Parlophon Junior Record

Parlophon Junior Record (Austro-Hungarian Empire) / c. 1911

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Design: The letter 'O' in the lengthy label name is consistently miniaturized yet underlined, thus typographically suggesting an emphasis on the 'juvenile.' In the bucolic scene which it encloses, a pair of wood-nymphs dressed in red gowns twirl around the trunk of an ancient oak, while carrying a garland of leaves on which a record-playing phonograph is suspended. In the far distance on the left is a castle on a hill which overlooks, to the right, a red-roofed village with a church steeple, around which floats a flock of pigeons.

The colourful fairy-tale scene is likely meant to visually attract a child's attention at a point of sale. The specially designated label name confirms the emergence of a substantial niche market for children's records, with parents who had sufficiently prospered from the recent industrial revolution now being able to impulsively buy expensive gifts for their offspring (the children's nursery was also proving to be a highly profitable marketplace for entrepreneurs in the book-publishing, toy-making and wallpaper-printing industries, among others).

History: Label scan courtesy of collector Gabriel Gössel of Czechoslovakia, who writes: "This label was produced by the Austrian branch of the Rena Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of England. The same recordings were pressed (at the same time) also on the Melodia Record Platte, Heliophon and Columbia labels. Its matrices were obtained from Columbia and Beka."

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