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The following excerpt comes from Mercury Records’ July 1969 employee
newsletter, The Turntable, which was distributed to Mercury Records’
Richmond employees. Richmond resident and former Mercury employee, Parke
Hoover, kindly donated the July 1969 issue. The issue features a full-length
article about the history of the Starr Piano Company factory site, where
Mercury operated from 1966 until 1969, at which time Mercury Records
constructed a new factory on Rich Road, which today houses Cinram.
Cinram manufactures CDs. Clearly, Richmond, Indiana has a continuous
history of manufacturing sound recordings. More recently, Optical
Disc Solutions (formerly Sanyo Laser Products), also a Richmond
CD manufacturer, donated the printing and replication of the “Gennett
Records Greatest Hits” CDs to support Richmond’s recording heritage.
“From the Old…to the New…
The year 1952 brought to an end the association of the Gennett family with
the Starr Piano Company. Starr’s equipment was sold to Decca, including 20
hydraulic and 30 toggle record presses still in working order. High on the walls
of the drab red-brick structures appear the letters ‘Starr Piano Company—Makers
of Grand, Upright and Player Pianos.’
Decca had closed its doors in 1948 leaving all of its machinery installed in
the old plant. In 1950 Decca’s Richmond operations were resumed and were
continued until the fall of 1957. The last of their supervisors, engaged in the
final shutdown of operations, worked until December 1957.
Henry Fine, owner of National Record Pressings, had begun hiring Decca’s
former employees in order to obtain experienced personnel with record pressing
know-how for his business. In early 1958, National Record Pressings bought out
Decca, and by May of that year, the familiar noises of phonograph record
production were once again resounding from the walls of the old plant. From
modest beginnings (the first production came from only four presses), ‘Hank’
Fine built his business substantially so that by 1961 he was operating one of
the larger record manufacturing plants in the industry.
In September of 1961, National Record Pressings was purchased by Consolidated
Electronics Industries Corporation, which established business under two firm
names, Richmond Record Pressing and Wayne Printing. It was not until 1966 that
these two companies were merged to form the Mercury Record Manufacturing
Kay, George W. 1953. Those Fabulous Gennetts! The Life Story of a Remarkable
Label. The Record Changer, June.
Mercury Continues Record Making History in Richmond. 1969. The Turntable 5
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