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HIS MASTER'S VOICE

Much has been written about this prolific label, the company behind it, and its world-famous trademark, so I will not dwell on the subject. 

The US Gramophone Company was founded in Washington (USA) in 1893, its president Emile Berliner who ‘invented' the 10-inch disc, its objective to market the discs and other Berliner patents. The first discs were released in 1894, and in that year Berliner also established the Berliner Gramophone Co. In 1896 the National Gramophone Company, formed by Frank Seaman, was given rights to distribute Gramophone machines and discs, but in a legal battle which can only be described as a double-cross by Seaman over Berliner, Berliner was prohibited from distribuiting his own inventions in the USA, so he looked to England. In 1897 The Gramophone Company was founded in London. 

In 1898, Will and Fred Gaisberg were sent to London by Berliner to run the recording studio, and Emile's brother Joseph set up a pressing plant in Hanover, Germany. In that year, the ‘Recording Angel' trademark was first used on discs, and legally registed in May 1899 in London as a trade-mark. In that same year, 1899,  the Managing director of The Gramophone Company, William Owen, purchased the painting of Nipper (but was not used as a trade-mark till 1909). Berliner however did register the "His Master's Voice" 
trademark in England and the following year in the USA. 

In 1900, The Gramophobe Co. Ltd became The Gramophone and Typewriter Co, (known as G & T), producing records in London, Paris, Moscow and St.Petersburg. 

In 1903, G & T bought controlling shares in International Zonophone Co and its USA affiliates, and in the following year British Zonophone was formed headed by Louis Stirling. 

In 1907 G & T in the UK and Victor in the USA (formed in 1901), signed a trading agreement diving the world into two trading areas; the British company reverted back to being The Gramophone Company. 
.
In 1908, the factory at Hayes, Middlesex was opened, the foundation stone havcing been laid the year before by Dame Nellie Melba. 

In 1909, Nipper the fox terrier was seen on the label for the first time. The Recording Angel remained until 1924 by being pressed into the ‘blank' side of the single-sided discs. 

The history of the company during the (First World) war years is interesting, and its subsidiaries went through changes, especially in Germany, where the branch went independant and became Deutsche Grammophon. It later used the Nipper trademark with the words, Die Stimme seines Herrn. Another label was established in Germany in 1925, Electrola. 

In 1920, American Victor bought a controlling interest in The Gramophone Co. 

In 1924, single-sided issues were discontinued. 

In 1931, The Gramophone Company and Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd mereged to form Electrical and Musical Industries (E.M.I.). , together with Parlophone, Regal and Zonophone. 



LONDON 04032 (L12-007) GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD. The Gramophone Company, Limited, and Sister Companies. Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Stamped ‘Reproduced in Hanover'.
This 12 inch record, catalog 04032 with the Recording Angel trademark, could have been produced about 1910, according to the matrix numbers listed by Rust [R], but maybe I have misinterpreted his listing, for this would have been a year or so after the Nipper trademark was used. 
Also - the use of the word ‘Monach', which represented the 12-inch concert record, was discontinued in 1910. (Concert Record was used for the 10-inch label). 
And - the pressed notation ‘Reproduced in Hanover' was discpntinued in 1908. 
R002 sc4  GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD 
Manufactured by The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd., and Sister Companies.
GC23476.  ANGLES GUARD THREE FROM 'JOCELYN'. 
Mdlle Michailowa. Sung in Russian with violin obligato by the celebrated Polish Violinist Hamowetzlaya). 
[One side only. Side 2 is embossed with a a large Trade Mark emblem of angel, encircled by 'Gramophone + Gramophone'].
F006 sc3+  DISQUE POUR GRAMOPHONE  Fabrique par La Cte The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd et Societ Filiates. Marque de Fabrique.
G.C.34657.  GUILLAUME TELL  (Rossini).  Les Choeurs de l'Opera, avec accompagnement d'Orchestre et Cloche. Paris.  [Single side only. Reverse has stamped image of 'angel' trademark, and 'Gramophone'. Also stamped Reproduced in Hanover).
Now to the labels more familiar to us.....

The trademark ‘Gramophone' was replaced on 20 October 1910 by the now-famous ‘His Master's Voice', as a result of an unsuccesful attempt top register the word Gramophone. 

Because of the diversity of the label designs, there are others who have painstakingly detailed their individual changes and release dates - Norman Field on the internet [F] has an excellent coverage, and Rust [R] is detailed also.  I have thirty or so different labels which is probably a small fraction of the total different labels. I will simply present them here in as close to chronological order as I can figure out, without getting too fussy. 

L12-051 GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD 
Manufactured by The Gramophone Co. Ltd. (and Sister Companies). London. 
[Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on red background.]
Catalog number 2-052021
L12-053 GRAMOPHONE MELBA RECORD 
Manufactured by The Gramophone Co. Ltd. (and Sister Companies). London. 
[Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE'  twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on white background.]

Dame Nellie Melba insisted on her own label (which Rust [R] describes as pale lilac), and her own record sleeve which raised the cost of the record considerably. 

Note the date on the record, September 1905.

L239 sc3   GRAMOPHONE CONCERT RECORD
Manufactured by The Gramophone Co. Ltd. (And Sister Companies). 
GC30641.  MON ETOILE (Denisty).  Played by the Tzigane Orchestra. Paris.
[Singled sided, with Angel motif engraved, and words ‘GRAMOPHONE'.]

Note: The use of the word ‘Concert' on the label indicated it was a ten inch classical recording, whilst the word ‘Monarch' was used to designate a twelve inch classic. 

L12-025 GRAMOPHONE MONARCH RECORD.  Manufactured by The Gramophone Co. Ltd. (and Sister Companies). London. 
Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on black background. 
L12-008 HIS MASTER'S VOICE. The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on black background.

I cannot work out the recording period for this catalog C366, matrix 2-012, according to Rust [R]. In fact I find Rust's dates by matrix number rather confusing and inadequate. There is no resemblance to the above catalog and matrix number on the Rust listing. We know from Rust that this label, with its resctangle panel containing the catalog number, end at the end of 1917but damned if I can work out when they started - Rust is so confusing at times!!  The royalty stamp may be a clue - 15-8. Could that mean August 1915? 

L12-008 HIS MASTER'S VOICE. The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on black background.

Catalog number 0680; again Rust [R] is confusing - this number on a 12 inch seems to indicate a recording period of 1905/06, at the Maiden Lane studios, but the label clearly states Hayes, Middlesex - and besides, the Nipper logo was not used till 1909. 

L12-001 HIS MASTER'S VOICE. 
The Gramophone Co. Ltd., Hayes, Middlesex, England.

This Arthur de Greef pianoforte solo has a catalog number D655, and matrix 05708.  Once again, Rust indicates that this matrix was pressed in the 1911/12 period, but gives the location as Maiden Lane, London. We know from Rust that this label, with its two ‘triangular' sections at the bottom left and right, containing respectfully the matrix and catalog numbers, came into existence after 1917,  after the demise of the coloured rectangular box as per L12-018 above. These ‘black label' D-series commenced in February 1918, and are double-sided. 

L12-009 HIS MASTER'S VOICE.  The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Yellow background. 
L12-022 HIS MASTER'S VOICE.  The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle. Gold lettering on pink background. 
L12-013 HIS MASTER'S VOICE.  The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
Single sided only. Reverse is embossed with the words ‘His Master's Voice', circular placed around spindle hole. Lemon background.
L12-014 HIS MASTER'S VOICE.  The Gramophone Company, Limited, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
White background. Single sided only: contains embossed winged-angel motif, with word    ‘GRAMOPHONE' twice on perimeter of circle.
J0010 sc4 "HIS MASTER'S VOICE"  The Gramophone Co. Ltd. Made in England.
B.10082 (OA.46063) Swing Music 1951 Series - No.5. BUCKTOWN STOMP.   Johnny Dodds' Washboard Band. Johnny Dodds, clarinet; Natty Dominique, trumpet; Honore Dutray, trombone; Lil Armstrong, piano; J. Lindsay, bass; Baby Dodds, washboard, drums. 
B.10082 (OA.46064) Swing Music 1951 Series - No.6  WEARY CITY STOMP. Ibid.

 

J0409 sc3+ HIS MASTER'S VOICE.  Made in England.
BD5720 (OA061246).  I KNOW WHY  (Gordon, Warren). From the film 'Sun Valley Serenade'
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, with vocal refrain.
BD5720 (OA061245).  CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO (Gordon, Warren) From the film 'Sun Valley Serenade'.. Ibid.

Another in collection (there are many in the BD series):
J583 c4 HIS MASTER'S VOICE Made in England
BD262 (OA88995).  12th STREET RAG (Summer, Bowman). 
‘Fats' Waller and His Rhythm. Vocal refrain and Piano by ‘Fats' Waller.
BD262 (OA92915).  TRUCKIN' (Koehler, Bloom). Ibid.


N054 sc3 HIS MASTER'S VOICE 
Manufactured by The Gramophone Company Ltd, Dum.Dum. [Dum. Dum. ?? What is this - USA]
NE654 (B-11586-A) .  DER FUEHRER'S FACE   (Oliver Wallace).  From the Walt Disney Film, Nitzi Land'.
Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Vocal refrain by Carl Grayson, Willie Spicer at the Birdaphone.
NE654 (B-11586-B).  I WANNA GO BACK TO WEST VIRGINIA (Bill crago, Grace Shannon)
Ibid. Vocal refrain by Del Porter & The Bots in the Back Room. Willie Spicer at the Trainaphone.

Note location of recording company - Dum Dum. Perhaps this is another stupidity aligned with the idiotic ‘music' of Spike Jones, who, quite frankly, I loathe. 
 

L154 c3+ HIS MASTER'S VOICE The Gramophone Cop. Ltd. Made in Great Britain.
POP223 (OEA18662).  WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE? (Lymon, Goldner)
Alma Cogan with Vocal Group and Orchestra conducted by Frank Cordell.
POP223 (OEA18663).  THE BIRDS AND THE BEES (David, Warren).  From the Film, ‘The Birds and the Bees'.  Ibid.

A modern label from the 1950s - probably the last of the HMV label designs for a 78 rpm record.
 

R013 sc3 HIS MASTER'S VOICE EMPIRE DAY RECORD England.
RE284 (4-45).  GOD SAVE THE KING, and HOME, SWEET HOME
The Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, conducted by Lieut. R.G.Evans.
RE284 (1553).  EMPIRE DAY MESSAGES To the Boys and Girls of the British Empoire, from His majesty King George the Fifth and Her Majesty Queen Mary. Recorded at Buckingham Palace. 
[Surprisingly, no recorded date .]
AUSTRALIAN LABELS
This is as good a place as any to repeat that the designers of the HMV label must have been on drugs - it is one of the most frustrating and impractical labels ever designed. Here they are with one of the most famous product icons of the century and they screw up the design - gold on red is never going to work. Were it not for the use of such inappropriate text colour, we would have one of the finest designs. Of course my frustration is exacerbated by the fact that I can't scan the damn things. 
It is hardly worth showing the following labels, 
but they are all different is some way. 

 
INTERNATIONAL 
THE GRAMOPHONE COMPANY LABELS

GERMANY
F021 c5 GRAMMOPHON  Hergestellt Vonder Deutschen Grammophon-Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin.
47066 A.  DU BIST DAS GLUCK  (Buday, Hilm). 
Erna Slack, Kammersangerin, Sopran.
47066 B.  EIN BLUMENSTRAUS AUS NIZZA  (Buday, Hilm). Ibid.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA
L12-026 "GRAMOLA" RECORD. 
The Gramophone Company (Czeckoslovakia) 
Limited. 
Note: The Czech Gramophone Works 
were nationalised in 1947. 

GERMANY
L12-028 SCHALLPLATTE GRAMMOPHON
Hergestellt von der Deutschen Grammophon Aktiengeselischaft, Berlin.

 

FRANCE
F009 sc3 DISQUE POUR GRAMOPHONE 
Fabrique par La Cie. The Gramophone Company 
Ltd. (et Filiales).
230500.  ESPANA  WALDTUEFEL. 
Orchestre Vestris. Paris
230501.  SANTIAGO (Corbin).  Ibid.

FRANCE
L12-062 DISQUE "GRAMOPHONE"  - 
[HIS MASTER'S VOICE] Made in France. 

INDIA  (for SRI LANKA)
F040 sc4 HIS MASTER'S VOICE    Made in India.
9337 (2888-3).  [Indian sanscrit]. 
Priests of Jananandaramaya Hikkaduwa.
9337 (2889-2).  [Indian sanscrit].  Ibid.
Interpretation:
9337 (2888-3).  "Maha Piritha - Part 1 of 12 [Sinhalese/ Pali]. " 
9337 (2889-2). "Maha Piritha - Part 2 of 12 [Sinhalese/ Pali] " 
 
I much appreciate the following information received from Sanjaya Jayaratne of Dehiwala, Colombo, who writes:

All our recordings for Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) were made by the Gramophone Co Ltd in India at the record pressing plant at "Dum Dum", Culcatta. All recordings in Sinhalese had a seperate number series. A new series issued in 1939 with N 9300 series for our recordings. According to my studies, this range runs from N 9300 to 9399. 

Actually they were recorded in 1938 and issued in 1939 and 1940 as follows.
1939 AD - N 9300 to 9344
1940 AD - N 9345 to 9399
All matrix numbers were within OME 2800 to OME 3500
(in 1941, N 13000 Series began to issue these for Sinhalese Recordings in Ceylon)
N 9337 to N 9342 (6 records with 12 continuous recordings) was a complete set of Buddhist religious "Pirith" chanting (continuously) with 12 sides in 06 records running for more than 30 minutes.

In the picture published in your web page (left): at center left (of spindle hole), it says "Pali", and at center right it shows N.9337. Next line says "Mahapititha - volume 2" - see the other side of the record, it must say Vol 1. (in Sinhalese font). Next line says in big size "Mangala Suthraya".
Next line say the Priests of Jananandaramaya Hikkaduwa. 
Last line says OME number with take 2 or 3.

All other records in this series, at center left of spindle hole mentioned as "Sinhalese Song" or "Sinhalese /Duet/Drama/Comic" -> which is applicable.
 Again in 1941, N 13000 series begin and ran up to N 13103 in 1945. All matrix numbers with OMD and OMH. Please note that only in Pitith chantings in N 9337 to 9342, we can find take 2 or 3.  99% of all other 400 items in 200 records were to be recorded at one take. I found that N 8900 series was with OME matrix numbers and issued in the same time range for Indian Tamil Records, mainly South Indian artists. All were pressed at the factory at "Dum Dum", Culcatta, India.


 
 

 

ITALY
L12-063 "LA VOCE DEL PADRONE" 
[HIS MASTER'S VOICE] Made in Italy.

CANADA
L021  sc3 HIS MASTER'S VOICE Berliner 
Gram-O-Phone Co., Limited, Montreal.
64121 (123).  MINUET  (Betthoven).  Violin 
solo by Mischa Elman, with piano 
accompaniment by Percy B. Kahn.
[Single sided, no track on reverse].

GERMANY
F039 sc4 GRAMMOPHON Hergestelltvon Der Deutschen Grammophone-Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin.
10379A.  UNVOLLENDETE SYMPHONIE Nr. 8 H-moll. (Schubert).  Philharmonisches Orchester, Berlin.
10379B UNVOLLENDETE SYMPHONIE Nr. 8 H-moll.  (Schubert).  Ibid.

GERMANY
F030 sc3 KUNSTLER-SCHALLPATTE 
GRAMMOPHON 
Hergestelt Von Der Deutschen Grammophon 
Ar.G., Berlin.
80037 (2-52828) TORNA A SURRIENTO 
(De Curtis).  Titta Ruffo. Italienisch Bariton.
80037 (2-52829) "MARIA, MARI" (Di Capua).  Ibid.
 

 
 

 
NOVELTY

L195 c3 NODDY - HIS MASTER'S VOICE Made in Australia.
TA1006 (OEA17583).  NODDY'S ADVENTURE WITH HIS CAR 
Enid Blyton tells the story. Instrumental accompaniment conducted by Philip Green. 
TA1006 (OEA17582).  NODDY IS NAUGHTY    Ibid.