As a life-long Philadelphian and avid collector of music related memorabilia, I wanted to donate something to this project that had a local connection: my collection consists of radios from 1920-1960, sheet music, records and old advertisements. Aside from these many items, my true obsession is in trying to get every item that featured the RCA Dog, also known as Little Nipper. This vintage tin contains the needles that are required to play a record on a Victrola.
The original Nipper Building in Camden was renovated in 2003 and now is home 341 luxury lofts, allowing its tenants a gorgeous view of the Philadelphia skyline.
In 1929, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world’s largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous “Victrola“) and phonograph records. The company then became RCA Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the famous Nipper “His Master’s Voice” trademark. In 1931, RCA Victor’s British affiliate the Gramophone Company merged with the Columbia Graphophone Company to form EMI. In September 1931, RCA Victor introduced the first 33⅓ rpm records sold to the public, calling them “Program Transcriptions.” These used a shallower and more closely-spaced implementation of the large “standard groove” found on contemporary 78 rpm records, rather than the “microgroove” used for post-World War II 33⅓ rpm “LP” (long play) records. In the depths of the Great Depression, the format was a commercial failure, partly because the new playback equipment they required was expensive. After two or three years the format was abandoned and two-speed turntables were no longer offered.
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