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The Victor Talking Machine Company

Editorial Note

In 1964, the RCA Sales Corporation published 500 copies of the book The Victor Talking Machine Company by Benjamin L. Aldridge. Aldridge started working for Victor in 1918, survived the company's purchase by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1929, and played important roles in the sales campaigns for RCA Victor radios, phonographs, and televisions from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. He retired at the mandatory age of 65 and died around the time of the book's publication. Aldridge's history, and the work of Victor's sales department, extend well beyond the advertising graphics and campaigns developed by an ad agency to prime an audience for a new model or new product.

As RCA Victor's unofficial historian, Aldridge kept papers, files, and publications relevant to Victor's and RCA Victor's histories, with an emphasis on sales campaigns and data. These can be researched at the Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware, as the special Historical series of Collection #2069, the RCA Camden Technical Library. His book, this collection, and the Sooy diaries offer an unprecedented inside view of building up and selling to a mass market for home entertainment over the first half of the twentieth century.

The Victor corporate tradition continued as the record and home instrument/consumer electronics divisions of RCA until 1986, when General Electric Company (GE) bought RCA. Thomson now sells RCA consumer electronics and multimedia products as its leading American brand; Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) continues the sound recording tradition as the RCA Label Group and the RCA Music Group. In both fields the RCA "meatball" logo and the "Nipper" trademark continue to be promoted as appropriate for marketing or historical purposes through licenses from the trademarks' owner, Thomson. The David Sarnoff Library presents this online edition with the kind permission of Thomson.

Thanks to Endicott College intern Bridgett Endicott and volunteer Janet Swartz, a copy of B. L. Aldridge's The Victor Talking Machine Company has been scanned and the text converted to a Microsoft Word document, reformatted, and edited. Editing consisted of standardizing certain words and terms, including "hill and dale" and "Tungstone." Endicott College intern David Upperco and Benjamin Powell scanned the images as Tiff files, which were then processed and converted to JPEG images for viewing on this website.

The numbers in parentheses indicate the end of each page in the original text.

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