The Talk-O-Phone Record

The Talk-O-Phone Record (U.S.A.) / c. 1907

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Design: The image of a rather hawk-like parrot listening to the sound emanating from the horn of a table-top phonograph is obviously derived from the Victor logo of Nipper the dog being captivated by 'His Master's Voice' (right). The wavy-line typography also seems to have been influenced by Eldridge Johnson's earlier Monarch label; however, the outlining and background shadowing and shading is much more sophisticated (having been printed by lithography rather than letterpress).

History: The Talk-O-Phone company was a rather shady 'pirate' operation, which from the early 1900s illegally marketed records in contravention of copyright issues. They were eventually sued out of business in about 1907 by the Victor and Columbia duopoly. Label scan courtesy of collector Helmut Janisch of Germany.

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