Cantophone Concert Record

Cantophone Concert Record (Tsarist Russia) / c. 1909

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Design: The image of a winged cherub on the grooves of a disc (here, running along while playing twin-horned Pan pipes) is a similar concept to that appearing on the Gramophone Concert Record (right), where the cherub sits while scribing the grooves. The song title is typeset in a spectacular wide expanded Egyptian slab-serif font, a style favoured by steam-era railway companies for the sides of passenger carriages.

History: The word 'Cantor,' obviously the basis for the label name, refers to the leader of liturgical singing in a synagogue or church, the root being the Latin word canere, to sing. Possibly, this record was made in England by GT&S (the Gramophone Company was founded in 1898 in London, being renamed The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd. and Sister Companies in 1901) for export to the Russian market. Label scans above and below courtesy of musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.

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