His Master’s Voice
The gramophone displayed here belonged to Bhausaheb. He purchased it sometime in 1919 after his return from active service in Mesopotamia in World War I. We presented to Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum on at Pune 30 December 2002. It is displayed prominently in the Museum.
The above painting is of Nipper the dog, who was born in Bristol in 1884 and so named because of his tendency to nip the backs of visitors’ legs. When his first master Mark Barraud died destitute in Bristol in 1887, Nipper was taken to Liverpool by Mark’s younger brother Francis, a painter. In Liverpool Nipper discovered the Phonograph, a cylinder recording and playing machine and Francis Barraud “often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from.” This scene must have been indelibly printed in Barraud’s brain, for it was three years after Nipper died that he committed it to canvas.
Nipper died in September 1895, having returned from Liverpool to live with Mark Barraud’s widow in Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey. Though not a thoroughbred, Nipper had plenty of bull terrier in him; he never hesitated to take on another dog in a fight, loved chasing rats and had a fondness for the pheasants in Richmond
Park! In 1898 Barraud completed the painting and registered it on 11 February 1899 as ‘Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.’
The enclosed painting is the finished product that hung on the wall of Gramophone Co., Ltd. It was first used as a trademark in 1900 in England and was called “Dog and Trumpet.” In May 1900, Emile Berliner, inventor of the disc gramophone, visited the company and so admired the painting that he returned to the United States and began using the trademark before he had registered it as “Nipper and the Gramophone.” He did register the trademark in the U.S. on May 26, 1900 and also in Canada soon afterward. Berliner founded the company that later became the Victor Talking Machine.
(Contributed by Sudhir. Maj Gen. SCN Jatar (Retd.)