Aeolian Vocalion 1

Aeolian Vocalion (U.S.A.) / 1920

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Design: The pronounced Victorian feel of this label, in many ways similar to the Gennett design (right), owes much to the influence of William Morris, the 19th century decorative artist and poet. Devotees of his 'Arts and Crafts Movement' were to be found in England, Germany, Scandinavia and America. The frothy, curvilinear outer ornament is in strong contrast with the severe, thick-lined geometric panels and borders and the heavy strokes of the Gothic letters, which themselves are extruded into decorative flourishes in different styles. Note also the contrast in the vertical and horizontal emphasis of the main lines of lettering.

History: Originally a product of the Aeolian Company, piano manufacturers of New York, this label's first recordings were made at the Aeolian Hall in New York. 'Aeolian' could refer either to Aeolia, a province of classical Greece, or to the harp of Aeolus, Greek god of the wind. The Aeolian harp was positioned where its strings would be activated by the breeze, creating harmonics that were deemed to be pure, inspired by nature itself.

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

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