Music History

Is This the Smallest Playable Record in the World?

Records–as in recorded discs–have come in a variety of sizes over the last century. Today’s vinyl comes in 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch diameters, but in the past, records have been sold in sizes as small as five inches and as big as 16 and 20 inches. Which brings me to this record. It’s just 3.5 cm wide.

The record, released in 1923, is made of ultra-fragile shellac and was lovingly stored in the BBC archives.

So what’s the point? It was created for a doll house that contained this tiny gramophone.

From the BBC:

The Guinness Book of Records confirms that “Six titles of 33.3mm/1 5/16th in diameter were recorded on mini-vinyl records by HMV’s studio at Hayes, Middx on 26 January 1923 for Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Completely functional, some 92,000 of these miniature records were pressed including 35,000 of God Save The King”

Read more (and explore more of the BBC’s archives) here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Is This the Smallest Playable Record in the World?

  • I have two 4-inch 45 rpm records. These were sold as “Hip Pocket” records in 1969.

    The Doors: Light my Fire / Break on Through
    The Association: See You in September / Go Away Little Girl

    I modified my 1961 Collaro Conquest record changer to let the arm move to within 1/4 inch of the spindle. It will not only play these records (started manually), but it will trip at the end and shut off.

    The records are too thin to be dropped by a standard record spindle.


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.