When this page opens, enjoy the sound of the Fontane Sisters on a 16 inch transcription.
For their huge 16 inch diameter, the play time was approximately 15 minutes. This may mostly be due to the fact that they are not micro-groove. These transcriptions were never offered for sale to the public, thus turntables to accomodate them were not available. This does come with some exception. Newcomb built a transcription player for commercial use, mostly for schools and square dance and they would play 16 in transcriptions.
The audio quality was not the greatest. High fidelity was not available during this time, rendering the use of these discs to AM and shortwave broadcasts. Many of these discs were even played on ships at sea during WWII. Depending on your taste in music, the music selections are not the greatest. Sometimes a good song title would show up.
Here's the irritating part. These records were NEVER for sale. They were sent directly to radio staions for specific air dates, usually promoting a government program, or military recruitment. As part of a radio station's license requirement, they had to provide "Public Service Time." That's where these discs came into play. These transcriptions are now appearing on Ebay by the hundreds, usually with an opening bid of $9.95. Remember, these came from the basement of a radio station, headed for the dumpster. One man's treasure is another man's treasure and the second man is willing to pay for it. I have 100, or so. Ebay? Yes. They are interesting to play and they bring back a bit of history. Yes, there is the GATES 16" turntable here in the studio. That justifies the records.
In addition to military use, these huge discs were widely used for radio station commercials. Many radio stations had a pair of record lathes in which they would record programs on 16 inch acetate discs and play them at a later time.