John Hudson wrote:-
Over the past four years I have been gradually transferring material from 3" and 3½" floppies some of which have not been read since the 1980s
I have never had any problem with floppies, right up to the present day when I still use one in connection with a back-up scheme I have (see footnote).
I still have over 100, some unused which I am thinking of selling on ebay. Many I saved from work when they were dumping them wholesale and include software like MS Fortran (bet you never heard of that) and lots of shareware DOS games and stuff from the early 90's. I recently sold a boxed copy of OS/2 on about 35 floppies (18 years old?) and I checked that all were OK first. I still have 3" ones from an Amstrad PCW, just as a souvenir.
Most of mine originate from IBM, MS, Verbatim, 3M and other brands. I understand that floppies got a bad name in the late 90's when the original makers sold their production machinery to India and China where the QA was no good. There was also an attitude that the only people still using floppies were losers who deserved rubbish anyway. I remember a letter to a PC mag on the subject and the editorial comment was "Still using floppies??!! What a jerk!! Ha, ha, ha!!!" [I paraphrase].
* My back-ups are on tape, but the index to the tapes is on a floppy that gets updated each backup. The floppy controls the backup and would would control a restore, so it is independent of the HDD. And yes, there is a copy of the floppy on the tape too. I could get round to changing it to a memory stick but it seems a waste as it only needs a few kb.