Berliner Gramophone  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Berliner Gramophone was an early record label, the first company to produce disc "gramophone records" (as opposed to the earlier phonograph cylinder records).

Emile Berliner started marketing his disc records in 1889. These records were five inches in diameter, and offered only in Europe. At first, the use of his disc records was leased to various toy companies, which made toy phonographs or gramophones to play them on; the audio fidelity of these earliest discs was well below that of contemporary phonograph cylinder records.

In 1892 he incorporated the United States Gramophone Company in Washington D.C.. This company offered the first disc records (now seven inches in diameter and no longer intended as a toy) in November 1894 on the Berliner Gramophone label. After various mergers, divisions, lawsuits, and injunctions, this company was to give rise to the Victor Talking Machine Company in the United States in late 1900. In 1929, Victor was purchased by RCA.

In 1897 Berliner opened up his United Kingdom branch in London. This was called The Gramophone Company, then from 1900 The Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd for a few years, and much later in 1931 becoming part of EMI.

In 1898 Berliner started a German branch of the Gramophone Company to produce his disc records: Deutsche Grammophon.

Until 1901 Berliner records had no labels; instead the necessary information was etched or impressed into the master. Most pre-1901 records bear the exact date of recording. These records were almost always single-sided, although a few double-sided pressings exist from 1900; an example is on display in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Berliner Gramophone" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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