The Spider

‘The what?’ you ask?

The Spider, of course.

‘Huh?’

The yellow plastic thingy that you popped into the center hole of a 45rpm single so you could play it on your record player.

“Oh.. that!”

Right, the Spider.

As much a part of our 80s lives as Rubik’s Cubes and Atari joyticks, the Spider first came into the public’s consciousness in the 60s after it was invented by Thomas Hutchison (who was commissioned by then-RCA president David Sarnoff).

The design was not only practical (they were essential if you wanted to play Madonna’s “Material Girl” on 45) but awesome as heck, too.

Seriously… that little, yellow hurricane-like/radiation symbol-sorta design was just totally sweet (…though the one thing it doesn’t look like is a spider).

Plus, we’re pretty sure Hutchison knew that fifty years later it would look wicked slick on a retro t-shirt (though the corresponding video is one of the more pointless in YouTube’s vast library):

Of course the little Spiders would become less and less useful as our favorite decade drew to a close, what with the invention of cassette singles and CDs and all, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still love them.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why 45s were made with such a big hole in the first place? Well, at least two theories are currently floating around the interwebs. One–– the 45s needed to have bigger holes, because jukeboxes were having a hell of a time snagging the small-holed variety. And two–– RCA invented the big-hole record because they were grumpy about Columbia beating them to the punch, and they wanted to make sure they had something that wasn’t compatible with Columbia’s hardware.

Heck, all we know is that Spiders were cool. And still are.

We ♥ the Spider.

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~ by weheart80s on April 20, 2012.

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