The Clarion Record

The "Clarion" Record (U.K.) / c. 1908

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Design: The visually appealing combination of a female beauty contemplating dramatic scenery can also seen on the Atlanta, Beka, Era and Extraphone labels. Stippled shading gives depth to the morning sky and dimension to the woman's figure, while the sun and distant mountain ranges are treated in silhouette fashion. The illustration and swash-lettered label name take up fully two-thirds of the label, the border inside the lower segment showing Art Nouveau influence.

History: Clarion was better known as a manufacturer of cylinder records, their vertical-cut discs being extremely rare. Label scan courtesy of music researcher and collector Norman Field of the U.K. (see his excellent label collection at www.normanfield.com). It is not known whether the label name had any connection to a socialist movement that sprang up in the late 1890s and gave birth to a newspaper of the same name, which was handed out among the working-class population by volunteers on bicycles, which in turn gave birth to a network of cycling clubs, many of which are still active today. The image of a rising sun (a new day dawning) would certainly fit in with the ideology of socialism.




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