Safely Shipping Shellac:

How does one safely ship 78rpm shellac records?

Below is a suggestion from a record collector who also works for the U.S.P.S. on how to send groups of records, using the "strength in numbers" paradigm. A proceedure to ship a single record follows.

Prepared by: Chris Peterson, Binghamton, NY, USA

I work for the United States Postal Service in Binghamton, N.Y., besides collecting 78's. Here's a quick "insider" view on how to safely ship 78's through our giant postal system. This method is not mine; I culled it from the 78-list, which eventually discusses everthing in its uniquely tolerant and tasteful manner. I did add a few things from a postal employee perspective.

The procedure outlined on the 78-L list involves wrapping 78's in newspaper in groups of 15 or so, sandwiched in between throw-aways, or 10 inch circles of stiff cardboard. Wrap this securely with tape as though preparing a mummy.

Next, locate a cardboard box rated to withstand a reasonable amount of pressure, and large enough so any "give" resulting from internal postal procedures will not reach the "mummy." Put the "mummy" in the box, surrounded by well-crumpled newspaper, to the thickness of several inches ... like three. Seal the box. Do not allow paranoia or whatever to prevent you from clearly marking "Fragile," etc. all over the box. Many of us actually read these designations and take appropriate action.

Ask the clerk to find for you the price difference between "Parcel Post" and "Air Parcel Post" It is usually small, and the APP designation means that the piece will be treated as Priority; i.e., better. If you choose APP, make sure it is clearly marked as such on the package, all over the package. That way, the same folks who sort it will properly direct it.

Chris (your public servant) Peterson

Single Disks:
But how does one safely ship a single 78rpm shellac record? Quite easily! By making use of the tools and materials displayed here, anyone can cheaply and easily send a single 78 through the U.S. Postal system with a reasonable expectation that it will arrive in one piece at its final destination.

Materials Required:
  • Two pieces of 3/4" styrofoam sheets cut to 12" square.
  • Two pieces of 3/4" plywood or suitable material.
  • 2" by 4" stud cut to size.
  • Scissors Jack or suitable device.