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HMV Australia History

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Forum » Manufacturer's / brands history » MANUFACTURERS and TRADE NAMES (present in the museum) » HMV Australia History
Martin Kent
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08.Mar.16 11:10

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His Masters Voice (HMV) Australia has its origins in a record pressing plant set up in 1925 in the Sydney suburb of Erskineville by its British parent, The Gramphone Company. The address for this record pressing plant is 127 Railway Parade, Erskineville.

Meanwhile in 1926 another record pressing concern set up a factory at 2 - 6 Parramatta Rd, Homebush, Sydney.

In 1931 a merger took place in Britain with The Gramphone Company (HMV), The Columbia Record Company & Parlaphone Records. This merger became known as the The Electric & Musical Industries (EMI). In 1931 The Gramophone Company relocated from Erskineville & combined with The Columbia Company at the Homebush plant.

The Homebush factory was considerably enlarged in 1935 to accomodate the manufacturing of wireless sets which commenced in 1936. Production of electronic consumer goods, including radiograms & television sets, continued at the Homebush factory well into the mid 1970's.

Until about 1960 HMV Australia continued to trade as The Gramophone Company (Incoporated in England).

Below is an excerpt from The Canberra Times, 25/071967:

The origins of EMI (Australia) Limited go back to 1925 - when a small gramophone record factory was built at Erskineville (127 Railway Pde), Sydney. In 1926, a competitive concern (The Columbia Gramphone Company) opened premises at Homebush (Parramatta Rd) and introduced Australia's first recording studio - this was the eventful period of electrical recordings and reproductlon of sound. In 1931, a merger in Britain led to the two Australian firms and another British company operating under one control ( Electrical & Music Industries Ltd – EMI); their combined record plant was set up at Homebush. They began recording of transcriptions for broadcast five years later - in 1936. It was in that year that the first Australian-made radio receivers rolled off their production lines. Rapid progress was made in the post-war years and in 1954, another major step forward was the transfer of EMI's recording section from Homebush to the firm's Sydney headquarters building in Castlereagh Street. The transition provided studios featuring the latest advances in the science of acoustics. From its relatively humble beginning, EMI has grown to a position of great authority in the Australian recording business. This strength is marked by the company's ability to make available to the retail trader, at any one time, more than 4,000 individual recordings. Millions The business is one which involves EMI in processing and releasing millions of recordings annually. They appear under such well-known labels as HMV, Columbia, Decca, Capitol, Parlaphone and Disneyland. Celebrities around the world record everything from grand opera to popular hits. While the manufacture of gramophone records has been a major part of EMI (Australia) Limited's activities, it has developed largely in other fields. These include production of television and radio receivers, car radios, stereograms, magnetic tapes, tape recorders, a wide range of electronic and television studio equipment and household appliances. With this expansion it was necessary to greatly develop the original Homebush site, taking in the most modern features in construction, lighting, sound and dust-proofing. During more than 40 years operation, the work force of EMI (Australia) Limited has risen from less than 100 to its present day strength of nearly 2,000. Besides the number of people directly employed by the company, many thousands more work in the production of its raw materials and retailing its finished products.

This article was edited 11.Mar.16 23:58 by Martin Kent .