Columbia Record 6

Columbia Red Cross Record (U.S.A.) / 1917

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Design: One of the few 78 rpm labels of any decade to show a photographic reproduction of the artist. Mechanical photo-engraving, in which the continuous-tone photograph was broken into a grid of variously-sized dots by way of a finely-ruled mesh 'screen,' the non-printing areas then being acid-etched away from the surface of the printing plate, was invented in the late 1880s, and becoming the industry-wide standard by the time of WWI. Margaret Woodrow Wilson, the daughter of President Woodrow Wilson, was an opera singer who served as interim First Lady after the death of her mother. The cutline, a message from Margaret Woodrow Wilson, reads: "This Record . . . sold by the Columbia Graphophone Company shall yield to the American Red Cross the sum of 25 cents, covering my entire royalty." Her signature appears at the foot.

History: Columbia and Victor enjoyed a duopoly over the American record industry between 1900 and 1919. This record was a fund-raising souvenir for the American Red Cross from the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, held in San Francisco, California. Label scan courtesy of Harvey Golden of the U.S.A.

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

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