Silvertone 2

Silvertone (U.S.A.) / c. 1915

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The illustration shows Pan, Greek god of woods and fields, playing his pipes (shown here as two separate flutes, rather than the single instrument of reeds of unequal length). A pair of wood-nymphs, having given up their dancing, recline at his feet, enchanted by the 'silver tones' he is producing. The illustration on this single-sided record shows in reverse or negative form. Though the label name is generously displayed, the area allowed for the song title and other info is quite restricted, only allowing for small type sizes. The orange second colour has been rather arbitrarily applied around the three figures; part of the background etching has been overprinted, while other areas have not.

History: Beginning in 1915 and lasting until 1927, 'Silvertone' was the brand name used by the mail-order giant Sears, Roebuck for its 'house' line of records. However, the master for this particular recording dates from 1909, being one of a series made by American vaudevillian actors Fred Duprez (1884-1938) and Bob Roberts (1879-1930) concerning the comedic 'adventures' of pseudo-Europeans Blitz and Blatz (At the Seaside, At the Ball Game etc.).

Until 1903, when the Wright brothers succeeded in taking flight with a fixed-wing motor-driven aircraft, man's only method of flying had been inside wicker baskets suspended beneath hot-air balloons or gas-filled dirigibles. At the point in time when this recording was made, the aeroplane was still little more than an exciting novelty, but during WWI its fighter/bomber potential would be exponentially accelerated; in fact, the term 'blitz' would eventually come to symbolize death and destruction being rained down from the skies.

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

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