Eclipse 1

Eclipse (U.K.) / c. 1930

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Design: The moon is shown in full eclipse of the sun, whose wavy rays radiate above the curvature of the Earth. The wavy-line 'fried egg' border around the thick outer border occupy quite a bit of valuable space, but the design is efficiently laid out and legibility is not compromised. The 'Eclipse' logo, drawn in a softly-rounded, fat-faced brush script, is more in tune with the 1920s than the 1930s, when sharply-angled images and type were coming into fashion (compare with the exactly contemporary Sunrise label, with a similar design concept). At just over 2" in diameter, the label is smaller in dimension than the standard 3."

History: At first manufactured by the Crystalate company (later taken over by Decca) for the Woolworth store chain, Eclipse was launched as a replacement for the Victory label. It was the first to be packaged in a brown paper sleeve, and featured dynamic promotional designs. Even so, the product was still pegged at a low price, even through the 'slump' or depression-era years of the early 1930s, finally disappearing in 1935. Musicologist Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K., who supplied this label scan, notes: "Huge quantities were sold [in England] and are still easily found. Like most of these very cheap labels, one side had a copyrighted 'hit' tune of the day, whilst the reverse had a non-copyright number, or one written for a fixed fee by one of the staff musicians. The copyright for these would then rest with the record company."

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

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