Early Record Labels (under construction)
Please let me know if you can fill any gaps or descriptions!
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Aco (see Vocalion for description)
Actuelle (See Pathé for description)
Albion (see John Bull for description)
Arrow (see Beka for description)
Bell Disc1 (see Edison Bell for description)
Bell Disc 2
Beltona - Stencilled records from various companies, and independent pressings under contract
Broadcast, Broadcast 12 (see Vocalion for description)
Cinch (see The Gramophone Company for description)
Coliseum (see Beka for description)
Columbia-Rena (see Columbia for description)
The Columbia Graphophone Company
Columbia was one of the original record companies, and its origin can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, when it was engaged in the manufacture of cylinders, and phonograph machines. Shortly afterwards, discs began to be produced, and the "magic notes" logo began to appear on the labels. Sometime about 1908, it acquired the Rena Record Company, of which little is known
Rena records were issued under the Columbia-Rena label
Cheap, and Popular Labels
The Rena name appears to have been phased out by about 1912, when there was fierce competition amongst the record companies. A price war on cheap labels was begun by the German companies, but soon, the British companies joined in. The established British record industry was very critical of the cheap labels eroding their profits, and so most British companies which issued cheap labels were careful not to publicise the link between the cheap record label and themselves. Columbia's cheap label was the "Phoenix" label which was pressed in the UK and the USA. No reference to Columbia was given anywhere, and the only indication of the link was the general appearance of the records. Some existing Columbia-Rena records had Phoenix labels pasted over their own. The Phoenix label lasted until the Great War, when the German competition was swept away almost overnight. However, cheap labels were here to stay, and so Columbia issued the Regal label, often drawing from the same masters as the Phoenix record had used, and the Columbia-Rena before them, as in the case of Billy Williams. The Regal record began with the G series, at G6000. Several variations of the Regal label have been noted. This time, the Columbia name was publicised.
In the 1930's, a joint venture was undertaken at Hayes, and the Gramophone Company's popular Zonophone label was merged with the Regal label to create Regal-Zonophone. After the Second World War, Regal-Zonphone seems to have gradually disappeared, and more popular titles began to appear on the Columbia and His Masters Voice labels instead.
The Columbia label continued to be issued alongside the cheaper labels. Initially, famous artists such as Dame Clara Butt, etc. were found on the full price labels, and these artists did not appear on cheaper labels. Classical music was only found on the full price labels, with the best quality recording and reproducing equipment being used in their manufacture. In the 1920's, popular dance bands began to appear on Columbia, along with vocalists and other musicians. By the 1960's, Rock and Roll was appearing on the Columbia label. Columbia was taken over in the 1980's by Sony Music, and still exists today, though the name and the "magic notes" logo are much less prominent..
Crown (9 inch)
The Columbia Graphophone Company
Crystalate Record Co.
Currys records were stencilled records from various sources produced for Currys Cycle Shops. Westport was also a currys label. "Westlake" gramophones were made for Currys Cycle Shops.
Electron (see Edison Bell for description)
The Gramophone Company Ltd.
This began as the Gramophone and Typewriter Company Ltd, whose records were popularly known as "G&T's". The Typewriter part was dropped in about 1908, as it obviously found gramophones and records to be more profitable. These records bore the Nymph logo.
In 1903, the company had acquired the British interest of the International Zonophone Company, and used the Zonophone label as its popular label. These were invariably single sided, and used the x- matrix number as reference. The Twin label also belonged to the company. Whether this was by acquisition or not, perhaps a reader can tell me. In 1911, the Zonophone and Twin labels were merged to form Zonophone-Twin. The size, characters and colour scheme of the labels differed little from the Zonophone label, so the records were still referred to as "Zonophones", despite carrying the Twin logo and text "The Twin". many of the first Zonophone-Twin records were reissues of earlier Twins and Zonophones, carrying the "T-" and "X-" matrix numbers of the previous labels respectively. A "Celebrity" label was used for famous artists such as Harry Lauder. The Zonophone label changed appearance a further three times. It briefly appeared with the "Nipper" dog logo in the early 1920's. It changed again to a patterned design. This theme was carried on in the final design, which used a lighter green label. Afterwards, Zonophone was merged with the Regal label (see Columbia)
When the price war over cheap labels began, the Gramophone Company issued the Cinch label. This lasted from 1913 to 1916
The famous Nipper logo was commissioned from the artist.... to be used by the Gramophone Company. From that point on, it appeared on just about every label, sleeve, publication and gramophone manufactured by the company, and is known the world over.
The Gramophone Company continued to issue records pretty much the same way as Columbia did. In the 1960's EMI began to appear more often on records, By 1980, the Nipper logo was being used exclusively on Classical recordings. Today, the name "His Masters Voice" no longer seems to appear on the recordings, but the Nipper logo remains. EMI classics resurrected the Nymph logo, which appears on all that particular series.
Guardsman 1, Guardsman 2 (see Crystalate for description)
His Master's Voice
Imperial (see Crystalate for description)
Invicta (see Crystalate for description)
Jumbo 1 Jumbo 2 (see Fonotipia for description)
Little Marvel (5 inch)
Lyceum (see Beka for description)
Mimosa 1 Mimosa 2 Mimosa 3 (5 inch)
National (see Scala)
Odeon (not to be confused with Parlophone's Odeon Series)
Pathé records were maufactured in Belgium and were vertical cut (hill and dale) and started at the centre. This required a special reproducer which fitted to the arm of a conventional machine. This was quite expensive, and despite the fact that some enthusiasts thought that the sound quality was better, they never became really popular. Pathé began producing the "Actuelle" label, which wat the conventional lateral cut type. Later, Pathé released the "Perfect" label, but this is quite rare and usually contains French or Belgian artists.
Pelican was the cheap label produced by the Universal Record Syndicate
Perfect (see Pathé for description)
Phoenix (see Columbia for description)
Piccaddilly 1, Piccadilly 2, Piccadilly 3
Plaza (8 inch)
Popular 1, Popular 2
Radio (see Edison Bell for description)
Rena (see Columbia for description)
Rex (see Crystalate for description)
Savana (5 inch)
Scala 1, Scala 2, Scala 3 (see Beka for description)
Solex (see Homochord for description)
Sterno (see Homochord for description)
Twin (see the Gramophone Company for description)
Velvet Face (see Edison Bell for description)
Victor (American label)
Victory (see Kalliope for description)
Victory (7 inch)
Westport (see Currys)
Winner (see Edison Bell for description)
Zonophone 1, Zonophone 2, Zonophone 3 (see The Gramophone Company for description)
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