The 45 RPM Adapter

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The object presented is a 45 RPM adapter. Sometimes referred to as a 45 record insert, or 7 inch adapter, the object is a small insert that is placed in the middle of a 45 RPM record in order for it to be played on the more common 78 RPM sized spindle of a record player. I have chosen this object because I work at a radio station, and we have a pretty big vinyl collection. I remember being puzzled the first time I found a 45 adapter laying around, I had no idea what it was. With it’s unique design, I thought it would make for an interesting description.

The shape of the object presented is generally circular in nature, but consists of three identical pronged points that round outward from the converging points of a central shape.  This central shape is compound and consists of both an equilateral triangular shape with concave sides, and a circle. The negative space plays a critical role in defining the shape of the object. There is a hole cut from the center, about 1/5 the diameter of the overall circular shape of the object. There are also three equivalent curved lines that cut inward, and wrap around the central circle from any given angle, but never touch one another.

The shadows that are visible in the negative space make it clear that the object has depth, but the size of the object is impossible to determine from the attached image. There is also raised, sans serif text that wraps around the center, in between the central cut circle and the three curved lines. In terms of color, the object is very clearly blue, with only slight variations in value caused by the way the object has been lit.

The first 45 rpm inserts were invented by the Webster-Chicago Corporation. They were made of solid zinc, very difficult to insert into a record, and nearly impossible to remove without breaking the record. Eventually, a number of differently shaped adapters were invented, and the plastic “Spider” design you see here became the most widely used, and recognizable. While not as widely recognizable today, especially to younger generations, the design can still be seen on t-shirts, posters and the like. My boss even got a tattoo of one a few weeks ago. This brings up the symbolic nature of the 45 RPM adapter. With advancements in technology and the dominance of digital streaming, they are no longer widely used today for their technical purpose. However, the image of the 45 adapter has come to represent something beyond its function; nostalgia for a music scene past. Symbolic of a transient product that is very hard to come by today, the 45 adapter represents, especially to members of older generations, a time when music was pure, artists played all of their own instruments, and recording and producing a record was a process that took time and careful attention to detail.

Time does not stop, technology will keep advancing, and for the music industry, this is no exception. And who knows, maybe in 40-50 years Spotify’s logo will come to represent the nostalgia for the music scene past that the 45 adapter represents today.

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Henna Candles

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Henna comes from a natural leaf that is made into a paste. It’s applied to hands, arms, and feet of the bride. This application has its own separate ceremony during traditional Indian weddings. Over the years, henna design and uses are more modernized. The paste is now applied to everyday household items, such as candles, vases, lamp shades, furniture… etc. Now instead of piping the cone with the natural paste, acrylic paint is piped in, and can be used on these items as well as paintings. Design wise, instead of creating patterns and various shadings using one color, multiple colors and hues are using. These are also used to replace a solid shades of color in modern day designs. The need for this technique and design has become a large business and is spreading to other cultures. Traditional uses for items are now used for more decorative purposes.

The objects of this image sit on a flat surface, which is brown and sleek with textured streaks that run across it while the subjects  reflect across the top. The design is primarily based off of square shaped structures that are placed in the foreground and background. The object is white and slightly transparent and becomes richer and darker in color as you look towards the middle. There is a string that extends out from the center of the structure. Floral designs are randomly placed on the cubic form and the patterns are outlined in black and shaded in with gold lines. Yellow and red dots are placed in circles towards the center of the flower surrounding a diamond gem is in the very center.

These are amongst the common designs and objects found at weddings and parties used for decoration purposes. They are often made with paint however, because the paste with chip off the sleek surface of the candle. Various candle types are typically placed around an idol, or on a large round plate, that is also decorated with these designs. This enhances the natural elegance that candles bring to an environment. Not only can they attract our sense of smell if scented, but also are visually appealing.