The Victor Record Pages
Record Sales Statistics
Years 1901 and 1941 Inclusive”
1 It is not known what "Miscellaneous" refers to before 1910. One likely suggestion is that this category includes export pressings. Several researchers have suggested these figures may include domestic Zon-O-Phone sales after 1904. However, that is a questionable assumption, given Universal Talking Machine Company's existence as a separate legal entity. After 1910, this category includes the purple- and blue-label series, client labels, special pressings, etc.
2 These figures probably commence with the founding of the Victor Talking Machine Company in October 1901. They might have been higher had pre-VTM sales of Eldridge Johnson products been included. (See Evolution of the Victor Label for samples of Johnson's pre-VTM labels.)
3 The decline of 1908-1909 probably reflects the lingering effects of the 1907 Panic, combined with sales lost to Columbia's new Double Discs, which offered two selections for only a nickel more than a single-sided Victor. Although Victor introduced its own double-siders in late 1908, it initially was reluctant to promote them and charged a dime more than Columbia.
4 Record production decreased during 1918 as much of the Victor factory was converted to war production.
5 The height of the post-war phonograph boom; this level of sales would not be attained again until 1941. The effects of the 1921 recession, and possibly the beginnings of competition from radio, can be seen in the following year's decline.
6 By 1925, Victor was clearly feeling the effects of competition from radio and from more progressive labels like Brunswick, Okeh, and the newly revamped Columbia. An uptick in sales at the end of 1926 coincided with more liberal artist-and-repertoire policies in the wake of Eldridge Johnson's resignation, and the growing popularity of the new Orthophonic electrical recordings.
7 The sudden decline in "Miscellaneous" sales is attributable to the discontinuation of the purple- and blue-label series. The equally dramatic increases in 1928–1929 may reflect domestic sales of His Master's Voice pressings, which Victor had begun to import from England.
8 "Miscellaneous" sales for 1933–1941 probably include Montgomery Ward records which, as a client label, was in a separate category from RCA's own Bluebird. The lower figures in 1935–1936 and 1938–1939 correspond to periods in which RCA shared production of the Montgomery Ward label with Decca.
© 2009 by Mainspring Press, LLC. All rights are reserved.
Additional content © as noted. Material on this site may not be reproduced or dsitributed without prior written consent
of the copyright holder(s). Unauthorized use will be addressed under applicable U.S. law.
For permission to reproduce material from this site, please e-mail the publisher.ng Press.