Rare Recordings – From The EMI Vaults

Miss Christabel Pankhurst – Speech on Suffrage for Women

Christabel Pankhurst, a leading Suffragette, was one of the primary strategists of the campaign for women’s right to vote in the first decades of the twentieth century. Christabel was jailed in 1907 and 1909 and was dubbed the ‘Queen of the Mob’ by the media, as described in this contemporary press release.

Miss Christabel Pankhurst
One of the leading figures in the militant movement organised to gain the suffrage for women, Miss Pankhurst was a joint founder and leader with her mother (Mrs. Pankhurst) of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which from 1910 to 1914 carried out a series of violent demonstrations of various kinds, which included the destruction of property, and even assaults upon persons. Miss Pankhurst was frequently arrested, imprisoned and liberated, under the famous “Cat and Mouse” Act, which was passed to deal with militant suffragist and it was during this time the “hunger strike” in prison was introduced by the suffragist. Since the gaining of suffrage by women, Miss Pankhurst has led the Women’s Party, which is devoted to social progress. This record was made a few hours after her release from Holloway prison, after one of her many terms of imprisonment.

Speech on Suffrage for Women
Date recorded (78) 1909
No 01016 Size 12 Label Black (single-sided)

Courtesy of The EMI Group Archive Trust

Scott’s Gramophone Great Tour

courtesy of EMI Group Archive Trust

courtesy of EMI Group Archive Trust

In 1910 this beautiful HMV Gramophone was loaned by The Gramophone Company to Captain Scott to keep the sailors and expedition team entertained as they made their way to the South Pole.

Scott took with him two HMV “monarch” gramophones, donated by The Gramophone Company, which later became EMI, together with several hundred 78rpm discs, chosen to boost the team’s morale.

courtesy of EMI Group Archive Trust

courtesy of EMI Group Archive Trust

Scott’s Gramophone has now returned safely back to the EMI Archive Trust after another epic journey to Australia, New Zealand and back to the United Kingdom with the award winning the Natural History Museum’s” Scott’s Last expedition” exhibition, June 2011-June 2013.

The EMI Archive Trust worked closely with EMI to make a collection of recordings played, and recordings likely to have been played on Scott’s fateful last expedition to the South Pole.

‘Scott’s Music Box is available as download or double CD. (available here.)

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Winner, Scott’s Last Expedition

The Natural History Museum won the Best of the Best award at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence 2013 ceremony last night.

Scott’s Last Expedition took the award for Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition, recognising the innovative approach it took to revealing the tales of endurance and scientific achievements of Robert Falcon Scott’s epic Terra Nova expedition.

The exhibition was a partnership with the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand, where it is currently open until 30 June, and with the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

When Scott embarked upon the Terra Nova expedition in 1910, he took with him two HMV “monarch” gramophones, donated by The Gramophone Company, which later became EMI, together with several hundred 78rpm discs, chosen to boost the team’s morale.

Scott’s gramophone was rescued and returned to the Gramophone Company – it is currently on loan from The EMI GROUP ARCHIVE TRUST as part of this major exhibition about the expedition.

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The gramophone on which Scott and his men listened to music hall and opera at the bottom of the world.

If your interested in learning more about Captain Scott’s Gramophone check out the EMI Group Archive Trust website http://www.emiarchivetrust.org

For a flavour of what were the happening sounds in Antarctica 100 years ago the hound recommends. SCOTT`S MUSIC BOX Music from Terra Nova. The British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913) EMI Gold http://www.mdt.co.uk/scott-s-music-box-music-expedition-1910-1913-emi-gold-2cds.html

Apple sues Amazon over App stores. History goes round and round..like a record.

Apple, who for years was in dispute with The Beatles’ Apple Corps over name and logo usage, is now taking the lead and suing Amazon for use of the term ‘App Store’ according to the Daily Telegraph.  It’s a problem that over the years has upset the likes of Hoover, Biro and………….The Gramophone Company.

Thomas Edison’s original phonograph was a 3″ diameter cylinder designed to enable businessmen to dictate letters which their secretaries would then transfer to paper using the also newly invented typewriter. Emile Berliner, a German who emigrated to America in 1870 and whose technological genius turned Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone from a concept into commercial reality, saw the potential in Edison’s machine, but realised that a cylinder was useless for duplication and sound quality. So he took the idea, replaced the cylinder with a flat disc and called it the Gramophone.

Berliner, in inventing the word ‘gramophone’ to describe his new machine, provided his company with a unique trademark and company name. “The Gramophone Company” was until 1910, exclusive user of the word ‘gramophone’ to describe its machine and records. It vigorously protected its patent of the word in the British courts, as the wonderfully titled ‘Talking Machine News’ noted

“Gramophone is not a generic term. Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd intend for the protection of the public to institute proceedings against any person applying the word ‘gramophone’ to any Talking Machine, Talking Machine Record or Talking Machine needle sold or offered for sale, not the manufacture of the Company.”

And so they did, until in July 1910, the Company’s latest attempt to continue registration of the word failed. In a long statement Justice Parker ends:

”Popularly, gramophone was coming to denote a disc machine, and phonograph a cylinder machine. The word ‘graphophone’ was never widely used….(There is) no reason for allowing one trader to register and secure a monopoly in what already is the name of the article…..I have come to the conclusion therefore that the application to register the word ‘gramophone’ ought not to be allowed to proceed.”

The same issue of ‘Talking Machine News’ immediately featured advertisements from rival companies and retailers using the word “gramophone” to describe any flat disc or flat disc machine.

However, chance was to play its hand once again. The Gramophone Company regsitered the His Masters Voice name and logo in response to losing control of “gramaphone” and so by losing rights to one word, they gained rights to a dog!