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1st National Bank FW On Record Label


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#1 Dismuke

Dismuke

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  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:47 AM

This past weekend I was going through a bunch of 78 rpm records I had acquired in recent months and came across one that had a little bit of interesting Fort Worth history on display:

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The selection on the visible side of the record was recorded on March 30, 1926 and the selection on the flip side was recorded four days earlier. The record was released just a few weeks later and probably hit the store shelves in late April or in May.

The small sticker says Fakes & Co which was a big downtown furniture store. That was where the record was purchased. Back then record dealers would occasionally place a small trademark stamp on the labels of the records they sold in the same way that car dealerships today do on cars. Today, a furniture store would seem like an odd place to buy music. But back then, the big record labels also manufactured phonographs which were items of furniture - and so they naturally carried a line of records for those customers who had purchased phonographs. And like cars, the major record companies back then sold their products through licensed dealers. So if you wanted to buy something on the Victor label, you had to find a Victor dealer. If you wanted something on Columbia or Edison or Brunswick, you had to find one of their dealers. Fakes & Co obviously had a successful dealership to sell the Victor Talking Machine Company's Victrola phonographs and Victor records as records with the Fakes label turn up quite often.

The 1st National Bank sticker is a bit more of a mystery to me. My guess is the bank probably gave the record away to one of its customers as some sort of premium for opening or maintaining an account or perhaps for some other promotional purpose. I suppose it is possible the bank, for whatever reason, had a record library and the sticker was used to identify it as bank property. Or I suppose some kid ended up in possession of the record and a bunch of stickers and went about attaching them to anything he could find.

I think the possibility of it having been given away as a promotion or a premium makes more sense. Keep in mind that the 1st National Bank was in the Baker/Simpson building which was built in 1910 and expanded in 1926 - the same year as the record was issued. Perhaps the record was one of the prizes/freebies that were given away in celebration of the new, expanded building.

Anyhow, I thought that the labels made the record especially interesting. I cannot remember where I bought the record or exactly when - I picked it up somewhere in the past year or so. Wherever I got it, it now resides not very far at all from where its original owner got it. And, happily, both the Fakes and the 1st National Bank buildings are still with us as well. Sure would be fun to be able to see all the people, places and history that the record saw back then and in the decades since.
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