E.R. Johnson first used the ‘His Master’s Voice’ trade mark.
Berliner and Johnson joined interests in the Victor Talking Machine
Co. The original etched plate method of reproduction was being
replaced by recording on a thick wax blank. Bitter litigation
between rival companies alleging patent infringement almost destroyed
the entire business.
Caruso had made his first of many records, and records by Dame
Nellie Melba were released. The popularity of the cylinder had
begun to decline.
The first 12 inch) diameter records were released on the Monarch
label. HMV Italiana released Verdi’s ‘Ernani’ on 40 single sided
Fleming invented the diode thermionic valve and, later, Lee de
Forest the triode. Electrical recording had become a possibility.
The Victor Company’s Victrola model gramophone first appeared.
Victrola was to become a generic term.
Edison continued to persevere with the cylinder machine but the
disc was proving ever stronger competition.
The first jazz releases on cylinder helped to delay the final
demise of this format. Leopold Stokowski, with the Philadelphia
Orchestra, began recording for the Victor Company at the Camden,
New Jersey studios.
Electrical recording was in the experimental stage. Paul Whiteman
and his Orchestra produced the first million seller with ‘Japanese
Sandman’ coupled with ‘Whispering’ and began a major new popular
music craze that boosted the record industry throughout the decade.
Garrard Engineering, a subsidiary of the British Crown jewellers,
commenced manufacture of precision clockwork gramophone motors.
Mons Remy of Belgium and Messieurs Dolon, Renaux and Debrabant,
of France, together applied for a French patent covering constant
linear speed recording. In England Noel Pemberton Billing independently
developed a similar system, UK Patent 195,673/204,728. Pemberton
Billing is also famous for founding the Supermarine Aircraft Company
which made the Schneider Trophy Winners and the Spitfire of World
The record business was becoming seriously depressed by the growing
popularity of radio.
The first ‘electrical’ recordings were issued by Victor and Colombia
in the US. In March, Alfred Cortot electrically recorded works
by Chopin and Schubert in Victor’s Camden Studios. The first commercial
electrical recording prompted all other major companies to follow
suit. In June Jack Hylton and his Orchestra used the technique
to record ‘Feelin’ Kind O’ Blue’ at the HMV Studios at Hayes,
Middlesex. HMV also released the first electrically recorded symphony.
Bartlett Jones of Chicago was granted a US patent for dummy head
(kunstkopf) stereo. ‘The Jazz Singer’, not the first but the most
famous talking picture was released. The British Broadcasting
Company started taking the gramophone seriously by commencing
a regular long running record programme presented by Christopher
Stone, brother-in-law of the novelist, Compton Mackenzie, the
founder and first editor of ‘The Gramophone’
The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) bought the Victor Talking