The Victor Company and its successors made no Gilbert and Sullivan recordings of any note, except the three sets on so-called long playing discs of the Victor Light Opera Company's H. However, the worldwide importance of the recordings and related activities of the Victor Company impels the writer to present a detailed study of the matrix number systems used by them. Pinafore, the Civic Light Opera Company's Mikado, and the 1932 Pirates of Penzance. The Victor releases of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas were imported and repressed from the original Gramophone Company matrices.This will be an on-going project, so all additional information is welcome.First up, here's a quick "rule of thumb" disc-dating grid covering five major labels and the infamous West Coast based Monarch pressing plant.Orders taken by the office would then be sent to Columbia's Chicago studio to have the master lacquer (acetate) cut, which would then be forwarded on to the plant in Terre Haute.
However, this will only give a general summary of valuation and rarity.
534,543 of February 19, 1895, deals with the gramophone machine itself, while No.
382,790 of May 15, 1888, is concerned with the zinc plate recording process.
Further breakdowns and explanations follow this grid: As an example, Vala Reegan's "Fireman" has 45-6412 on the right hand side of the label, and 66C-10117 on the left. Atlantic simply used a mastering system that puts the last two digits of the year before the tape master number, thus 66C denotes a 1966 mastering for Vala's "Fireman".
The master number is 10117 whilst the label number is 6412. From January 1967 a pressing plant code was added to the master numbers: Like RCA and Capitol, Columbia's pressing plants and mastering services were used an awful lot by smaller independent local labels.
First though, you need to know what the letters and numbers mean: 'A' in the third position of master tape serial numbers signified RCA; for labels RCA distributed, the code was B.