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Those very early Columbia recordings can also be confusing in that, when Columbia came out with its double disc records in 1908, a great many of those early recordings were paired up and issued under a new catalog number.Their old catalog number, however, appears on the label as the matrix number.There was, however, a third company completing the triumvirate that dominated the record business in the early 1900s. For a variety of reasons, Columbia has been less studied by scholars, and less loved by collectors, than Edison and Victor.Far from forgotten, this company “grew up” to become the preeminent marketer of recordings in the U. This book seeks to redress this imbalance by documenting the company’s earliest disc recordings.
This is a picture of probably the oldest record in my collection, and I was wondering how old it was exactly.
For example, a 1930 Columbia issue which stayed in the catalog would have initially been pressed as a standard Viva-Tonal - but you might find examples pressed in the Royal Blue shellac that Columbia switched to in late 1932.
The very early blue wax discs still used the old black Viva-Tonal labels, and when those labels ran out, a blue label was used.
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.
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.