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Melodiephon-Record [Hits: 11740]  Discuss on forum [0]

«Melodiephon-Record» is often called the “Russian Fonotipia”. Indeed, its label strikingly resembles the label of Italian records «Fonotipia». Such “mimicry” was common technique in “piratical” business, but in most cases pirates tried to make their records resembling «Zonophone» - look at «Zolophone», one variation of «Tonophone», «International Parlophon Record» and even «Luxophone Record» - the early label of quite lawful company «Metropol-Record», so «Melodiephon-Record» can be considered as kind of “exception to the rule”.

The known history «Melodiephon-Record» begins at July, 26 1906 when, as it is poetically written by Alexander Tikhonov in his article [1] “the technician Multop removed from press the first record, manufactured on the new St.-Petersburg’s pressing plant”. Next we learn that the full company name was the American Anonymous Company «Melodiephon», and that the introductory price was set to 4 Rubles for double-sided giant, 2 Rubles 20 Kopeks for grand, however the giants were never pressed because the company was incapable to do it. At that time the single-sided giants and grands of «Gramophone Company» were sold for the same price.

“The Company owners planned to open a public recording studio. The price was set to 50 Rubles for 12 records with recorded own voice, but it’s all was just a smoke-screen – the main stake was on counterfeit production.”[1].
According to A.I.Zhelezny [2], in 1910 «Melodiephon-Record» was transformed into «Orpheon Record», and after passing the «Copyright Law» in 1911 it was transformed into “Russian Stockholders Company of Gramophone (RAOG) . Since the head of both companies was David Aleksandrovich Finkelstein, we can safely assume that «Melodiephon-Record» was also his creation.

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