You never had enough of them. The antithesis of coat hangers (which reproduce on their own), they would vaporize soon after purchase, and you didn’t have enough to stack all of your 45’s on your changer.
Also known as adapters, inserts, or spiders, they were essentials pieces of hardware to have long before we started packing literally days of music on our hips in packages smaller than a carton of cigarettes. Portable record players had to have them to work.
Many home stereo systems had built-in adapters of various types. The one we had featured a disk that could be pulled up and rotated slightly to lock in place. that allowed for single play. You still needed inserts for multiple play. Other changers had a rectangular piece that fit over the spindle and allowed the 45’s to be dropped one at a time, allowing multiple play. But for portables, you needed these devices, period.
If you want to have fun, offer one of the classic Jasco yellow inserts pictured here to your teenager and ask them to identify it. Only the ones who are most savvy of vintage equipment will be able to do so. When we were teenagers, we knew what they were for, and that they disappeared as fast as we could buy them.
I love waxing nostalgic, but I really don’t miss those 45’s that much. My digital music is now backed up four ways. Nothing short of a nuclear catastrophe could cause me to lose it all. Those 45’s would quickly become covered with scratches that produced clicks and pops that accompanied our favorite tunes. In fact, sometimes a skip would become so much a part of a song that it just didn’t sound quite right when we heard it on the radio, free of the blip.
But seeing one of those yellow inserts immediately takes me back about forty years.