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The Collectorís Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
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Victor Import Labels

The Gramophone Company began to pressing recordings from metal parts, i.e., stampers, imported from the Victor Company as early as April 1901. These were identified by the following formula placed below the Recoding Angel trademark, which was reduced in size, and above the Gramophone Company designation.

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

The initial G&T pressings of Victor imports were assigned catalog numbers in the 3000 series, which conflicted with G&Tís own series of solo female recordings. Since the ten-inch records had been designed as Victor Monarchs in America, the prefix V.M. was now added to clarify the conflict.

In addition to the smaller Angel trademark, the Victor issues of imported recordings from April 1903 to February 1905 were given catalog numbers with the prefix V.M. for both ten- and twelve- inch records. The meaning of this prefix is not quite clear at this point, since it was used for both sizes. It is found on thirteen of the Caruso recordings made for Victor in February and April 1904 and February 27, 1905, including seven ten-inch and six twelve-inch recordings, issued by the Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd., before November 19, 1907, when the company designation was changed to The Gramophone Company Limited. The prefix is not found on imports issued with pre-DOG labels.

The G&T label on the left above, recorded February 27, 1905, should have been issued with the Victor import imprint, while the pre-DOG label on the right, issued after November 18, 1907, was never printed with the import information.

Note that the Angel trademark on the imported labels is much smaller than those seen on the Russian pre-DOG label on the right below. In the pair of labels below, the smaller Angel is found on the Monarch label, although the two labels are identical in overall diameter, 91 mm.

Vienna June 1907
Milan June 1907
London Pre-DOG, Sep-Oct 1907
Russian Pre-DOG, June 28, 1910

The Gramophone Company or pre-DOG Period

On November 18, 1907 the companyís name was changed to The Gramophone Company, Limited. This date marked the beginning of the so-called pre-DOG period, when the companyís designation below the trademark was changed from The Gramophone & Typewriter Limited, and Sister Companies to The Gramophone Company, Limited, and Sister Companies, accompanied by the font change as shown.

January 10, 1908, stamper II November 6, 1909

The pre-DOG format is seen on both red and black labels, as well on pink, pale green and pale blue preceding the introduction of the DOG trademark in August 1910. These labels are often referred to as GCL, from the initials of the new company designation. Some pressing made in Russia bear the overprint

indicating that the record had been manufactured in Riga. The translation is Manufactured by "society GRAMOPHONE with limited responsibility" in RIGA. The Russian company designation may also be printed on the label.

Russian company overprint

Russian company designation


The labels below show pre-DOG Red Celebrity labels, recorded in 1904 and in late October 1904 or early November 1907. They are unusual because the Red Celebrity label had been replaced by pink labels in late 1906. Obviously the exact dates are uncertain. Several others are known.

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