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The Victor Record Pages
   
Evolution of the Victor Label
(1900-1905)



Photos adapted from Kurt Nauck's
American Record Label Image Encyclopedia


For the most detailed Victor label survey, be sure to check
The Collectors's Guide
to Victor Records



Related Articles:
The Victor Monthly Catalog Supplements  |  The Victor Studio Conundrum

        

Eldridge Johnson Gram-o-Phone discs, 1900-1901

(LEFT) The first Eldridge Johnson label, introduced on seven-inch discs in the spring of 1900.
# A-56 was recorded on June 7, 1900, and was remade on November 6.

(RIGHT)
On March 1, 1901, the courts ordered Johnson not to use the word "Gram-o-phone" on on his products. The result was the Improved Record label, which dropped the Consolidated Talking Machine Company's name. This label also reflected Johnson's move from Philadelphia to Camden, although some reverse-side stickers from this period list both cities (the studio remained in Philadelphia for some time after the move). # A-346 was recorded on October 5, 1900, and was remade on June 5, 1901.

  

First Victor record labels, 1901

(LEFT) Johnson first registered the Victor trademark on March 12, 1901, under his own name;
the Victor Talking Machine Company had yet to be formed at this point. This seven-inch version
of A-639 was originally recorded on January 26, 1901, but was remade several times as the stampers wore out.

(RIGHT) The extremely rare Victor Ten Inch label marked the introduction of larger-diameter
Victor discs. This label was in production for only a short time, probably in early-to-mid 1901,
before being replaced by the Monarch label. #3008 was recorded on January 5, 1901.

 

(LEFT) The Victor Monarch label was adopted for ten-inch discs (and dropped for seven-inch)
later in 1901. The earliest version, shown here, still listed Johnson as manufacturer.
# 3042 was recorded on January 21, 1901.

(RIGHT)
The Victor Talking Machine Company was founded on October 3, 1901, and its name
soon took the place of Johnson's on Victor record labels. This ten-inch version of # 300
(which retained the catalog number of the corresponding seven-inch version) was
originally recorded on January 3, 1902.

 

(LEFT) The first label design to incorporate "His Master's Voice" was registered on July 1, 1902. This seven-inch example was initially recorded in February 1901 but was remade several times
over the following years. The small "B" to the right of the trademark indicates a pressing by
the Burt Company, which at the time was owned by competitor Columbia, but had a
contractual agreement to press records for Victor.

(RIGHT) The straight-line design was introduced in 1903, and the basic format would survive,
with some modifications, for the next decade. This example was issued in late 1903.


    

(LEFT) The first domestically recorded Red Seals were introduced in 1903 on the
Monarch (ten-inch) and Deluxe (twelve-inch) labels.

(RIGHT)
The Deluxe label was reserved for twelve-inch discs. Files for the elusive
2000–3000 series have been lost, but this example probably dates to 1903.

    

(LEFT) Among the rarest Victor labels, the Deluxe Special was a short-lived series of
60-rpm, fourteen-inch discs introduced in March 1903. Company files no longer exist
for these huge long-playing discs, few of which survive today.

(RIGHT) In March 1905, Victor discontinued the Monarch and Deluxe designations in favor
of a uniform Victor label on all diameters. This early "Grand Prize" issue by Enrico Caruso,
recorded on February 1, 1904, was among his first American recordings.

 

(LEFT) The Victor Monarch label was adopted for ten-inch discs (and dropped for seven-inch) later in 1901. The earliest version, shown here, still listed Johnson as manufacturer. #3042 was recorded on January 21, 1901.

(RIGHT)
The Victor Talking Machine Company was founded on October 3, 1901, and its name soon took the place of Johnson's on Victor labels. This ten-inch version of #300 (which retained the catalog number of the corresponding seven-inch version) was originally recorded on January 3, 1902.

 

(LEFT) The first label design to incorporate "His Master's Voice" was registered on July 1, 1902. This seven-inch example was initially recorded in February 1901 but was remade several times over the following years. The small "B" to the right of the trademark indicates a pressing by the Burt Company, which at the time was owned by competitor Columbia but pressed for Victor under contract.

(RIGHT) The straight-line design was introduced in 1903, and the basic format would survive, with some modifications, for the next decade. This example was issued in late 1903.

 

(LEFT) The first domestically recorded Seals were introduced in 1903 on the Monarch (ten-inch) and Deluxe (twelve-inch) labels.

(RIGHT)
The Deluxe label was reserved for twelve-inch discs. Files for the elusive 2000-3000 series have been lost, but this example probably dates to 1903.

 

(LEFT) Among the rarest Victor labels, the Deluxe Special was a short-lived series of 60-rpm, fourteen-inch discs introduced in March 1903. Company files no longer exist for these monstrous long-playing discs, few of which survive today.

(RIGHT) In March 1905, Victor discontinued the Monarch and Deluxe designations in favor of a uniform Victor label on all diameters. This early "Grand Prize" issue by Enrico Caruso, recorded on February 1, 1904, was among his first American recordings.


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