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Talking Machine Merger
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Author:  Neophone [ Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Talking Machine Merger


I ran across this interesting bit of Phono-history a few days ago while doing label research:

Talking Machine Merger

"Monday March 30, 1931:

Depression teaches humility, softens pride. For many years the two great talking machine companies of the world have wanted to merge, time & again they have refused to make minor concessions. But last week Wall Street was glad to hear that the long-rumored deal had come to pass: shortly Columbia and His Master's Voice will belong to one company.

His Master's Voice is the voice of Radio Corp. of America, which in 1929 bought Victor Talking Machine Co. Victor Talking controls big Gramophone Co., Ltd. of England, a world-wide distributor of talking machines, records, radios.

Gramophone's big rival is Columbia Graphophone Co., Ltd. which assumed control of Columbia Phonograph Co. Inc. of America when that company was formed in 1924 out of the wreckage of Columbia Graphophone Manufacturing Co. Columbia Graphophone also does a world-wide business; not least among its subsidiaries are Nipponophone Co., Ltd. of Japan and France's Compagnie Générale des Machines Parlantes.

By last week's plan, shareholders of Gramophone and Columbia Graphophone will be given stock in a new holding company.* As a bonus they will be given stock in Columbia Phonograph Co. Inc. of America which henceforth will apparently shift for itself. Dominant stockholder in the new company will be Radio Corp. of America, holding 30%, of the holding company's stock.

*Avid for business, last week the New York Produce Exchange started trading in the stock of this new company on a "no name yet" basis. For convenience sake traders called the company "Columbia Graphophone & Gramophone." "

From, Time Magazine


Author:  estott [ Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talking Machine Merger

And this explains why you can find the same portable phonograph (with a few minor changes) marked either HMV or Columbia Viva-Tonal, and why I could repair my english "Columbia" soundbox with HMV parts.

Author:  Sidewinder [ Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talking Machine Merger

In 1931 when HMV merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company (in Europe at least) the new company was called EMI - Electric and Musical Industries.

Author:  Neophone [ Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talking Machine Merger


I think that was a better choice than the name made up by the brokers temporarily; Columbia Graphophone & Gramophone (CG&G, I guess it would have ended up as) :roll:


Author:  Fredrik [ Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talking Machine Merger

As far as I know the merger was short-lived in the US. Due to anti-trust laws the new company had to sell off the US branch of Columbia part to the Grigsby-Grunow Company. Three years later (1934) that company went bankrupt and the Columbia name was bought by the American Record Corporation (ARC).

In Europe Columbia remained a part of EMI until 1990 when the brand was sold to Sony (who had already aquired the rights to the US Columbia name).


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