Pathé Records

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Pathé Records
PatheLabel.jpg
Pathé disc label
Parent company Pathé
Founded1890;129 years ago (1890)
Founder Charles Pathé
Émile Pathé
Defunct1929;90 years ago (1929)
StatusInactive
Genre Jazz
Country of origin France
Location Paris

Pathé Records was a France-based international record company and label and producer of phonographs, active from the 1890s through the 1930s.

France Republic with majority of territory in Europe and numerous oversea territories around the world

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Phonograph Device for playback of acoustic sounds stored as deviations on a disk or cylinder

The phonograph is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms, it is also called a gramophone or, since the 1940s, a record player. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record". To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener's ears through stethoscope-type earphones.

Contents

Early years

The Pathé record business was founded by brothers Charles and Émile Pathé, then owners of a successful bistro in Paris. In the mid-1890s they began selling Edison and Columbia phonographs and accompanying cylinder records. Shortly thereafter, the brothers designed and sold their own phonographs. These incorporated elements of other brands. [1] Soon after, they also started marketing pre-recorded cylinder records. By 1896 the Pathé brothers had offices and recording studios not only in Paris, but also in London, Milan, and St. Petersburg.

Charles Pathé French businessman

Charles Pathé was an important pioneer of the French film and recording industries. As the founder of Pathé Frères, its roots lie in 1896 Paris, France, when Pathé and his brothers, pioneered the development of the moving image. Pathé adopted the national emblem of France, the cockerel, as the trademark for his company. After the company, now called Compagnie Générale des Éstablissements Pathé Frères Phonographes & Cinématographes, invented the cinema newsreel with Pathé-Journal.

Bistro small restaurant

A bistro or bistrot, is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant, serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting with alcohol. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. French home-style cooking, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet, a bean stew, are typical.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

Pathé cylinders and discs

An early Pathe cylinder phonograph from 1898. The design closely mimics that of the Columbia "Eagle". Pathe phonograph 1898.jpg
An early Pathé cylinder phonograph from 1898. The design closely mimics that of the Columbia "Eagle".

In 1894, the Pathé brothers started selling their own phonographs. The earliest Pathé offerings were phonograph cylinders. [2] Pathé manufactured cylinder records until approximately 1914. In addition to standard size cylinder records (2 14-inch-diameter (57 mm)), Pathé produced several larger styles. The "Salon" records measured 3½ inches in diameter and the larger "Stentor" records measured 5 inches in diameter. The "Le Céleste" records, the largest commercial cylinder records manufactured by any phonograph company, measured 5 inches in diameter by 9 inches long. [3]

In 1905 [4] the Pathé brothers entered the growing field of disc records. [5] They needed to employ several unusual technologies as preventive measures against patent infringement. At first they sold single-sided discs with a recording in wax on top of a cement base. In October 1906 they started producing discs in the more usual manner with shellac. [4] Even with this less eccentric material, the early Pathé discs were unlike any others. The sound was recorded vertically in the groove, rather than side-to-side, and the groove was wider than in other companies' records, requiring a special ball-shaped .005-inch-radius (0.13 mm) stylus for playing. The discs rotated at 90 rpm, rather than the usual 75 to 80 rpm. Originally, the groove started on the inside, near the center of the disc, and spiraled out to the edge. In 1916, Pathé changed over to the customary rim-start format, a more nearly normal 80 rpm speed, and paper labels instead of the stamped-in, paint-filled text previously used. [4] Pathé discs were commonly produced in 10 inch (25 cm), 10 12 inch (27 cm), and 11 12 inch (29 cm) sizes. 6 12 (17 cm), 8 inch (21 cm), and 14 inch (35 cm) discs were also made, as were very large 20 inch (50 cm) discs that played at 120 rpm. Due to their fragility, unwieldiness, and much higher price, the largest sizes were a commercial failure and were not produced for long. [4]

Wax class of chemical compounds that are plastic (malleable) near ambient temperatures.

Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give low viscosity liquids. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents. Natural waxes of different types are produced by plants and animals and occur in petroleum.

Cement hydraulic binder used in the composition of mortar and concrete

A cement is a binder, a substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. There are two main forms of cement: Geopolymer cement and Portland Cement. Cement is seldom used on its own, but rather to bind sand and gravel (aggregate) together. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry, or with sand and gravel, produces concrete. Cement is the most widely used material in existence and is only behind water as the planet's most-consumed resource.

Shellac resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand

Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured) and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. Shellac was once used in electrical applications as it possesses good insulation qualities and it seals out moisture. Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards.

Hungarian Pathe record Pathe Schallplatte.jpg
Hungarian Pathé record

In France, Pathé became the largest and most successful distributor of cylinder records and phonographs. These, however, failed to make significant headway in foreign markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States where other brands were already in widespread use. [3] Although Pathé cylinder records were never popular outside France, their disc records sold successfully in many foreign countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Russia. [4]

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Pathé was the first company to make master recordings in a different medium than the final commercial product. In the Pathé recording studios, masters were cut on rapidly spinning wax cylinders that measured about 13 inches long and 4 ½ inches in diameter. [4] Beginning in 1913, special "Paradis" cylinders about 8 inches in diameter and 8 ½ inches long were used. The large, fast-spinning cylinders allowed for a greater level of audio fidelity. The various types of commercial Pathé cylinders and discs were then dubbed (or "pantographed") from these masters. This dubbing process enabled copies of the same master recording to be made available on multiple formats. The process sometimes resulted in uneven results on the final commercial record, causing a pronounced rumble or other audio artifacts. (This rumble was generally undetectable on acoustic wind-up phonographs of the period, but is noticeable on electric and more modern equipment.)

The vertically-cut Pathé discs normally required a special Pathé phonograph equipped with a sapphire ball stylus. The advantage of the sapphire ball stylus was its permanence. There was no need to change a needle after every record side. Since most records and phonographs used a different playback method, various attachments were marketed that allowed one to equip a Pathé phonograph to play standard, laterally-cut records. Attachments were also sold to equip a standard phonograph to play Pathé records. [4]

In 1920 Pathé introduced a line of "needle-cut" records, at first only for the US market. The needle-cut records were laterally-cut discs designed to be compatible with standard phonographs, and they were labelled Pathé Actuelle. [4] In the following year, these "needle-cut" records were introduced in the United Kingdom and within a few more years they were selling more than the vertical Pathés, even on the continent. Attempts to market the Pathé vertical-cut discs abroad were abandoned in 1925, though they continued to sell in France until 1932.

In mid-1922 Pathé introduced a lower priced label called Perfect. This label became one of the most popular and successful "dime store" labels of the 1920s, and survived beyond the end of the US Pathé label - discontinued in 1930 - right up to 1938.

In January 1927, Pathé began recording using the new electronic microphone technology, as opposed to the strictly acoustical-mechanical method of recording they used until then.

In December 1928, the French and British Pathé phonograph assets were sold to the British Columbia Graphophone Company. In July 1929, the assets of the American Pathé record company were merged into the newly formed American Record Corporation. [4] The Pathé and Pathé-Marconi labels and catalogue still survive, first as imprints of EMI and now currently EMI's successor Parlophone Records. The film division of Pathé Frères still survives in France.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Pantograph drawing tool

A pantograph is a mechanical linkage connected in a manner based on parallelograms so that the movement of one pen, in tracing an image, produces identical movements in a second pen. If a line drawing is traced by the first point, an identical, enlarged, or miniaturized copy will be drawn by a pen fixed to the other. Using the same principle, different kinds of pantographs are used for other forms of duplication in areas such as sculpture, minting, engraving, and milling.

Phonograph cylinder Medium for recording and reproducing sound

Phonograph cylinders are the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity, these hollow cylindrical objects have an audio recording engraved on the outside surface, which can be reproduced when they are played on a mechanical cylinder phonograph. In the 1910s, the competing disc record system triumphed in the marketplace to become the dominant commercial audio medium.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Phonograph record Disc-shaped vinyl analog sound storage medium

A phonograph record, often simply record, is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac; starting in the 1940s polyvinyl chloride became common. Since then, gradually, records made of any material began to be called vinyl records, or simply vinyls.

Lyric Records (US) record label based in the United States

Lyric Records was a record label based in the United States from about 1917 to 1921.

Edison Records

Edison Records was one of the earliest record labels which pioneered sound recording and reproduction and was an important player in the early recording industry.

Blue Amberol Records Record label

Blue Amberol Records was the trademark name for cylinder records manufactured by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in the US from 1912 to 1929. They replaced the 4-minute black wax Amberol cylinders introduced in 1908, which in turn replaced the 2-minute wax cylinders that had been the standard format since the late 1880s. Blue Amberols can play for as long as 4 minutes and 45 seconds and have a surface layer of the "indestructible" plastic celluloid, which Edison tinted a trademark blue color. Edison brand phonographs designed to play Amberol cylinders were named Amberolas.

Twelve-inch single vinyl single; type of physical music format

The twelve-inch single is a type of gramophone record that has wider groove spacing and shorter playing time compared to LPs. This allows for louder levels to be cut on the disc by the mastering engineer, which in turn gives a wider dynamic range, and thus better sound quality. This record type is commonly used in disco and dance music genres, where DJs use them to play in clubs. They are played at either ​33 13 or 45 rpm.

Edison Disc Record

The Edison Diamond Disc Record is a type of phonograph record marketed by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. on their Edison Record label from 1912 to 1929. They were named Diamond Discs because the matching Edison Disc Phonograph was fitted with a permanent conical diamond stylus for playing them. Diamond Discs were incompatible with lateral-groove disc record players, e.g. the Victor Victrola, the disposable steel needles of which would damage them while extracting hardly any sound. Uniquely, they are just under ​14 in thick.

Vitaphone sound film system

Vitaphone was a sound film system used for feature films and nearly 1,000 short subjects made by Warner Bros. and its sister studio First National from 1926 to 1931. Vitaphone was the last major analog sound-on-disc system and the only one which was widely used and commercially successful. The soundtrack was not printed on the film itself, but issued separately on phonograph records. The discs, recorded at ​33 13 rpm and typically 16 inches (41 cm) in diameter, would be played on a turntable physically coupled to the projector motor while the film was being projected, achieving a frequency response of 4300 Hz. Many early talkies, such as The Jazz Singer (1927), used the Vitaphone system. The name "Vitaphone" derived from the Latin and Greek words, respectively, for "living" and "sound".

Acetate disc type of gramophone record

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Unusual types of gramophone records

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Highway Hi-Fi

Highway Hi-Fi was a system of proprietary players and seven-inch phonograph records with standard LP center holes designed for use in automobiles. Designed and developed by Peter Goldmark, who also developed the LP microgroove, the discs utilized 135 grams of vinyl each, enough to press a then-still-standard 10-inch LP.

LP record Analog sound storage medium

The LP is an analog sound storage medium, a vinyl record format characterized by a speed of ​33 13 rpm, a 12- or 10-inch diameter, and use of the "microgroove" groove specification. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from a few relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.

Majestic Record Corporation

Majestic Record Corporation was an American record label in 1916 and 1917.

The vertical cut recording process is an early method of audio recording by which a stylus cuts a vertical groove into a phonograph record. This is in contrast to the lateral recording system which uses a stylus that cuts side-to-side across a record. The vertical recording process, also known as the hill and dale process, was used to record phonograph cylinder records as well as Edison Disc Records, Pathé disc records, and disc records made by numerous smaller companies. Vertical cut recording was also used as a means of copyright protection by the early Muzak 16-inch background music discs.

Electrical transcriptions are special phonograph recordings made exclusively for radio broadcasting, which were widely used during the "Golden Age of Radio". They provided material—from station-identification jingles and commercials to full-length programs—for use by local stations, which were affiliates of one of the radio networks.

Operaphone Records

Operaphone Records was a record company in existence from 1915 until 1921, who released numerous phonograph records cut in the hill-and-dale and universal-cut methods.

Edison Bell was an English company that was the first distributor and an early manufacturer of gramophones and gramophone records. The company survived through several incarnations, becoming a top producer of budget records in England through the early 1930s until, after it was absorbed by Decca in 1932, production of various Edison Bell labels ceased.

References

  1. Hoffmann, Frank; Howard Ferstler (2005). The Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. CRC Press. ISBN   0-415-93835-X.
  2. "Pathé Record". Мир русской грамзаписи. The World of Russian Records (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  3. 1 2 Fabrizio, Timothy; George Paul (2000). Discovering Antique Phonographs. Atglen PA: Sciffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN   0-7643-1048-8.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Copeland, George; Ronald Dethlefson (1999). Pathe Records and Phonographs in America, 1914-1922 (1 ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Mulholland Press. OCLC   44146208. ISBN   0-9606646664
  5. "Pathé vertical-cut disc record (1905 – 1932) – Museum Of Obsolete Media". www.obsoletemedia.org. Retrieved 2018-02-12.