----- Original Message -----
From: "Rob Sevier" <[log in to unmask]>
> While re-reading the introduction to the excellent American Record Labels
> and Companies: An encyclopedia by Allan Sutton & Kurt Nauck, I noticed
> something that I had glossed over previously: that a few "record
> had created new plates by electro-plating commercially available shellac
> discs. The book indicts mainly the Universal Talking Machine Company and
> Winant Van Zant Pierce Bradley's Continental Record Company, and the
> American Vitaphone Company in this practice. It seems to me that these are
> the first bootlegs, but it leads me to ask several questions:
> 1) Was there an earlier practice that illegitimately reproduced music
Yes...for wax cylinders, since the machines could both play and record.
However, disc record players couldn't record, so the electrotyping process
was the only way to create a duplicate,
> 2) How long did this particular practice continue? I haven't found any
> mention of this practice after the Continental Record Company, which seems
> to have folded shortly after 1909.
I have no idea of any exact date, even a year...but the Victor/Columbia
combine was vigourously pursuing and prosecuting anyone who made and sold
lateral disc records, whether bootleg or their own recordings, and all of
these companies were shut down by 1908-09. As well, dropping record prices
made bootlegging more and more unprofitable as well!
> 3) Has anyone archived these primitive bootlegs? A few appear in the
> invaluable American Record Label Image Encyclopedia CD-ROM that
> the book.
Here I can't provide an accurate answer...
> I think a treatment of the development of the bootleg would be interesting
> and valuable, or if one exists I'd like to read it.
Steven C. Barr