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But also engraved in the wax is the following text: "patented nov 25, 1902".
Also, according to the label, Columbia apparently won a Grand Prize in St. It is a single sided record, and since Columbia started making double-faced records in 1908, my best guess is that this record dates from the 1904-1908 period.
As you have probably noticed, records from the 1920s and 1930s pressed by Columbia such as Viva-Tonals, electrical Okehs, Harmony, etc are a higher quality product and much quieter than standard Brunswicks and other ARC labels.
So if you have a choice between a copy of a record in comparable condition on a normal Brunswick or a laminated Brunswick pressed in an old Columbia plant, you will want to go for the laminated copy as it will be MUCH superior.
But my understanding is that, in most cases, the label design that was current when the record was initially issued is usually considered to be the more collectible.
Those very early Columbia recordings can also be confusing in that, when Columbia came out with its double disc records in 1908, a great many of those early recordings were paired up and issued under a new catalog number.
But copies of a double disc Columbia issued in 1908 that remained in the catalog through the end of the acoustic era in 1925 would all be considered the same issue, though collectors will run across pressings reflecting three significantly different label designs and many, many more sub variations of each of those three designs.Usually, from a collecting standpoint, a label reflecting an early pressing is considered more desirable. It wouldn't surprise me, in fact, if there are collectors, who attempt to pick up copies of various favorite records reflecting the various label designs - and some of those label designs will be harder to find than others.For example, a 1930 Columbia issue which stayed in the catalog would have initially been pressed as a standard Viva-Tonal - but you might find examples pressed in the Royal Blue shellac that Columbia switched to in late 1932.Maybe one of you guys (or gals) can help me narrow this down?According to Note The Notes: An Illustrated History of the Columbia Record Label 1901 - 1958, your copy was made between 1905-1906.