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The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

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Outline of Label Varieties

I. Labels

 
 

A. Pre–Label

1890–1900
   

1. in America, embossed, and beneath

E. BERLINER'S,
GRAMOPHONE,
Patented Nov. 8. 1887.
May 15. 1888. – May 6, 1890.
Feb’y. 19. 1895. – Oct. 29. 1895
OTHER PATENTS APPLIED FOR.

 
      a. no trademark 1890–Dec 1898
     

b. Angel trademark embossed

Jan 1899–Dec 1900

(All recordings with the above markings were made in either Philadelphia or Montreal before August 8, 1898. A few records are known bearing the engraved "Berliner Gramophone Company, Washington, D.C." with the date of 1896. The fonts and type sizes may vary.)

   

2. In Europe and elsewhere, E. Berliner’s GRAMOPHONE embossed, and beneath "Covered by English and Continental Patents"

 
      a. no trademark Nov 1898 – Dec 1898
     

b. Angel trademark embossed

Jan 1899 – Dec 1900
  B. Paper Labels  
    1. Label flush with the record surface, small font lettering Jan 1901 – Nov 1902
      a. outer ring 95–100 mm diameter Jan 1901 – Nov 1901
      b. outer ring 87–88 mm diameter Dec 1901– 29 Jul 1905
      c. outer ring 80–83 mm diameter 29 Jul 1905 – Apr 1925
      d. outer ring 70 mm diameter 1924 – 1950
    2. Raised label area on a plateau Jul-Aug 1902–
      a. Large font lettering, outer ring 87–88 mm diameter 1903
    3. Flush label surrounded by raised ring ? Nov 1903–1905
    4. Sunk label area lower than the record surface, enclosed by raised ring  
      a. Small font lettering. Outer ring 80 mm diameter 1906–1907

(The sole reference for these dates is Bauer. However, the author has seen several single– and double–sided Gramophone Company issues, as late as 1917, with flush labels, on which recording dates, artists’ names, and selections are visible.)

(Some issues up to about September 1901 did not have the Recording Angel trademark embossed on the reverse, but did have REPRODUCED IN HANOVER.)

II. Company Designations

 

 

A. The Gramophone Company

Dec 1897–24 Aug 1899

 

B. The Gramophone Co., Ltd.

25 Aug 1899–9 Dec 1900

 

C. The Gramophone Typewriter Co., Ltd., and Sister Companies

 

 

 

 

1. The raised

1 Jul 1901-c. Apr1902

 

 

 

2. The normal

c April 1902 - 18 Nov 1907

 

D. The Gramophone Company Limited, and Sister Companies (pre– DOG)

19 Nov 1907 - Feb 1909

 

E. The Gramophone Co., Limited

Nov 1907– 1931

 

Note: The first two designations above never appeared on issued records.

 

III. Recording Angel Trademark  
  Angel trademark in upper half, reverse outline 10 Dec 1900–Aug 1910
  A. Large angel, 30 mm, on various color labels with gold lettering in arc above and "Manufactured by The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd., and Sister Companies" below trademark  
  A1. Red or black label Jan 1901─Dec 1905  
  A2. Pink or black label Jan 1906─Nov 1907  
(Numerous variations in lettering and spacing of this phrase have been seen. The main text of the label was often printed in the language of the country where the recording had been made, e.g., France, Russia, Italy, and so forth.)
   

1. GRAMOPHONE RECORD, 7–inch

Jan 1901– Jun 1909
   

2. GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD, 10–inch

Jan 1901–Feb 1909
      a. period Jan 1901– 1 Feb 1903
      b. no period 2 Feb 1903– Feb 1909
    3. GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD, 12–inch  
      a. period Jun 1903–29 Jul 1905
      b. no period Jun 1903–2 Feb 1903,
30 Jul 1905– Feb 1909
    4. Trademark spacing  
      a. "Trade" and "Mark" narrow spaced Jan 1901–Nov 1909
      b. "Trade" and "Mark" wide spaced Feb 1903–Aug 1910
    5. as above except Angel 27 mm  

(The Angel label has been seen on issues recorded as late as 28 December 1910. The period is found on both 10– and 12–inch records marked with CO., and rarely on records issued after July 29, 1905.)

  B. Medium angel, 27 mm, on pink or green label with GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD or GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD in gold lettering in arc above  
    1. "Manufactured by The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd., and Sister Companies"  
      below trademark Jan 1901─Nov 1907
    2. "Manufactured by The Gramophone Company, Limited, and Sister Companies" below trademark  
    The pre–DOG period Nov 1909–Aug 1910
      a "Trade" and "Mark" wide spaced on 10–inch Nov 1907–Dec 1907
      b "Trade" and "Mark" close spaced on 12–inch Jan 1908–Feb 1908

(Gramophone Concert and Gramophone Monarch records pressed in St. Petersburg during 1909 through 1910 show two different record identifications and sizes of Angel trademarks. Around November 1909 the Angel was 30 mm wide, while after December 1910 it reverted to its former size of 27 mm. before being dropped altogether in favor of the Dog trademark.)

  C. as above, but on black labels  
    1. on single-sided records Jan 1901–Aug 1910
    2. on double–sided records Sep 1907–
  D. as above, but on pink labels, single side Feb 1908–Aug 1910
   

1. Gramophone Concert Record, no period

Jan 1902 – Feb 1903, Aug 1905–Feb 1909
    2. Gramophone Monarch Record Jun 1903–Feb 1909
 

E. Small angel 19 mm, "Trade" and "Mark" close spaced, and below trademark

Made by
The Victor Talking Machine Co., Camden, U.S.A.
For sale in The British Possessions (except Canada)
and on the Continent of Europe
by The Gramophone and Typewriter, Ltd.
And Sister Companies

used only on G&T pressings of Victor imports

 
   

1. GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD or GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD

Feb 1904–Feb 1906
  F. Foreign Language Issues  
    1. Angel trademark in outline  
     

a. GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD or
GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD

1). Company designation overprinted in Russian

2). Title only in Russian

 
     

b. CONCERT RECORD "GRAMOPHONE"
or

MONARCH RECORD "GRAMOPHONE"
1). Overprinted
Изготовлено О вомъ ГРАМОФОНЉ, ељогр. отв. вљ РИГЉ

2). Company designation in Russian, as above

Nov 1906─ 1911
     

c. DISQUE POUR GRAMOPHONE in French or Spanish

d. GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD—in Arabic

after Sep 1901 ─
   

2. Angel trademark in color, designated as Cupid or Amour
company designation and title in Russian

 
     

a. CONCERT RECORD "GRAMOPHONE" or
MONARCH RECORD "GRAMOPHONE"

Nov 1906─ 1911
      b. GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD Sep 1908 ─
      c. GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD Sep 1909 ─
     

d. SCHALLPLATTE „GRAMMOPHONE"

1). in Hungarian

2). in Rumanian

1926 ─
  G. Celebrity Labels  
    1. Angel trademark  
      a. Battistini ─ orange with silver lettering Dec 1902─
      b. Tamagno ─ serial number Feb 1903─
      c. Melba ─ lilac 20 Nov 1904─
      d. Patti ─ pink 5 Dec 1905─
      e. Chaliapin ─ orange with silver lettering Nov 1907─Aug 1910?
    2. His Master’s Voice trademark  
      a. Butt ─ dark blue August 1910─
      b. McCormack et al. ─ purple August 1910─
    3. Special  
      a. Papal arms with double Angel trademarks April 1902

IV. "HIS MASTER’S VOICE" Trademark

  A. trademark in color, unframed Feb 1909─Aug 1910
 

1. "GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD" or
"GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD" in arc above unframed trademark, single catalog number

 
     

a. Manufactured by the Gramophone Co. Ltd. (And Sister Companies)"

b. Manufactured by Deutsche Grammophon Aktien-Gesellschaft, Berlin

c. Hergestellt von der Oesterr. Grammophon-Gesellschaft m. b. H., Aussig a E.

d. Hergestellt von der Oesterr. Grammophon-Gesellschaft

 
 

2. CONCERT RECORD "GRAMOPHONE" or MONARCH RECORD "GRAMOPHONE" in arc above unframed trademark, double catalog number

 
     

a. Manufactured by the Gramophone Co. Ltd. (And Sister Companies)"

b. Manufactured by Deutsche Grammophon Aktien-Gesellschaft, Berlin

c. Fabriccado por la Compañía Francesa del Gramophone: Barcelona

 
  B. "HIS MASTER’S VOICE" in arc above trademark  
    1. trademark in color, unframed  
     

a. "Record manufactured by THE GRAMOPHONE CO., LTD. (and Sister Co.’s) beneath

early 1909 –Jan 1917
    2. Made In Calcutta in ungrooved area outside label after Jan 1910
    3. trademark in color, framed, with  
     

a. "Record manufactured by THE GRAMOPHONE CO., LTD., Hayes, Middlesex, England" in arc outside ring at bottom

a. quadrants added Feb 1918–Sep 1926

 
    4. Trademark in color  
      a. 71 mm diameter, without border Feb 1909 –Sep 1916
      b. 65 mm diameter, with gold border Sep 1916─Jul 1917
      c. 53 mm, outer ring 67 mm after Dec 1911
      d. 50 mm, outer ring 70 mm after Feb 1912 (1939?)
                   1). as above, except outer ring 80 mm notice above trademark,  
"THIS RECORD IS LISTED IN CATALOGUE NO. 2 WHICH CONTAINS RECORDS OF UNIQUE AND HISTORICAL INTEREST NOT INCLUDED IN GENERAL RECORD CATALOGUE" after Oct 1924
    5. Trademark in black and white July 1917–Sep 1919, Feb 1925–Apr 1939
    6. Trademark in sepia May 1939–Sep 1948
    7. Foreign Phrasing  
     

a. Angel trademark engraved on reverse

1). LA VOCE DEL PADRONE (Italy)
2). DISQUE POUR GRAMOPHONE (France)
a). Fabriqué par La Cie The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd., et Sociétés Filiales
3). LA VOIX DE SON MAÎTRE (France)
4). DISQUE "GRAMOPHONE"
a). Disque Fabriqué par la Cie Française de Gramophone
5). DISCO "GRAMOPHONE" (Spain)
a). Fabriccado por la Compañía Francesa del Gramophone: Barcelona

 
      6). DISCO GRAMOFONO (Spain)
a). Fabriccado por la Compañia del Gramofono Sdad Ano Española : Barcelona
after Dec 1911
      7). DISCO MONARCA "GRAMMOFONO" (Italy)
a. Fabricato in Italia della SOCIETA NAZIONALE DEL "GRAMMOFONO" Milano
1912-1925
      8). GRAMOLA (Czechoslovakia) after 1926
      9). LA VOZ DE SU AMO (Spain) after 1931
(Many variations occur, particularly in the lower half of the label. These include gold–lined quadrants (Feb 1918–Sep 1926) containing selection description, vocal range(s) or instrument(s), with single-side catalog numbers at the left and double-side catalog "B" numbers at the right. Numerous logos, including the Recording Angel, appear at the lower central position on the label.)
     

b. No Angel trademark on reverse

1). "SCHALLPLATTE GRAMMOPHON"
2). "DIE STIMME SEINES HERRN"
3). "KÜNSTLER SCHALLPLATTE GRAMMOPHONE"
4). "DE STEM VAN ZIJN MEESTER"

 

 
  C. "Record manufactured by THE GRAMOPHONE CO., LTD., Hayes, Middlesex, England"
   

1. beneath unframed HMV trademark

after Aug 1910
   

2. in arc below label ring, –Feb 1925

 

(Note: Section V below is drawn largely from descriptions provided in the publication of Frank Andrews and Ernie Bayly.)

V. Double–Sided Issues
A. "B" and "C" Series, Plum Labels

 
  1. Trademark unlined  
   

a. catalog number on a lime–coloured gold–lined panel.

Trademark background lime and plum

Sep1912–May 1913
   

b. catalog number on a cream coloured gold–lined panel.
coloured Trademark on dark background

May 1913–Sep 1916
 

2. Trademark in gold–lined, semi–circular cartouche, catalog number as above, but different Trademark background

Sep 1916– Jan 1917
  3. as above, but background all plum Jan 1917– Jul 1917
 

4. as above, but catalog number on white coloured gold–lined panel, Trademark in Black and White

Jul 1917–Feb 1918
A1. Quadrants added at lower left and right.  
  5. as above, except catalog number in white lower left quadrant Feb 1918–Sep 1919
  6. as above, except Trademark in colours Sep 1919–Feb 1925
  7. as above, except quadrants simply gold–lined Feb 1925–Apr 1926
  8. as above, with speed 78r.p.m. underlined in lower right quadrant May 1926–Sep 1926
A2. Quadrants removed  
  9. as above, but no quadrants Sep 1926–Oct 1932
  10. as above, copyright legend on upper perimeter of label, reading
"This Copyright Record must not be Sold below Price fixed by the Patentee nor Publicly Performed"
Oct 1932–May 1933
 

11. as above, but legend reads
"This Patented Copyright Record must not be Sold below Price fixed by the Patentee nor Publicly Performed"

May 1933–Jun 1933
  12. as above, but speed at left, Catalog Number at right below Trademark Jun 1933–Dec 1934
 

13. as above, except copyright legend reads "Copyrighted Patented Record. Not to be Publicly Performed without Licence or Sold below Price fixed by Patentees"

Jan 1935–Apr 1939
  14. as above except Trademark in sepia May 1939–May 1946
  15. as above, and "Made in England" in italics above catalog number at right Jun 1946–Sep 1948
  16. as above, except "MADE IN ENGLAND" in block letters. new copyright legend
"Copyright Patented Record Not to be Sold below Price fixed by the Patentees. All rights of the Manufacturer and of the Owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorized Public Performance, Broadcasting and Copying of this Record Prohibited."
 
B. "D" and "E" Series, as above, from A1  
  1. Black Labels Feb 1918–Oct 1932
  2. Red Labels Oct 1932–Oct 1942
C. "DA" and "DB" Series, Red Label Aug 1, 1924–Sep 1948
 

1. Price Category labels

a. DJ series                        e. DO series

b. DK series                       f. DQ series

c. DL series                        g. DR series (Tamagno 10 inch)

d. DM series                       h. DS series (Tamagno 12 inch)

 
 

(The variations above are found on the double–sided "B" series, and one can assume that the label changes apply equally to the single–sided discs of the same era.)

NOTE: Most of the dates in the previous section are estimates, based on observations of available recordings. They should not be construed as exact dates.

 

 



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