Columbia Straight 1

Columbia (U.S.A.) / 1916

back next

Design: An uncommon version of the Columbia label, in which the label name appears in positive form. This design was in production for only about three months before the decision was made to reverse the name out of a solid bar. Label names on almost all pre-World War I records follow the curve around the upper part of the label, but after 1914, almost all label names run straight across. Perhaps there is a sociological explanation for this: the war caused the fall of many class-based (overarching) hierarchies, and most countries went on to adopt more democratic (horizontal) forms of government.

History: The song here is Hawaiian, a style of music that became very popular at this time; improved communication and travel were making it possible for Americans to begin taking recreational trips to places like Hawaii (which was annexed to the United States in 1898) and appreciating more exotic cultures. Label scan courtesy of Alec Flexer of Canada.

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

site map   era index