The Pilot Record

The Pilot Record (U.K.) / c. 1916

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Design: The letterpress hot-metal font used here is De Vinne Bold Condensed, which dates from the late 19th century, and would only be carried by a back-street print shop with a stock of out-of-date fonts. The outer circle used in the printing was quite likely a brass template, which had a square outer body with an open centre for lead type to be inserted, which could be bought from a printers' supply house such as Stephenson Blake of Sheffield. It was a tricky matter for a compositor to arrange the rectangular letters in a circular fashion inside it, as can be seen here (note the alignment in the word 'Record,' which is particularly bad).

The limited-quantity labels were probably inserted into the typewriter after the blanks had been die-cut, judging from the disregard for alignment.

History: Anonymous. No copyright notice appears, so it would seem these records were being illegally re-marketed, the label being stuck over records (this one had a blue background) dating from about 1916 to the late 1920s or even into the early 1930s. Label scan courtesy of music researcher and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.

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