the records would demand that they be preserved. The Archives would sanitize the records, it's SOP. The voices of the past deserve to be heard.


    *Only a lunatic or a government employee lives in DC.
     
  10. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    Very interesting.

    I really want to know how the NARA sanetizes paper/lacquer/acetate records. Do they use something like a Keith Monk machine to suck dirt out of the groove?

    I have been looking into getting something like an okki nokki ONE for cleaning.

    I assume paper records are too delicate to clean with any kind of liquid.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    They would digitize them for online users, they wouldn't sanitize them for the archives.

    Yeah, don't get wood pulp wet. Do you have a scanner, or a cell phone?
     
  12. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    I got an Epson V750 Pro and Nikon Z6 II I could employ for scanning/photography.

    I wonder if a HQ scan could be used to digitally extract the sound contents of the groove. It would be 2D.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nope. I don't know the current policies at NARA, but the simplest thing would be to let them do the copying. Second would be to find a friendly college history dept. and see if they can pitch in. Purdue had (has?) really cool toys.
     
  14. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    I've got equipment to play back 78rpm records, got several 78 styli too and stereo/mono cartridges.

    How does the NARA prepare records before digitization?
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm not current on that, retired in '07.
     
  16. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    OpanaPointer likes this.
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  18. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

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    I can use audacity or davinci resolve for that.

    What would be the best way to go about doing that? some kind of tone to cover the sound, cutting it out with or without silence?

    3 more audio files have been added, each encompassing one side of a record.
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Anything you record over that segment will do. I use a low but audible tone that isn't jarring. Be sure to include an explanation of the gaps.
     

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