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These pages are just notes about the labels which may be found on 78s. Click on the label to see a larger image. Many labels have more pictures, information and sometimes listings which may be found by clicking on the link.  I have included labels from all periods, not just the 1920s and 1930s, just because I find them all interesting!  
         All label scans are from my own collection unless otherwise noted. Information about the labels is from various sources, including my own researching, but Brian Rust's "The American Record Label Book" was very useful as was Don Taylor's "The English 78 Picture Book" and various articles by Frank Andrews and Arthur Badrock in "Hillandale News" and "The Talking Machine Review".           
        In order to make the pages more managable (and quicker to load), I have split this section into alphabetical parts. Click on the appropriate letter below to see the section you want.      

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   Non-UK Labels

*** Please note a change to these pages: ***
To see any listings of these labels and further information, click on the label name in the left hand column

Label

Label Description

Label Image

National These two different labels styles date from about the same period, but see also National Scala Special, below.

The first one (National Double Sided) was derived from Beka/Lindstrom masters and manufactured in Germany.  It is not known for whome they were produced.

The second style WAS an Edison Bell product dating from 1910, these were a 10" records with a 3-digit catalogue series, sold under a tally-man system in the same way as John Bull records.


My thanks to Norman Field for providing the inage of the first label.


National "Scala Special" A Pre-WWI German produced record using Beka masters. Some copies have a sticker (where the copyright stamp is on my example) which states "Scala Special Issue". Some have a catalogue number, possibly of the standard Scala issue, while others just have a letter code, different each side. All issues seen are by Billy Williams.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
Neophone Neophone are believed to be the first vertical-cut disc on the British market (excepting any "toy" records) and they appeared in 1904. They were single-sided and made of cardboard coated with some sort of enamel. It was the invention of Dr William Michaelis; the groove was U-shaped (like Pathe). There were many sizes produced from 7" to 20" (the latter with a playing time of nearly 10 minutes). The prices also varied, from 6d to 10/6, depending on the size. Late there were some double-sided records made of "Neoline" which was similar to the standard shellac used for other records. In 1907, record production was taken over by the General Phonograph Co, and some white records were produced, but production ceased altogether in 1908. Neophone records have never been easy to find, but even so, I've never seen one, except in a collection.

Frank Andrews published an extensive listing of this label in "Talking Machine Review" in 1978 (issues 51 - 55).

Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the label scans.


Neptune These were produced by Crystalate for Curwen's, the music publishing company, from 1917 to 1919. The masters were from Invicta / Guardsman. They initially cost 2/-, rising to 2/6 in the autumn of 1918.
 
Neptune.jpg (66518 bytes)
New Empire see under Empire  
Nicole One of the very earliest disc records, Nicole records were the first to be manufactured in Britain and were made from a semi-unbreakable material which looks a bit like linoleum. This was a product of the fledgling Crystalate Manufacturing Company, whose business was in manufacturing in synthetic materials. The sound is rather rumbly because of the material, though this wouldn't have been an issue when played on acoustic gramophones of the period. Nicole Freres of Ely Place, Holborn Circus, London had been musical box manufacturers since 1815, so it was natural that they should branch out into records. Nicole records were available in 7" or 10" size and were initially single-sided. In 1906, the company went into liquidation due to the failure of their main musical-box business.

A listing of this label was published in 2001 by Michael Kinnear of Australia.

Nicole.jpg (55068 bytes)
Nursery Rhymes A 5" disc produced by Crystalate to "compete" with the two "Fairy" labels used by Edison Bell and Vocalion, Nursery Rhymes issued just that during a short life in the 1920s. There were no catalogue numbers as such, each disk was identified by a letter (the one shown here is "D"). Whether a full 26 discs (or more?) were issued, I don't know. Nursery-Rhymes.jpg (84565 bytes)
Octacros Octacros records were produced as a result of a dispute between Cinema operators and the major record companies, who wanted to charge an extra fee (as well as the fee to the PRS) for use of their records in cinemas.  To circumvent this rather typical high-handed attitude, Synchrophone Ltd produced Octacros records. These records first appeared in 1934, using old masters from the defunct Piccadilly label, with a 3-digit catalogue number. There was also the 1000-series of new recordings and the 2000-series of continental recordings. The company was taken over and closed by Decca in 1937, effectively creating a duopoly of Decca & EMI. Octocros.jpg (62449 bytes)
Odeon The Odeon record was a major international label during most of the 78rpm period. I am concerned here only with those made for British consumption. The trade mark was registered in Britain in 1904 and the actual records appeared soon after. There were two sizes, 7" and 10", costing 2/6 and 5/- respectively and were double-sided at a time when all records were still single-faced. Some of the British issues were "paste-over" on the original German ones and some had the British label pressed in, in the usual way (see image). The outbreak of WWI in 1914 meant that German-produced records such as Odeon ceased to be available, but during the 1920s & 30s, certain Odeon records were sold in Britian, almost at random it seems, using Parlophone/Lindstrom masters.

A listing of British Odaon records, compiled by Mike Langridge is available from the CLPGS.

Oliver Another of the Crystalate mini disks, Oliver seems to vary in size between 5" and 6", similar to Mimosa, but I have one 7" dating from about 1930, using masters also available on Victory. Like Mimosa, they were available from the early 1920s until about 1930.

Click here to see a listing of this label.

Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the second photo in a colour scheme I'd not seen before.

Oliver.jpg (79204 bytes)
Olympic Olympic records were produced Levy's Phono and Cycle Stores of High Street, Whitechapel, London.
There were three series produced; all were manufacture by The Crystalate Manufacturing Company.

The first series used Grammavox masters (Sound Recording Compamy) and had a violet label with gold printing and had JA- prefixed catalogue numbers. These date to just prior to WWI.

The second series dates from 1919 to about 1922. These used "Popular" masters which also belonged to the Sound Recording Company. The catalogue series ran from 100, with no prefix. The labels were usually red, but, like Popular, the colour could vary depending on the paper the company could get.

Finally, in the mid-1920s the label made its third appearance, the masters now being Crystalate's own, also issued on Imperial. Just to confuse things, these also used a 100- series catalogue range. The labels were red with gold printing (similar in style to the second image here). Many, if not all, are just pasted over standard Imperial pressings. Sometimes these have the same catalogue number as the original Imperial issue.


Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the scan of the pale blue/green style, and to Norman Field for the 1920s paste-over image.


Olympic.jpg (76708 bytes)

Operaphone Despite the label name, nothing operatic was ever issued on it. The fare was the usual popular song, music hall and orchestra music to be found on other cheap records of the period. They were pressed in Germany from Bel Canto (and other) masters during 1913-14.

 

 

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt and Rainer Lotz for providing the label photos.


Oriole This was another attempt at the record market by Levy's of London (see Levaphone). The first of 4 different series of Oriole records were released in May & June 1927, and 15 different records were released, though the recordings generally dated from a year or two earlier. They were all from American Vocalion's "race" catalogue and numbered 1000 to 1012 plus 2000 and 2001 for 4 sides by white cabaret artists.  

The P-100 series dates from the early 1930s and the label is either gold (see example) or silver.

In the mid-1930s, there was a short-lived LV-100 series, gold labelled with the same design as the earlier 30s P- series. These were re-issued in the 1950s as LB-series, using the original masters and a new-design of label in Black with silver printing.
Then in the 1950s, they used a CB-catalogue series.



Our Flag One of many hard-to-find pre-WWI labels, Our Flag was pressed by Kalliope in Germany using their own masters and those provided by J. Blum & Co.. They were sold though Philip Waldman of 249, Old Street, London from 1913 to 1914 when WWI put a stop to all German imports..
 
Palladium Dating from 1913, these were manufactured in Germany for an, as yet, unknown proprietor in Britain. There appears to be link to Operaphone & Pavilion records and the masters of those seen came from Dacapo and Bel canto.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan

Panachord Launched at the same time as it's American counterpart, Melotone, in May 1931, Panachord also looked very similar with it's striking silver-on-blue label. The numbering started at 25000 and ran up to 26046 when it was discontinued by it's then owners, Decca, in November 1939  a short-lived 12" Panachord with numbering from 9001 was also produced. Recordings were mainly American, from Melotone and later ARC and Decca, but there were a few home-grown recordings, mainly done by Levy's specially for the label, then subsequently by Decca, again exclusively for Panachord, though one or two were also released on Decca as well. Some of the early Warner-Brunswick issues are rather gritty, but generally, they are smooth-surfaced and play very well throughout. Initially priced at 2/-, they soon dropped to 1/6 and then in 1935 to 1/- before being increased back up to 1/6 in September 1937 for the last couple of years.

 



Parlophone The introduction of Parlophone in Britain marks the resurrection (as far as the record industry is concerned) of trading with Germany after WWI. The Lindstrom Company (of Germany) set up the new factory in Hertfordshire in 1922 or 23. From that the company grew to be a major label, merging into EMI, but always seeming to keep its own identity, and is still occasionally used even today (2003). American masters from Okeh, and German ones from Odeon were used plentifully. The main catalogue series were the E-5000 (red label), E/R-3000 (this series seemed to be given either prefix), the R-100 (purple, later blue and still in use today) and the F-100 magenta label. Parlophone - purple.jpg (67663 bytes)
Pathe Pathe Freres (of France) introduced their discs (vertical cut, naturally) in October 1906, having already established studios in London, Milan & Moscow. The first discs varied enormously in dimensions from 7" to 20" in diameter and usually playing at 90 rpm, with a wide u-shaped groove, starting at the centre. By 1914, when the American branch was set up, things had become more standardized and records were 10" to 12", 78 rpm, and outside-start, though still with a u-shaped vertical groove. The British and American records looked almost identical (see illustration of British label). The vertical groove format was retained until about 1925, after which, the lateral-cut Actuelle became the main Pathe product outside of France.
Pathe-2.jpg (74344 bytes)
Pavilion Dating from pre-WWI, these were manufactured in Germany. This is another very rare and short-lived label, lined with Palladium&  Operaphone and using the same pool of masters. They were probably sold via the tally-man system, but were obviously not very successful!

My thanks to Norman Field in providing the label image.

Paxton One of the very last 78 labels to appear, in the 1960s and still available in the early 1960s, Paxton appears to be like a music publishers label (similar to Chappell), in that the music is generally orchestral, varying from classical to big band, usually by lesser-known composers. Bandleader Eric Winstone made some recording foir this label; at the other end of the scale, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (as the London Promenade Orchestra) also made many records for Paxton. The Recordings were made by Levy's in London. Paxton.jpg (64649 bytes)
Peacock Peacock records were pressed by Decca and British Homophone for sale in Peacocks Stores which were (and still are) based in the Midlands (in England). All three series date from 1933-34 and may well have been available at the same time. They are extremely rare, not surprisingly as no catalogue, adverts or record sleeves pertaining to Peacock Records has ever been found. Peacock-1.jpg (91725 bytes)
Pelican One of the many short-lived pre-WWI labels available in Britain, Pelican records, costing 1/1, later 1/-, were first produced in 1913, lasting until early 1914. The records were made abroad and in Britain (see the two slight label differences) for the Universal record Syndicate and later for J. Blum & Co and the masters were drawn from, among others, Jumbo & Edison Bell. The catalogue numbers used a P-1 series. Oddly, despite the name of the label, the obvious trade-mark of the bird, though shown in adverts for the records, never appeared on the label.
 
Pelican.jpg (66117 bytes)
Perfect Perfect records were quite short-lived in Britain. It was introduced in late 1927 and was available for about a year. The masters were from almost all from American and French Pathe. Only a few, early on, were were recorded in England, and they were acoustic. A number of masters with English matrix numbers (N90000 series) were used throughout Perfect's life, but these were all recorded in France specially for the label, and, as far as I know, unavailable anywhere else. The Catalogue number started at P-300 and ceased at P-435. Columbia bought the company in 1928 and some of the last few Perfects may be found pressed by Columbia, with smooth laminated surfaces  playing beautifully. Perfect.jpg (90868 bytes)
Perophone (sold in Australia) With a similar design to "Colonial" records (q.v.), Perophone records were made for sale by Lockwoods of CIty Road, London around the WWI period.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
Philharmonic Despite the upmarket-sounding name, the music on  Philharmonic records was of the usual popular fare. They appeared in 1913 and were around for about a year, with masters coming from Favorite in Germany. Catalogue numbers were in a 1 - 200 range.
Phoebus Although announced in the trade press in October 1908, none of these records have turned up in recent memory. It was not unknown for records to be announced in the press, but not produced until & unless any interest was shown in buying them. This label could be an example of such a practise.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records. Also a label scan
 
Phoenix Launched in 1913, Phoenix was Columbia's answer to the cheap imports; they cost 1/1 and were a good challenge to the likes of Coliseum, Scala et al. The fare was the usual mix of popular music - vocal, marches, ragtime, xylophone & banjo solos. The catalogue was numeric with a 0 or O prefix. starting at 01, and with an X-series matrix. Some were made in USA and the labels stated this under the label's name. Phoenix records were available for about 2 years. Phoenix.jpg (89243 bytes)
Phona-Disc This was one of the first disc records produced by Edison Bell. It was a rather odd size, being just over 8 in diameter and with a vertical cut groove, and appeared in 1908 at the same time as "Bell Disc" and "Little Champion". although quite cheap at 1/6, they were very short-lived and hardly ever turn up.

Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.

Phoneto
(sold in Australia)
Dating from late in WWI, these were pressed by Crystalate, using Invicta (Guardsman) masters.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
:
Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the label photo.
Unfortunately it is in monochrome, If anyone can provide a colour scan, I'd like to use it here.
Phono Disc Produced in France for the British market and announced in the trade press in October 1908.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records. Also a label scan
 
Phonycord Originally a German record, later Phonycord records were made in Britain. They were available during 1930 and 1931, and were pressed in a coloured celluloid-like material (available in many colours) very similar to Filmophone. The masters were a mixture of German Artiphon, English originals, and the American matrices were from Grey Gull. The English issues used a P- catalogue series running from P-74 to P-135, while the German ones used a series starting a 1, running to 691, but using only odd numbers! There were also German 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000 and 8000 series. The Grey Gull masters can be found in both series, while the British series also included German matrices. Phonycord.jpg (39757 bytes)
Piccadilly One of the most attractive British labels, Piccadilly was introduced in October 1928 as the budget line for Metropole Records, though the labels all state "Piccadilly Records Ltd" with no mention of Metropole. They sold in huge numbers for 1/6 (initially), reducing to 1/1 in 1931, before disappearing in April 1932. The catalogue numbers started at 100 and ran to 934, and the English matrix numbers, initaially in an M-series (from Metropole) then switched to a 1000-series. American recordings were initially from Emerson, and subsequently from Grey Gull and finally there were a few from ARC/Banner.  There was also a red-labelled classical series using a 5000-series catalogue. The recording quality varied, but the pressing were usually very smooth, though rather brittle. Piccadilly-1.jpg (81680 bytes)
Pickofall A pre-WWI label made in Germany for the British market using masters from various sources. First appeared in 1912 and cost 2/- each, they were produced for the Regent Fittings company. The price was reduced to 1/1 during the price war in 1913-14 at which point they dissapeared when German imports stopped with the outbreak of WWI.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
.
Pigmy One of the many tiny records available in the early 1920s, "Pigmy Gramophone", as they were styled, were 5" in diameter and were pressed by Crystalate, using the same masters as their "Mimosa" records of the period. The records were made for the toymakers, Bing Brothers. The catalogue numbers ran from 1 to over 70 and the records were the usual mix of early dance music and popular vocal & instrumental selections. Pigmy-1.jpg (80308 bytes)
Pik-Nik An incredibly rare label, there were only 6 different Pik-Nik records ever issued. They were a type of card-backed celluloid, similar to Durium or Hit-of-the-Week, but thicker. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to have prevented them warping, but it is almost impossible to flatten them without destroying the record. All six items were dance band items, recorded specially and only for the issue on Pik-Nik. They were 9" in diameter and sold for 9d each; all date to 1930 and were recorded by Worldecho Records Ltd, whose offices were next door. Piknik.jpg (27689 bytes)
Pilot Pilot records first appeared in June 1913, having previously been called "Polyphon". The change of name is thought to have been due to the "Polyphon" being associated with the rather old-fashioned disc musical-box. Like Polyphon, Pilot records were German throughout and they used 5000 and 8000 catalogue series. As with most other German-made records, they disappeared from the market after the outbreak of World War One. Early Pilot records had the new label pasted over existing "Polyphon" records. The Pilot records were initially priced at 2/6, the same as Polyphon records, but this was reduced to 1/1 in October 1913 due to the competition from the Gramophone Company's excellent Cinch records being sold at that price. Considering the quite large catalogue of Pilot records, they have always been hard to find.
A listing of this label has been published in book form by the CLPGS

There was also a "paste-over" label of this name. These have a plain white, pink or red label, with the label name printed in black, pasted over existing stocks of other labels, such as Winner, Imperial, Zonophone, Twin, Piccadilly and Decca, The title and description (and the artist name, when shown) are typed onto the label. The original records date from any time between pre-WWI and the early 1930s and no catalogue or matrix number is shown on the label.

Pilot.jpg (82791 bytes)
Pioneer First appearing in 1914, Pioneer records cost 1/6 each, but, if you traded in an old record in part-exchange, the price reduced to 9d. They were pressed for J. Blum and Co, initially in Germany, then subsequently by the Disc Records Co of Harrow. The labels were initially black, later changing to red, and they were quite short-lived, being only available until early 1915. Pioneer.jpg (71849 bytes)
Playwell Record Regent Dating from pre-WWI, these were made in Germany. Catalogue numbers are not always shown, but when they are, are in a 3-digit series.
Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the label scan.
Plaza Plaza was British Homophone's main label entry for the 8" market.  They first appeared in 1933, and had the familiar "strobe" design of all other BH products of the period. To keep costs low, they usually had a non-copyrighted title on one side, often mixing dance band items with classical ones. The recording quality was good, but the very tight grooving (similar to, but not as fine a "4 in1") means they do often turn up excessively worn). Catalogue numbers ran from P-100 to just over P-400. ceasing production when BH sold out their record production in 1935. Plaza.jpg (94114 bytes)
Polyphon In Germany, the Polyphon label was available from the very early days of disc records, before 1905, until beyond the end of 78s, even into the 1970s. In England it first appeared in 1910 using a 5000 and 8000 catalogue series. Some issues were labelled "Klingsor" (generally the same design but with a black label), but the label name was finally changed to Pilot in 1913. (see above) 
A listing of this label has been published in book form by the CLPGS
Polyphon-1.jpg (73007 bytes)
Popular Popular records first appeared in 1913, part of the onslaught of "cheap" labels which appeared at that time. Made by the Crystalate Gramophone Company using masters from the Sound Recording Co, they were initially an oversized 10" record, before settling to a standard 10". Catalogue numbers were in a P-series, starting at 1 and running to over 1200 by 1923 when it was superseded by Imperial. Popular-5.jpg (78650 bytes)
Portland The Portland label was a Curry's product, the label being a paste-over upon existing (probably outdated stock) Edison Bell Winner records. The earliest seen are in a pale blue with an almost illegible gold print (and a 1000-series catalogue number) pasted over early (WWI) Winners. These were followed by an 8000-series red label with an identical design to Westport (another Curry's Winner paste-over) followed by the more familiar (?) violet label (9000-series catalogue) which, amazingly has "Curry's (1927) Ltd" on the label. These records themselves usually date from 1923-24!
 

Portland.jpg (81293 bytes)
Possum
(sold in Australia) 
A very uncommon label, Possum records were sold though Allan & Co of Melbourne (Australia) and were pressed in England from Guardsman masters. The label dates from about 1917. The numbers start at 501, and as the only one reported is 501, it may be there was only one issue!. The label is orange with dark red printing.
No: 501 by Mr Horace Scott, baritone, piano accompaniment (orig. issue: Guardsman 757 as Ralph Killick)
1124 Your England And Mine
1125 Shine On Little Star Of Love

Please e-mail me with details of ANY other of these records. also a label scan to replace the monochrome image.
Premier   An unusual label dating from about 1909, this was a 10" record which was pressed from Bell masters. Catalogue number were in an A-1 series.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.