Sunday, October 27, 2013

What is on the back and in a few cases the front of very early mainly pre-dog and early dog Victor records.

I  have always thought that there were some odd marks on the back of pre-dog Victor records. I started going through many of them.. I found on many a marking that was not on the others and it made me guess. Why would those marks there?  Well there is only one reason, identification or place of production etc.

I am going to take a guess here as I can do nothing else but that at this point. That is when a record was pressed in Camden or Philadelphia it was marked with 3 stars around the spindle hole. Other companies hired to press Victor records did not.  I am guessing that a vast majority of records pressed in 1900 to early 1902 were pressed by the Burt Company of Milburn, NJ...Also the Doranoid Company of Newark, NJ..  Which was making not only Victor records but also had been previously making Berliner and later Zonophone records which were being produced basically for the Victor Company, which was somewhat indirectly, the owner of the Zonophone Company in the United States. 

So look for stars in the back of you pre dogs..If there is a set of stars I believe it was pressed in Camden, lacking means somewhere else.

 This is what I think is a Camden or Philadelphia pressing. The label looks the same but on the back you see the three stars. Which were symbol of the home company and pressing plant.
Note the three stars counter sunk in the rear of this record.

Now as we look at this record. The same label, no special marks on it. Except that it does not have the three stars.

Here is the back and there are no stars.

This is as late as we will go here and a late 1902 pressing of a Harry MacDonough. However look at the record and you will see the word VICTOR stamped on the wax. Obviously this was not done by the company in Camden as they knew their records. This was marked to exclude it from others being pressed. If you look very carefully to the far right of the number 1415 on the label is a small C.  

Now here is another early 1901 recording and marked for export. Judging how many records in total were made in 1901 they are a rare minority. But these records are marked in the back with a simple tag.

All show this to be a regular Bert Company pressing, but on the back was affixed this small tag as seen below..

It would be interesting to see how many recordings were exported in 1901. I just cannot think it would be many. but I am sure some were sent to Canada and to the offices of Emile Berliner.

 Now this got my attention as I was looking through a large number of pre dog Victor records. That once the labels started showing point of pressing like this above. You could see who was making them. Of course here is an mid 1902 pressing and first dog label. It has a small B right above machine on the label. This Bert pressing has no stars. However, most of the pre-dog 1902 VTM labels all have stars on the backs. Those that lack it most probably were made by Bert or Doranoid. The labels with out the little B as you see here have the stars.

 As you can see on the back of this and every Bert record I have seen so far has no stars. Just an interesting point to bring out.

The early years of the Consolidated and early Johnson label years were a time in which most of the pressings were made outside of the Philadelphia and Camden compound of the company. I have based this on a very limited scope of about 150 records of the 1900-1902 period.  So I think that if you see stars...You are seeing a home produced recording from the 1900-1902 period.  This is my guess for now.

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