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History of the manufacturer  

HMV (Brand), His Masters Voice, The Gramophone Company Ltd.; Middlesex

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Name: HMV (Brand), His Masters Voice, The Gramophone Company Ltd.; Middlesex    (GB)  
HMS || The Gramophone
Abbreviation: hmv
Products: Model types Brand

His Masters Voice, The Gramophone Company Ltd.
Hayes, Middlesex

Brand: HMV

HMV's story starts in 1898 with the Gramophone Company, a London hub for distributing records. Their iconic trademark, "His Master's Voice," emerged in the same year, featuring Nipper, a dog listening to a gramophone. In 1921, the 1st HMV store opened, offering records & gramophones directly to music fans.

HMV thrived throughout the 20th century, expanding across the UK and internationally. Their stores offered not just music but also instruments & electronics. The rise of digital music in the 2010s challenged their model, leading to financial difficulties.

HMV has undergone ownership changes and store closures, with a focus on online sales in some regions. Despite challenges, HMV continues to adapt, offering curated physical media alongside online options and even live music events. Nipper remains a symbol of HMV's dedication to bringing the joy of music to generations.

Founded: 1921
Production: 1921 -

HMV: A Journey Through Sound, Forever Loyal to "His Master's Voice"

HMV, a name synonymous with music for generations, boasts a rich history that reflects the evolution of the music industry itself. Here's a detailed look at its journey, intertwined with the story of the iconic Nipper painting.

From Humble Beginnings to Retail Powerhouse (1898-1921):
The story starts in 1898 with the Gramophone Company, founded in London. Though initially a modest operation, it quickly grew into a central hub for distributing Berliner gramophones and discs throughout Britain. This success laid the groundwork for a more ambitious vision.

The Birth of "His Master's Voice" (1898):
In 1898, a crucial element of HMV's future identity emerged. The Gramophone Company adopted the now-iconic "His Master's Voice" trademark. This trademark featured Nipper, a Jack Russell Terrier mix, listening intently to a gramophone. The painting, originally titled "Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph,"  was created by Francis Barraud based on his brother's dog, Nipper. Although Nipper had sadly passed away before the painting's completion, the image resonated with audiences, capturing the magic of recorded sound.

HMV Takes Center Stage (1921):
In 1921, the Gramophone Company took a strategic leap by opening the first HMV store on London's Oxford Street. HMV, standing for "His Master's Voice," served as a dedicated retail arm. This marked a shift from solely distributing through wholesalers, allowing them to directly connect with music enthusiasts. The Nipper painting became a powerful marketing tool, gracing store signage and promotional materials, solidifying its association with the HMV brand.

Expansion and Domination (Later 20th Century):
HMV thrived throughout the 20th century, capitalizing on the growing popularity of recorded music. With the iconic Nipper painting and the red, white, and black logo becoming familiar sights across the UK, HMV offered not just gramophones and records but also sheet music, instruments, and eventually, televisions and other electronics.  HMV's reach extended internationally, establishing stores in countries worldwide.

The Digital Age and Changing Landscape (Early 21st Century):
The rise of digital music and online retailers like Apple's iTunes Store in the early 2010s challenged HMV's traditional business model.  Consumers shifted from purchasing physical records and CDs to downloading digital files, impacting HMV's sales significantly.

Facing Challenges and New Beginnings (2010s-Present):
HMV entered administration (bankruptcy) twice in the 2010s. The company underwent ownership changes, with Canadian retailer Sunrise Records currently operating HMV stores under license. JD Sports owns the HMV brand, highlighting the separation of ownership and operations.

HMV's presence has shrunk in some countries. While the iconic Oxford Street store remains, others have closed, with the focus shifting to online sales in some regions. However, HMV continues to adapt, offering a curated selection of physical media alongside online options and even venturing into live music events.

A Legacy of Music and a Loyal Companion:
HMV's story reflects the evolution of music consumption. It's a testament to the enduring power of music and the company's attempts to adapt to changing times. Whether browsing new releases in a physical store or discovering music online, HMV continues to play a role in connecting people with the music they love. And throughout this journey, Nipper, the loyal dog listening intently to his "master's voice," remains a symbol of HMV's dedication to bringing the joy of music to generations of music lovers.

[1] British Radio Valves The Classic Years 1926 - 1946, Supplement, p. 44]

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
GB  33 436 [AC] MS4B  Similar to the Marconiphone 253AC table radio. 
GB  39 1601 X65   
GB  48–50 5302 X81  3 x KW 
GB  39 1105 X65  There is also a Belgian HMV 1105, but this model uses the same chassis as the Marconiph... 
GB  40 Battery 1403 X14  Portable battery valve receiver with a carrying handle on top. US valves 1A7G, 1N5G, 1H5G ... 
GB  31 3 Valve Radio Receiver 435 MS4B   
GB  31 501 (not Radiogram) MS4B  It seems that the Marconi - His Master's Voice model 501 was available with and without re... 
GB  31 531 MS4  Mains supply voltage doe MVH 531: 95-102 / 103-110 / 111-118 / 119-127 / 128-136 / 137-145... 
GB  32 532 VMS4  Also available in cheaper cabinet at £84. 
GB  34/35 570 MX40  The Marconi-HMV model 570 is the radiogram version of model 442. The schematic is for mode... 
GB  31/32 R5   [373146-1209B] 
GB  48 5100 Y61  5 x KW 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

Label meines Koffer-Grammophons ca. 1932.tbn_gb_the_gramophone_comp_label.jpg
From a 50ties Prospecttbn_hmv_radiomobile_logo.jpg
Radio Times May 7, 1937tbn_gb_his_masters_voice_1937.jpg
His Master´s Voice Label ab 1911tbn_gb_hismastersvoice_1911_label.jpg
His Master's Voice (HMV, auch Marke Marconi); Hayes, Middlesex, logo in ~1948.tbn_gb_hismasters_1103_1_logo.jpg
"You know it by this". Blechschild im Barwagen der "Kukuksbahn" des DGEG Eisenbahnmuseums Neustadt an der Weinstraße.tbn_gb_hmv_you_know_it.jpg
Thanks for the photo Mr. Ferenc Tóth!tbn_h_magyarrad_radioujsag_1924~~1.jpg
HMS Catalogue of Instruments 1925
THE GRAMOPHONE COMPANY, Ltd., is a British Company incorporated in 1900. Its factories at Hayes, Middlesex, are the largest talking-machine factories in Europe. They are the only British factories equipped for the complete production of Gramophones and Records. The Gramophone Company does not have its cabinets, spring motors or other essential parts made outside -- it makes its own.
HMS Catalogue of Instruments 1925tbn_hmv_records_1925.png
HMS Catalogue of Instruments 1925tbn_the_new_hmv_instrument_1.jpg
HMS Catalogue of Instruments 1925tbn_the_new_hmv_instrument_2.png
HMS Catalogue of Instruments 1925tbn_hmv_carrying_case.jpg

Forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand
HMV (Brand), His Masters Voice, The Gramophone Company Ltd.; Middlesex
Threads: 2 | Posts: 12
Hits: 3532     Replies: 2
HMV (EMI) Factory Tour 1936
Michael Watterson

DVD transfer of a 16mm silent promotional film donated to Radiomuseum by Sue Davis, UK.  (Thanks!).

We have the film so may in the future make a better transfer.

I edited a little and uploaded to YouTube HMV factory tour 1936

Feel free to suggest here what the models illustrated are and comment on YouTube ideas for a Sound Track.


Michael Watterson

"Screen grabs" From the video



















I think maybe 1, 5 & 7 are similar or the same? One is in the last sequence


Evidence of 1936 date



Finally the actual Nipper painting


Michael Watterson

Paul in UK says:

With some help from a Geoffrey Dixon-Nuttall article long ago in The Radiophile (no.15, Easter 1988), the table model in the end sequence is indeed a 340 - early version, as a local/distant switch beneath the tuning knob was later combined with the knob as a push-pull action.

The fairly compact auto radiogram with five bars across the 'speaker aperture is a 570 or 570A, I'm harbouring one here.

Table model with four knobs, 441, and its console version the 444. I just have the Marconi versions of each (264 and 297). I'd guess the single play radiogram, second still down, may be the 541 using the same chassis again.

The large radiogram with elaborate figuring looks like an 800, so that just leaves the one with vertical grille bars, perhaps a 580.



1935 HMV 340

1935 HMV 570

1935 HMV 441

1935 HMV 444

1935 HMV 541

1935 HMV 800  Autoradiogram

Hits: 10379     Replies: 8
His Masters voice : unknown
Bruno Brasseur
  1 Who knows this radio ?


Omer Suleimanagich
  2 This radio is a German, post WW II RCA brand radio.

If I'm not mistaken, most of these radios were made by Philips, West Germany in the 1950's for RCA.

I understand that other German manufacturers made these type of table radios for RCA too.

The reason I think that most of these radios were made by Philips, is that they used vacuum tubes instead of selenium rectifiers for the B+ in the fities. Most likely Philips did this, so they could sell more vacuum tubes.

With Philips products, everything was business first, and anything else second.

Walter Haring
  3 Hello Omer

Interesting! Can you show one of these RCA-Philips or proof otherwise that Philips produced RCA branded radios?

Why i'm asking? Simply because i own several post WWII RCA's and all resemble the US models in the kind how they are built - also the schematics show the typical layout for RCA although these radios were built for the European market and therefore are not documented in US schematic collections as Rider's or Beitman's. Also the use of octal tubes in these RCA radios instead of tubes typically made/used by Philips at that time frame let me think, that these radios were made by RCA itself and not by Philips.

Then too, i don't know of any connection between HMV and RCA, but our British collegues will shurely know more.

Kind regards, Walter
Omer Suleimanagich
  4 RCA didn't make vacuum tube radios with sliderule scales that included FM (UKW), shortwave, and longwave.

I'm not sure of the model, but last year there was an EBay listing in Texas of an RCA radio I wanted to purchase. The same exact model was on a Philips web site as a mid fifties Philips model.

You might want to confirm this by going to,, with your firewall and antivirus off, to download PDF files of schematics and service manuals.

Is the power tube a 6L6 or 6V6?


Omer Suleimanagich
  5 What is the tube layout and what is the year of manufacture?

Omer Suleimanagich
  6 Hi Walter,

Actually you have a very good point!

HMV (AKA "His Master's Voice) was a British company.

Here below is a Belgian made HMV,

I'm still curious to know if there was a connection between RCA, HMV, and Marconiphone.

RCA did sell radios like this in Europe and also the US.

I hope someone out there could enlighten us about all of this.

Best regards,

Walter Haring
  7 Hi Omer

You're asking for tube line up's etc. of my RCA's. Please see e.g.  or

These are radios without FM. The only RCA with FM that i own isn't in presentable condition. I kept it as future project, because, as far as i know, it's the world's first consumer FM radio with frequency range of 88 - 108 MHz (it dates back to 1947). But this one has FM and BC - no longwave or SW and was also sold in the USA (no special Euro-Version). For the moment, i can't remember having seen a RCA with all four wave bands, but i'm not a RCA-expert.

But - back to my question resulting of your statement in posting # 2 of this thread : can you show a RCA (or HMV) branded radio with Philips (Germany) "innards" that dates back to the 40ies or early 50ies as the HMV probably dates, that Mr Brasseur shows?

Kind regards, Walter Haring
Omer Suleimanagich
  8 Please check RCA model numbers 4QR64X and 67QR77M.

I'll see if I can dig up some more info.


John Turrill

Hello Omer,
                 though I can't help with identification of your radio; though I'm sure if it were HMV there would be identification somewhere on the chassis, back or cabinet - I can tell you there certainly was a connection between HMV and RCA. (but not, as far as I know, with regard to radio models).
  An American called Owen came to England and started a firm called "The Gramophone Company" - (His Master's Voice).  The controlling company was the "Victor Talking Machine Company", New Jersey, USA.
   After avoiding 'wireless' like the plague, they soon realised it was inevitable, and eventually merged with Marconiphone, Marconi-Osram Valve Co. and GEC.  
    The vital link was that, by now, the Victor Co. had been taken over by ----------- RCA! 
     To help clarify all this, these links may help ------
EE: All three links are dead by now - so I took them out: July 28, 2013

See also books, -"The Setmakers" by K. Geddes & G. Bussey, (With acknowledgements to these)
 and, -  "The Saga of Marconi-Osram Valves" by G. Jessop & B. Vyse.

Hope this is of use, kind regards,
                                                 John Turrill. 

HMV (Brand), His Masters Voice, The Gramophone Company Ltd.; Middlesex
End of forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand


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