Dating columbia records

Phonographs with the odd sized spindles were sold at a discount or given away as premiums because, to use them, owners had to buy their brand of records with the correct sized hole (or drill out wider holes in records from other labels - which was not uncommon for people to do).

Those client labels, however, usually provide a matrix number - which, again, for pre 1908 Columbia recordings, was the same as the original Columbia catalog number.

According to Note The Notes: An Illustrated History of the Columbia Record Label 1901 - 1958, your copy was made between 1905-1906.

Those pressings are laminated - they are basically Viva-Tonals with a Brunswick or Melotone label.

As you have probably noticed, records from the 1920s and 1930s pressed by Columbia such as Viva-Tonals, electrical Okehs, Harmony, etc are a higher quality product and much quieter than standard Brunswicks and other ARC labels.

According to the Almost Complete 78 rpm Record Dating Guide by Steven C Barr it should be from 1901, because the matrix number is 512-8-8.

But also engraved in the wax is the following text: "patented nov 25, 1902".

Also, according to the label, Columbia apparently won a Grand Prize in St. It is a single sided record, and since Columbia started making double-faced records in 1908, my best guess is that this record dates from the 1904-1908 period.

Maybe one of you guys (or gals) can help me narrow this down?Columbia pressings become increasingly rare as the 1930s progressed (until of course, after ARC was bought out by CBS in 1938, after which they became as common as dirt).Speaking of Columbia being bought by ARC, an instance when a given pressing might be more desirable than another is when ARC began to use Columbia's old pressing facilities for Brunswicks, Melotones and other ARC labels.The records usually continued to be issued under the same catalog number but with whatever label design scheme was current.For example, very early 1900s Caruso recordings on Victor Red Seal remained in the catalog for decades so you can find copies of such recordings with examples of all of the various label design changes that took place during those years.Hi Dismuke, Thank you very much for your explanation. The only way of being able to date a later pressing is by any changes that might have been made in label design or pressing materials during the time since the initial pressing.

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