Victor Records (1901-1929; after which it is part of RCA)
Founded as Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. The phrase “His Master’s Voice” appears on discs in 1902. Marketed a Victor Monarch Record label (1902-1905) and a De Luxe Label (1902-1905; a De Luxe Special Record that was 14in. was sold from 1902-1903) both would have the dog and gramophone logo. The Victor Monarch Label and the De Luxe Label would also be sold alongside a regular Victor Label or Victor Record Label. First discs were one sided and starting around the 1908 Victor began to produce two-sided discs. Some early Victors from 1905-1913 will say around the rim “Awarded First Prize…” as Victor was awarded first place at expositions.
A Red Seal Record series (originally one-sided and then two-sided in 1921) would be introduced in 1903 and last till 1923 the design of the Red Seal record would mimic the regular label. The Red Seal series featured higher end musicians such as Enrico Caruso and cost anywhere between $1-$7.50 which as much more expensive than the regular series records.
In 1929 the Victor Talking Machine was sold to Radio Corporation of America and would operate as RCA-Victor. RCA-Victor would produce budget labels like Timely Tunes(#1550-1600) produced between April 1931 and July 1931 and Electradisk (#1900-2510) produced between 1932-1934 for Woolsworth Department Stoes. However, the Bluebird label would be its best. In 1936, RCA-Victor would abandon the scrolled design. In 1942, RCA-Victor would introduce a 2 digit pre-fix for record series. In 1946 RCA would RCA on all the records making them RCA-Victor. By the late 1940s/early 1950s RCA-Victor would make the switch to 45s and Long Play (LP) discs.
Music Genres: Jazz, Blues, Classical, “rock and roll”, philharmonic, country/western music, sound recordings, dance
Early Victor: 1905-1914 (records from 1908-1914 would feature the word “Patents” at the bottom).
Du Du (Old German Air) on Early Victor by George P Watson
Mid Victor: 1914-1926 the “Batwing” design. 1926-1936 the “Scrolled” design.
Late Victor: 1936-1946. Concentric Circles with the Victor title label.
While not on a late Victor recording, Romance by the Victor Concert Orchestra:
Red Seal Label: 1903-1923
1941-1945 Label: 1942 label with RCA-Victor.
Listen to the Gooney Bird by Homer and Jethro, a pair of country musicians.
Post WW2 Label: 1946
Timely Tunes Budget Label: April 1931 and July 1931
Electradisk Budget Label: 1932-1934
While not the name of the disk, here is Jim Harkins on Electradisk playing a song called Play Fiddle, Play.
Victor Numbers from start to 1945: 1-88000
–Timely Tunes Discography
-Rust, Brian. The American Record Label Book. Arlington House Publishers, NY. 1978.
-Sutton, Nauck. American Record Labels and Companies: An Encyclopedia (1891-1943).Mainspring Press, CO.2000.