Assimil (U.K.) / c. 1937

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Design: The hand-drawn logo at the top, which follows the outer curve, features a mix of upper and lowercase, which conflicts in style with the lettering below, based on 'ultra' weight caps of a 'modern' font, with its fat vertical strokes and ultra-thin horizontal serifs (here, for some reason, these have been clipped off).

History: Label scan courtesy of musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K., who writes: "This was recorded in Germany by Polydor, but I think it was pressed in London, possibly by Decca." Thanks also to collector Georg Richter of Germany for the following information: "Assimil, a French company, was founded by  Alphonse Chérel in 1929 and is still active today. It creates and publishes foreign language courses, which began with their first book "Anglais Sans Peine" ("English Without Toil"). Since then, the company has expanded into numerous other languages. Different language courses were named for the target countries, e.g. 'Ohne Mühe' for Germany; 'Sans Peine' for France; 'Zonder Moetie' for The Netherlands etc. The text of the lessons could be quite humorous, such as this example, freely translated from a German lesson: "A pedestrian says to a drunken guy crawling on all fours around a street lamp, 'What are you doing?' The drunk replies, 'I am searching for my latchkey.' Pedestrian: 'Where did you lose it?' Drunk: 'Five metres away.' Pedestrian: 'Why don't you search there for it?' Drunk: 'Because the light's much brighter here, under the street lamp.'"

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