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Dog Memory Lane
The Classic RCA Victor Co. Dog
One of the most famous advertising characters in history is a dog named Nipper. The fox terrier unknowingly inspired his English owner, Frances Barroud, to paint a portrait that would become one of the most well known advertising images ever created.
One day, Barroud wound up his phonograph, the kind that played cylindrical records. Barroud had inherited the phonograph from his brother, Mark, along with recordings of Mark’s voice, and Nipper himself. Nipper moved closer to the phonograph, and cocked his head, listening to the voice of his late master. This inspired Barroud to paint the scene of Nipper listening to the horn.
There are differing stories of what the painting was originally called, but the final name was “His Master’s Voice.”
The portrait became a success, and continued to be used as an advertising image by the Gramophone Company, even after the company was purchased by The Victor Talking Machine Company. Victor, makers of the Victrola record player, used the image of the dog on millions of records and needle tins. In 1929, RCA Radio Corporation of America purchased Victor, and kept Nipper as its trademark image.
Presently, the record companies that have used Nipper as their trademark image have fractured into different enterprises worldwide. RCA and HMV both still use “His Master’s Voice” and Nipper as advertising mascots. RCA even has Nipper look-alike dogs used in commercials, print ads and their website.
“His Master’s Voice” is one of the longest-running advertising images in history. Painted over one hundred years ago, the portrait, along with Nipper, still represents major record companies today. Merchandise featuring Nipper has been available for many years, and collectibles and memorabilia are still being traded as precious commodities today. Check out our Victor Nipper Statue 'Designer Resin' Dog Statue character and own a piece of history from days gone by.
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