Mister Rogers Makes a Record (1972)

The Kid Should See This

In this Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood clip from 1972, Fred Rogers demonstrates how a record is made. With the help of a “Rek-O-Kut M12S overhead with an Audax mono head,” via Open Culture, he transforms a blank vinyl disk into a record with grooves that can replay sound.

He records himself singing the song It’s You I Like, then explains:

I thought an awful lot about making records when I was little, and I grew up to be able to make records. There are many things that when you think about them when you’re young, you’ll be able to do them as you grow.

mister rogers records a record
How are records mass produced? A description from How Stuff Works:

The process of making records has its roots in Thomas Alva Edison’s phonograph. First, a master recording is made, usually in a studio where engineers perfect the recorded sound. Then an object called a lacquer is placed on a record-cutting machine, and as it rotates, electric signals from the master recording travel to a cutting head, which holds a stylus, or needle. The needle etches a groove in the lacquer that spirals to the center of the circular disc. The imprinted lacquer is then sent to a production company.

There, the lacquer is coated in a metal, such as silver or nickel, to produce a metal master. When the metal master is separated from the lacquer, the resulting disc has ridges instead of grooves. The metal master is then used to create a metal record, also called the mother, which is then used to form the stamper. Stampers are just negative versions of the original recording that will be used to make the actual vinyl records.

Next, the stamper is placed in a hydraulic press, and vinyl is sandwiched in between. Steam from the press softens the plastic as the stampers push an impression of the master recording onto it. Finally, the disc is stiffened using cool water.


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Plus: More videos with turntables.

Rion Nakaya