Brunswick 1

Brunswick (Canada) / 1917

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Design: The main line of lettering dates from c. 1850; the stylized 'B' at the centre, surrounded by arabesque fretwork so beloved by the Victorians, dates from c. 1880.

History: The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. started out as pool table manufacturers in the U.S. in 1845. In the early 1900s, cashing in on the rage for phonographs, they expanded their business to include wood cabinets for the machines. In 1917 they began manufacturing their own line of vertical-cut records (above), which were marketed only in Canada. In early 1918, when the patents governing the lateral-cut process (held by Victor and Columbia) ran out, they immediately adopted the more popular technology, expanding their marketing efforts into the U.S. and updating the label design to mimic the popular Victor 'bat-wing' format (see next page). They were soon to become one of the biggest record manufacturing companies in North America. This rather rare record was picked up for $1 in a junk store in Squamish, B.C.

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

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