“Plastmass” artel was situated in Leningrad, buildings 1-3, Kalashnikovskaya (renamed Sinopskaya in 1952) embankment. It was founded in 1946 [L.]. Together with “Mineral” artel, known from prewar time, in 1947-1949 it produced discs with the recordings made at Leningrad Radio House, and also copies of Moscow and foreign records. By 1948, the production of “Mineral” artel decreased dramatically, and in 1949 it ceased work totally.
In 1949 “Plastmass” artel arranged its own recording studio, and organized a complete production cycle. During 10 following years the factory produced discs using only its own studio recordings.
In 1949-1952 “supermignon” records (16,2 cm in diameter) were issued. From 1950 “mignon” discs (19,6, from 1953 – 20,2 cm) appeared. From 1954 “grand” size (25 cm) were introduced.
Before 1950 the matrix number was indicated only on the mirror of a disc. Since 1950 it also was shown on the label. In 1950-1953 the censorial number of Leningrad Repertoire Committee (with year indicated) was also stated on label.
In 1951-1958 a certain number, beginning with “M”, was also stamped on the mirror of the records. It most probably indicates the through numbering of all Leningrad recordings, because such numbers were also placed on LEF discs and Gramplastmass own recordings.
In 1947-1949 the versions of recordings under one number were indicated with “A” letter. In 1949-1958 almost all “Plastmass” discs were recorded in two-three versions under one number. These versions were pointed on mirrors with different postfixes after matrix number in Roman figures (until 1951) or Arabic numerals (like 768/II, 1237-3 and so on).
In 1955 the studio was totally reconstructed, with acoustics improved and more advanced equipment installed [L.]. Most likely, magnetic recording began to be introduced at the same time.
In 1958 artel “Plastmass” (named Factory since 1957) ceased its own recordings with copies of some foreign records (made in GDR and Poland). From that moment the factory issued copies of matrices recorded in Moscow and the most popular ones of its own. A single exclusion was made in 1959. Celebrating the launch of “Lenin” atomic icebreaker, “Plastmass” factory by a special order re-recorded “Song about the Atomic Icebreaker” and “Our Admiralty Wharf” from Leningrad Radio magnetic tapes. This record was not destined for sale, and had matrix numbers from those used earlier.
By 1961 the factory developed the manufacture of long-playing records. When the All-Union Firm “Melodiya” was created, “Plastmass” stopped production.
During the first years of operation the factory of “Plastmass” artel produced 300000 – 350000 records a year. In 1957 the output exceeded 2000000 copies [L.]. Furthermore, “Plastmass” matrices (mainly “Mignon” size) spread widely through all the Soviet Union, and were used for stamping records at various half-primitive workshops of local industry.
As of the first half of 1958, the factory had a record archive, keeping the first matrices of the records issued [L.].
Over a period of 1948-1958 the factory issued a great number of recordings of Leningrad artists and collectives, among them Olga Nesterova, Leonid Kostritsa, Tamara Kravtsova, Yuri Khochinsky, Efrem Flax, Olga Kravchenko, Arkady Raikin and many others. The voices of popular artists that visited Leningrad during guest performances (Leonid Utyosov, Klavdiya Shulzhenko, Vladimir Bunchikov, Vladimir Nechaev, Mark Bernes and others) were also recorded.
The studio orchestra (in 1957 in included 18 musicians [L.]) during the various years was directed by Mikhail Vetrov, Yuri Shakhnov, Efim Zablotsky, Georgy Doniyah, Anatoly Badkhen.
Yuri Boyarintsev, translated by Alexey Petukhov
L. – Musical Leningrad/ Ed. by I.Golubovsky. Leningrad, 1958