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CED in the History of Media Technology


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Nipper Gramophone Ad

1900: Gramophone Disc Record vs. The Edison Cylinder

In the early 1890's Edison turned his attention back to the cylinder record, setting up a company to market the machines and recordings. Berliner set up a competing company to market disc records. This set off a 30 year format war that dwarfs the Beta vs. VHS video format war of some 80 years later. This October 1900 advertisement for the Gramophone emphasizes how 52 discs can be stored in the space of 8 cylinders. The Gramophone Company also registered the Nipper trademark in 1900, which features the dog peering into the horn of a gramophone. Interestingly enough, the original painting had a cylinder phonograph, but Francis Barraud redid the painting upon selling it to the Gramophone Company. After a merger in 1901 the Gramophone Company became known as the Victor Talking Machine Company while continuing to use the Nipper trademark. RCA got the trademark in 1929 when David Sarnoff (then general manager) purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company.


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