In the 1890s, Eldridge Reeves Johnson owned a small machine shop in Camden, New Jersey, when a customer brought in a Berliner phonograph. Unlike Edison talking machines, Berliner Gramophone Company used disc records instead of cylinders. The sound quality was bad and Johnson spent the next 6 years improving the sound and volume capacity. In 1901 Johnson’s Consolidated Talking Machine Company merged with Berliner’s Berliner Gramophone Company to form the Victor Talking Machine Company.
English painter Francis Barraud had a brother, Mark who passed away. When Mark Barraud died Francis inherited his brother fox terrier Nipper along with an Edison cylinder phonograph and a number of recordings of Mark’s voice. Nipper took particular interest in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the trumpet of the inherited Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph. Barraud committed the scene to canvas “Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.”
Original “Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.”
by Francis Barraud
Barraud took his painting to Edison-Bell and offered to sell it. He was turned down after being told by an Edison executive that “Dogs don’t listen to phonographs.” He next approached the Gramophone Company and showed a photograph of his painting. The manager asked if he could introduce a machine of their own make, a Gramophone instead of the Edison cylinder pictured. Barraud replied he could make the alteration if they would let me have an instrument to paint from. Given a Gramophone Barraud painted out the cylinder machine, and then painted in a Berliner “Improved Gramophone” machine on top adding a brass horn to replace the dark horn. The new image was called “His Master’s Voice.”
Barraud’s modified painting “His Master’s Voice”
Victor recording studios used Victor staff conductor Walter B Rogers directing Victor’s own “house” orchestras, the Victor Orchestra for popular works and the Victor Concert Orchestra for “classical” music starting in 1907.
On November 14, 1912 the Victor Concert Orchestra was in the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey to record “Oh! Oh! Delphine” by Ivan Carryl
Oh! Oh! Delphine