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McDermott Record collection

Historical note

The Victor/Victrola Record Company was in operation from 1901 to 1929, until the 1929 Stock Market crash, which decimating the non-essential commodities industry. They would revive their status by merging with RCA in the 1930's (giving birth to the company's iconic image of the dog listening to 'his master's voice' via the phonograph). But before then, the company had been world famous for their sound and for the performers who lent their voices to their medium of the phonograph.

Perhaps the most famous of all the performers included in this series the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. Caruso had gained international renown for the ease of which his vocal tones transmitted across the medium of the phonograph. While many of his contemporaries disdained the idea of recording their voices on such a machine, Caruso saw an opportunity to reach a broader audience, regardless of the low fidelity of the sound produced on the albums. Another prominent singer to lend his voice to the Victor/Victrola Company was John McCormack, an Irish tenor, famous for his diction and breath control during his operas.

Other, smaller record companies that have products in the collection include the Harvard Phonograph Records, Student Records, Cameo Records, Parlophone Odeum Series, Decca Records, Radiex, as well as the prestigious Columbia Records.