The book of all
the brands of phonographs
in France (1893-1940)
You can search here for brands or trademark names or trademark owners names, among more than 2000 trademarks or brands for phonograph, record, cylinders and accessories registered in France from 1893 to 1940.
These sources had been gathered in two illustrated booklets, published in France in 1996-1997 under the title : Recueil des dépôts de marques phonographiques effectués en France or Compendium of the Phonographic Trademarks Registered in France from 1893 to 1940. These were all the registrered trademarks obtained at the National Patent Office in Paris (INPI) : more than 2000 pictures and logos related to record brands, cylinders and phonographs gathered in a compendium of two volumes (A4 size) in chronological order with alphabetical indexes. This is a unique source of information allowing to date with accuracy, the birth of small French or foreign brands in France.
These two volume are now available for free here in a 350 pages pdf containing all the material with the indexes merged together
The first volume (1893-1914) 150 A4 pages, more than 600 pictures and logos. First published August 1996.
The second volume (1914-1940): 200 A4 pages, 1400 trademarks and logos. First published August 1997. A few copies of this volume remain available.
A period of nearly fifteen years separates the invention of the
phonograph and its commercialisation in 1893. From this date registered
trademarks were used to identify industrial phonographic products.
In France the first trademark was registered in 1893 by Edison himself. Competition spread rapidly across the country as well as abroad. If one lived in Paris, one would have their patents applied for and taken out at the main patent office (I.N.P.I) . Outside Paris, one had to apply to the prefecture of the department concerned, from where the information and the registration were passed on to the patent office based in Paris.
Each trademark and patent was written down in the Bulletins de la Propriété Industrielle, a weekly periodical, under a specific classification corresponding to what they designated.
In 1900 there were 72 sections altogether. The phonographic trademarks were listed in the 43th section, ie. scientific and precision instruments, whereas before 1900 they were listed under the heading precision mechanics and watch-making.
The present work is a compilation of all the registered trademarks of
the French Phonographic Industry from its early stages in 1893 to the
beginning of the First World War. It includes 620 trademarks presented on
113 pages in a chronological order. For the most part the trademarks are
of French origin, the others being chiefly German, American or British.
This book provides useful information to both the uninitiated and the more experienced collector by allowing them, for example, to identify the promoter of a given phonograph or the origin of a sound recording with the help of the index.
Note on the indexes
Four indexes can be found at the end of the book. The first three are in alphabetical order and consist of three columns. The first index, page 253 (259 on the pdf) contains the names of the patentees (considered as individuals). Some of the names are followed by others printed in italics: these correspond to the existence of partners and associates related to the trademark. In the second column are the registered trademarks in chronological order, and finally in the third column the numbers of the pages where the illustrations of the trademarks can be found.
The second index on page 299 (309 on the pdf) includes the names of the companies which are not to be mistaken with individuals, the only surname appearing in this index being that of Pathé. Each company is printed in bold type and followed by the inclusion of its corporate names in chronological order. In the second and third column can be found all the trademarks and references to pages.
The third index on page 343 (349 on
the pdf) incorporates the trade names in alphabetical order. Some
of them are followed by short descriptions or cross-references in italics;
these can prove useful to spot the trademarks more easily and make
connections with others coming from the same patentee. In the next columns
are the identities of the patentees as individuals or private companies,
as well as the references to pages.
Some registered trademarks have been printed in the I.N.P.I Bulletins with inverted commas. These will therefore be reproduced in the index and will make it possible for the reader to distinguish some of the homonymous trademarks, which have no connections with one another however.
A fourth index indicates at the end, on one single page, all the trademarks which don't come with a text, and which cannot, for this very reason, be classified in alphabetical order. There has been an attempt to describe them and classify them with the use of keywords. A glance at the page allows the searcher to trace them quickly.
With the help of the full and precise indexing, the user of this book will be able to find all the necessary information, whatever his or her objectives. We guarantee that no trademark has been missed out, which makes this book a comprehensive work of reference. Its price remains modest, taking into consideration the work involved and the costs of reproduction.
HC, Humble Compiler
Read in the Phonograph Society of South Australia Newsletter
April 1998, book review page 6.
Compendium of the phonographic trademarks registered in France
by Henri Chamoux
Volume I, 1893-1914
Volume II, 1915-1940
M. Chamoux has produced a very interesting work. The two volumes list and illustrate every trademark for phonographs, gramophones, records and related subjects registered in France from 1893 to 1940 in chronological order. As is most appropriate for such a work, the very first entry, for 18th July, 1893, at 11.30am, is for "la Société Edison United Phonograph Company, à New York". Lioret, Bettini, Gramophone, Zonophone, Columbia and Pathé are also all there in the early years. Producing volume one also involved 300 hours' work, and M. Chamoux guarantees that there is no omissions.
There are four indexes in volume one. The first gives the names of individuals who are trademarks holders. The second lists the compagnies which have registered trademarks. The third contains the trade names in alphabetical order. A fourth index indicates trade names registered without accompanying text. It is therefore easy to locate the information which is of interest to the reader. In volume two the first ad second indexes are combined.
The textes are in french, but readers with little or no knowledge of the French language should not be deterred from purchasing these books. The author has provided a translation of the foreword and the notes explaining the indexes with volume one.
The brief text which accompany each trademark application indicate the place where it was registered (usually le tribunal de commerce de la Seine, ie: Paris) together with the date and time. These are easy for anyone to decipher. The illustrations for each trademark have been copied from the files of the patent office in Paris and among them are many record labels. Many of the trademarks are for French companies, some famous and some which we have never heard of in this part of the world. Also represented are all the well-known ones from america, Great Britain ad Europe, and most of these will be familiar to collectors of phonographs, gramophones, and cylinder and disc records.
An advertisement giving particulars of how to obtain these books from M. chamoux appears elsewhere in this issue. M. Chamoux is presently working on a similar book of French radio trademarks, and another on the history of the phonograph in France.