Casa Bayer

Casa Bayer (U.S.A. ethnic) / c. 1928

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Design: The basic layout is very similar to the Grey Gull label of 1928, with the outline panel each side of the spindle hole being identical; the ornamental flourishes either side of the illustration are very similar to those seen on the Radiex label, also made by Grey Gull. The entire label is hand-lettered, with some rather quixotic letterforms; the record itself is made in red shellac, as many Grey Gull records were. Judging by the illustration, Don Pancho seems to have graduated from careless untidiness (poverty?) to sleek prosperity (hopefully, not the other way round!).

History: As noted on the label, this promotional record, consisting of a poem and a song, was manufactured by Grey Gull of New York for Casa Bayer (the 'house' of the Bayer pharmaceutical company, makers of aspirin), who were promoting a product called Cafiaspirina. Launched in 1922 as a high-class, expensive label, Grey Gull soon found it had to concentrate on cheaply-made product and volume sales in order to survive, but eventually succumbed (as did many other labels) with the onset of the Great Depression. Label scans (appearing either side of the same record) courtesy of collector Joaquin López of Mexico, who writes: "The record was found in a lot of Mexican 78 rpm records, so I think it was probably distributed in México by a Bayer company distributor."

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