The David Sarnoff Library
Home The Library Online Site Map Site Map Site Map Site Map aboutus.htm    

The Victor Talking Machine Company


An effort has been made, in the pages which follow, to tell the Victor story fairly, accurately, and in essential detail. It is intended as a factual account-not for publication, but as a source from which material for publication could be drawn.

The following information has been compiled from many sources, some of which have been carefully guarded secrets. It is believed to be a fairly complete account of how it all started, how it developed, and what went on here many years ago. In some cases there is more reference detail than would normally be used in a compact narrative. In others, details could have been amplified. This last applies particularly to the recording end of the business which has a lore of its own that could easily fill a book again as large.

Most of the facts regarding Victor were found in legal papers in the general file, board reports, old copies of "Voice of the Victor," the research done by J. O. Smith, the Memoirs of Leon F. Douglass, correspondence and conversations with Mr. Fenimore Johnson, Mr. Dale Kramer (Mr. Johnson's biographer), Mr. Joseph Sanders (Mr. Berliner's nephew), Mr. E. F. Haines, Mr. R. W. Wythes, and from personal experience. The facts have been checked so far as possible, and are believed to be substantially correct.

In a few cases, it will be noted that details have been left specifically unverified because supporting evidence was not available. Some of these points could probably be checked if extensive research is thought to be justified. In other cases, the missing data is gone for good.

Most of the competitive information came from the Encyclopedia Britannica, The Life of Emile Berliner, The Music Goes Round, Talking Wax, and The Talking Machine Industry.

B. L. A.


<< Prev

 Home |  Back to Top
This website is supported by Sarnoff Corporation RCA and New Jersey Historical Commission  
©2001-2007 David Sarnoff Collection. All rights reserved.