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Re: [ARSCLIST] purpose of curve in shelves of phonograph record cabinets?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Saff" <nsaff@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I am interested in learning the purpose of the curve built into the shelves
of record cabinets from the 20's to 40's.  According to a patron (I have not
seen these myself nor do I have any expertise), most of the phonograph
record cabinets he's come across feature a curve, or indentation, in the
middle third of the shelf.  (I cannot figure out if he means a concavity to
the shelf or that the curve of the shelf is such that, looking down at the
shelf, one would see the curve cut into the shelf as to make it no longer
rectangular.  I only have his written description which could be construed
either way.)   He assumes the records were stored flat on the shelves.  Any
insights as to the design purposes of the concavity or the curve?  Perhaps
simply serving to help one grasp the records?  I assume someone familiar
with the cabinets will be able to decipher my description, no easy task.
It was so that the stack of records could be easily pulled out of the space,
since it
was intended that the discs would extend slightly into the concavity. This
way you
could grasp both top and bottom of the pile. If the records were sitting
flat on a
shelf larger than their diameter, you would have to pry up the bottom record
do this. It's the same principle behind the indentation sometimes seen in
sleeves or album-page folders, in a similar position, which allows a portion
the disc to stick out and be grasped.
Steven C. Barr

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