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The 78-rpm 10-inch Berliner Series (continued)

Patent stickers on the reverse

Affixed to the reverse of some Portland Grand Prize records were stickers containing patent and licensing information. There were two types of stickers: short and long, both dated May 1, 1908. Much of the content of these notices would soon appear on the label proper.

Victor Grand Prize, Licensing information (short) (1908)

Ten-inch brown disc with the GRAND PRIZE label and three lines of licensing information, circa 1908

Source
A Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada "Victor Grand Prize" short label with licensing information, circa 1908

In late 1908, a new type of Grand Prize label appeared, brown with gold lettering and edging and dominated by a three-line license agreement at the top of the label: "This record is licensed by us for sale and use only, when sold at not less than the price marked on the record and solely for the purpose of producing sound direct from the record. All parties violating or otherwise infringing upon our rights will be subject to suit and damages." The words "Trade Mark" are now placed between Nipper and the gramophone in the HMV symbol, and the patent information, printed directly above the words "Victor" and "Record", includes the date 1908 as well as 1897. In a curved line across the bottom of the label, Berliner states that "This record is pressed from Victor Talking Machine Co. matrices. Licensed for sale and use in Canada only."

Berliner Gram-o-phone 1909-1923

Victor Grand Prize, Licensing information (short) (1909)

The Grand Prize label with licensing information continued to be produced after Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada reorganised as Berliner Gram-o-phone in 1909. The manufacturer is listed as Berliner Gram-o-phone Co. Ltd. Montreal, but otherwise there is little difference in comparison to the labels issued the year before. The only other variance found is that a few of the later labels are black with gold lettering, as black discs began to replace the formerly prevalent brown. 4

Victor Record Grand Prize, Licensing information (long) (circa 1910)

Ten-inch black disc with the VICTOR RECORD GRAND PRIZE label and four lines of licensing information, circa 1910

Source
A Berliner Gram-o-phone Company "Victor Grand Prize" long label with licensing information, circa 1910

Sometime after July 1, 1910, the Grand Prize label altered again. The label name (Victor Record) is printed in a new, modern-looking, sans serif typeface. The licence for sale and use in Canada is moved to the top of the label, "Reg'd in Ag. Dept." is printed below "Trade Mark" on the HMV symbol, and the following is written in four curved lines at the bottom of the label: "This patented record is covered and made under our Canadian patents, among others No. 57078, dated Feb. 24, 1897, issued to Emile Berliner, and is licensed by us for sale and use only when sold at retail at a price not less than the price marked upon this record and only for the purpose of producing sound directly from the record, and for no other purpose. This license is good only so long as this label remains on this record, unaltered and undefaced. A purchase is an acceptance of these terms. Berliner Gram-o-phone Co. Limited, July 1, 1910." One of these discs in Library and Archives Canada's collection has a sticker on the reverse, giving a detailed description of the selection and its context in the larger work from which it derives.

Victor His Master's Voice Grand Prize (circa 1911)

Ten-inch black disc with the VICTOR HIS MASTER'S VOICE GRAND PRIZE label, circa 1911

Source
A Berliner Gram-o-phone Company "Victor His Master's Voice Grand Prize" label, circa 1911

The latest issue of a Grand Prize label in this series held by Library and Archives Canada is a black label with a wide gold rim and gold lettering. Arcing across the top is a variation of the Victor licence: "This record is licensed by the Victor Talking Machine Co. for sale and use in Canada only." Below this is the sub-label "His Master's Voice" in quotation marks and in only a slightly smaller type than the transcribed label "Victor Record" which appears in its customary position, level with the centre hole. The words "Trade Mark" and "Reg'd in Ag. Dept." are placed on either side of the HMV symbol. The four-line legal warning, otherwise identical to that of July 1910, is dated "Oct. 1, 1911".

Batwing Label (1914)

In January 1914, the Victor Talking Machine Company revised its label style, and the Berliner Gram-o-phone Company followed suit. The new label's most distinctive feature was an arch above the HMV symbol at the top of the label, formed by two flanking triangular extensions of the rim circle, which give the impression of a bat's wing. The words "Trade Mark" have disappeared from the HMV symbol, to be replaced by the word "Copyright," positioned above the picture. "Reg'd in Ag. Dept." is printed between Nipper and the gramophone. There are two batwing labels included in this series: the His Master's Voice batwing label and the His Master's Voice Victor batwing label.

His Master's Voice Batwing Label

This label has "His Master's Voice" written in large letters across the upper half of the label. In a single line curving along the bottom of the label, from the "H" at 10 o'clock to the "e" at 2 o'clock, is printed: "Patented 1903, 1908. Pressed from Victor Talking Machine matrices for sale & use in Canada only. Licensed for sale only at price marked hereon." The title, performer, issue number and price appear as they did on the more recent Grand Prize labels.

His Master's Voice Victor Batwing Label

This label has the word "Victor" placed above the centre hole in the same typeface as "His Master's Voice", but in a considerably smaller size. On this label, the line of print at the bottom reads: "This record is pressed from Victor Talking Machine matrices for sale & use in Canada only. Sold under conditions printed on envelope."


1. It should be noted that issue numbers were not necessarily assigned in a chronological sequence, and indeed, many recordings pre-date others having lower issue numbers.

2. A single anomaly is found in Library and Archives Canada's collection. Like the 7-inch series, the 10-inch Berliner series includes a disc with an Imperial Record label. This label is printed in gold on a black field, with a garland of entwined maple leaves across the top and issue number prefaced by a "0" (05905).

3. A number of Concert Records were reissues of earlier recordings and the primary label's issue number (often in the 5000 block) is the one printed in parentheses. The new issue number would usually be the same as the corresponding American issue number. The same practice was followed for subsequent Berliner labels and can be seen on later Grand Prize labels.

4. Occasionally, a black disc recorded by the Berliner Gram-o-phone Company would be released with a brown Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada label made for an earlier recording of the selection. Thus, dating a record's release by its label is not always reliable.

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