His Master's Voice 1

His Master's Voice (U.K.) / c. 1909

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Design: With technological improvements in multi-colour printing, it became possible for printers to reproduce the original painting of Nipper rather than use wood engravings or crude line drawings. An interesting subtext of cultural exchange is that the typeface used for the imprinting on this British label, Della Robbia, was designed in 1903 by an American, T.M. Cleland. From the early 1880s on, the American and British letterpress printing industries had adopted the American 'point' system of measurement for typecasting, so their fonts were interchangeable; continental Europeans, however, used the 'Didot' scale, which was incompatible. This aspect of industry may have influenced Anglo-American culture more than is commonly realized.

History: The Gramophone Company was founded in London in 1898, and started making disc records in August 1898. It became The Gramophone & Typewriter Co. Ltd. in July 1901. Discographer Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K. notes: "This item was recorded in August 1907. Harry Lauder (1870-1950) made his first recordings in 1903 and his last in 1933. "He recorded all his most popular songs many times, up to 15 in one case, which is why matrix numbers are needed to date them." Lauder, here denoted as 'Mr.' was knighted after WWI for his services to the Allied war effort.


Design variations of this label in this decade (click on image to view page):


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