Michael Thomas' Website


Labels - M

Home Page  Records British Dance Bands Sound Files Contact Me

British 78rpm record labels whose name begins with M. Using the letter links below you can see pages for other letters.
Unless otherwise noted, all research and images are my own, but as you will see, many other people have helped, especially with the label catalogue listings.

All images are thumbnails, so clicking on them will display a full-sized image. Where the label name is a link, clicking it will take you to a new page with more information and, in most cases, an attempt to list all issues on that label.

Page last updated on: April 04, 2018

  B     D     F     H      K     M                   W &  Z

Label Label Description Images
Majestic These were produced in Blackpool, Lancashire by the North British Recording Company. The owner was Harry Wilkinson, whose patent mentioned on the label actually refers to a home-recording system. Majestic records date from 1933 - 1934 and seemed to be made on a rather ad-hoc basis, so were most likely to have been privately produced (rather like Teledisk), rather than sold in any shops.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label photo.
Marathon A very early long-playing record, Marathon were available from 1912 to 1915. It was the invention of Percy J. Packman who hit on the idea of a v-shaped vertical-cut groove which allowed a very fine pitch to be used while still maintaining 80 r.p.m, which gave 5-minutes of playing time on a 10" disc and 8 minutes on a 12". Labels were grey with black and white printing and an inordinate amount of information printed on the sleeve. The 10" series started at 101 and ran to 473, the 12" ran from 2001 to 2065.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label photo.
Marconi An American made record which was imported into Britain briefly from October 1907. It was a flexible "unbreakable" record (single-sided) with a card or thick paper core, coated in a hardened plastic surface on which the groove was pressed. Marconi is said to have been the inventor of this type of disc record. They were manufactured by the American Graphophone Company  using Columbia masters, and available in 10" and 12" size., but the British side of the business was not handled by Columbia, as one would expect, but by various appointed factors.
Marspen These 5" and 6" discs were sold by branches of Marks & Spencer (hence the name) in the mid-1920s. The pressings were done variously by Edison Bell (catalogue 600 upwards) and Crystalate (catalogue 250 upwards) using masters from their equivalent labels (Bell and Mimosa), though many of the Crystalate-produced ones have a special matrix series starting MS-01 which was  recorded specially for Marspen (though some at least can be found on Mimosa issues). 
May-Fair May Fair records were available between 1931 and 1933 and were not sold in the usual manner, but exchanged for Ardath cigarette coupons. The records were pressed by Brunswick and Piccadilly and some labels show that they were selected by the ubiquitous Christopher Stone. The catalogue series are in a G-2000 range which, on reaching about 2262, drops the first digit, finally reaching about G-360 before Ardath withdrew the offer and disappeared from the market themselves soon after. (Some records have prefix letters other than G- but the reason behind this is not known). It is believed that Selfridges bought up the unused stock in 1933 and sold them in their department stores.
Meade & Fields Mead and Field were manufacturers of novelties for Christmas and parties. The company was formed in 1910 and were still in business in 1960. The records such as the one shown here were made for them by Duophone and seem to be mainly pulled from the late 1920s D-500 and F-2000 series, usually in the same couplings as the Duophones. The Mead & Field's labels had black printing but the background colour varies; also sometimes the label was just pasted over an existing Duophone, other times they are properly pressed in labels.. They had no catalogue numbers, though a registration number is sometimes shown. The performers are often anonymous.
Information from Frank Andrews' article in "For The Record", issue 20.
Label image courtesy of Bill Dean-Myatt.
Melba Melba records were made by the Metropole Gramophone Co using matrices also available on Metropole and/or Piccadilly. The reason for the label's existence is not yet known and the very plain label gives no clues. The catalogue numbers are in an 1000- series running (probably) from 1001 to about 1070.
My thanks to Charles Hippisley-Cox for the label scan. 
Mellotone (sold in Australia) A 6" disc pressed by Crystalate using Mimosa / Kiddyphone masters which was made in England in the 1920s, but only made available in Australia. From examples I have seen, the catalogue numbers exactly match those on Kiddyphone.
Melodisc A post-WWII jazz label issuing mainly, or possibly only, new American jazz recordings, Melodisc records first appeared in September 1949 and cost 5/9. They were distributed by the International Book Shop of 52, Charing Cross Road, London and were also available from record dealers.
The catalogue numbers were in a 1000- series for 10" and 8000- for a short series of 12"; There wa also a P-200 series.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label images.

Melody Record Based on the example shown here, these were produced for Morgan & Scott on London and used Invicta masters dating from about 1913-14. As the records state "Made in England", these are likely to date from post 1914 (after the outbreak of WWI)
Melograph The Melograph record company was based in Liverpool from about 1907.

Initially the records were manufactured in Germany, by Hess & Co. of Berlin. By 1908, Melograph had their own recording facilities in Liverpool, though all known examples of the records still show them as being made in Berlin.  

Meloto Meloto are much better known for their piano-roll production than their records which were pressed for them by Vocalion at some point during the 1920s, The catalogue ran from S-1001 up to about S-1800 and included recordings from 1920 to about 1927. The label design remained the same throughout.
Mercury There are three versions of the UK Mercury label, produced by three differnt companies. They all date from the mid-to-late 1950s, so I'm not sure what order they appeared, or even if they were available at the same time!
Type 1 shown was made by Levy's Oriole records
Type 2 shown was a Pye product, usually pressed in vinyl.
Type 3 shown was made by EMI, who also produced 45rpm & LP records using this name, so I would assume they are the latest owner of the label identity.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label images.

Metropole First appearing in April 1928, Metropole records were 3/- (15p) each, but tended to have strange couplings such as a dance title on one side and a glee club on the other! The catalogue numbering started at 1001 and ran to over 1300 before being withdrawn. Matrix numbers were initially in an M-1 series, but these were soon dropped and the label just became an outlet (albeit an very expensive one) for Piccadilly masters, though to start with there were a number of occasions where the Metropole and Piccadilly recordings of the same popular numbers were by different artists. Metropole also took part in a fund-raising campaign for private hospitals. A selection of records were made available for 2/6. There was a ballot and competitors have to estimate the popularity of the record on the list. The first winner (Major J Reynolds or Kelvedon, Essex) won 1000 (a lot of money in those days).
MGM MGM in the UK was an EMI label and mainly issued soundtrack recordings from Hollywood musicals along with a mixture of mainstream jazz and light orchestral music. The label was introduced in the 1950s and survived into the 1970s, though, obviously by then, was no longer a 78 rpm disc.
Michael Gilliam Michael Gilliam was a BBC programme producer and after WWII, he set up a private recording service, of which this image is an example.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
Midland Recording A private recording company based at Balsall Common, Warwickshire.
A few years ago I was contacted by Peter Elliott, who wrote:
This company was and probably still is based at Balsall Common between Coventry and Solihull and produced private pressings including one (on which I played as a very young boy) of Coventry Stoke Salvation Army band playing "Dumfries Citadel March" on one side and a hymn tune setting of "Showers of Blessing" on the other, which was ruined by the over-enthusiastic drumming of Mr Gingell.
Mignon A 6" German-produced disc  from 1912. The catalogue numbers started at 1 and reached at least 14. They were part of a "deal". For 1, you got a mini-gramophone, and an album of 6 Mignon records, some needles and a carry-case. They were manufactured by Beka/Lindstrom.
Mildmay Possibly a one-off issue. The record was made by EMI and issued (if that is the right term for a private record) in their private JH series. The record dates from about 1936.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
Millophone These were produced for a Mr. H. Mill from 1908 to about 1913, who ran the Millophone Record Company at 64, Bishopsgate, London. Initially, the label was just "Millophone" and Nicole masters were used.
This type is extremely rare and some, or maybe all, had handwritten title & artiste details with a green label background. Then the name became "Millophone New Record" and drew from Edison Bell's "Bell" and "Winner" discs, with a green label. Then later it was styled the "Millophone New Celebrity Record"and drew from Edison Bell Velvet Face records.

Mimosa Crystalate's most popular "baby" record was introduced in 1921 as a 5" single sided disc with an M-100 series numbering system. Soon becoming double sided with a P-1 series catalogue, these records sold for 6d at Woolworth's. They always had a non-copyright title on one side, to save on costs. Having reached about P-240, the size was increased to 6" and, confusingly, the catalogue started at P-1 again! This reached about P-240 (again) before being withdrawn in 1928 in favour of the new 7" Victory record. Matrix numbers were generally in an W-series for the 5" recordings and an E-series for 6" (apart from some MS-01 range ones - see Marspen records), but there are some A-01 series ones which are (usually) edited dubs from American masters (from Banner).
Minstrel Similar to "Herald" records, "Minstrel" were produced for a Mr E.W. Pidgeon of Auckland, New Zealand from 1913. There were two catalogue series: A single digit start (i.e. 1 upwards) to about 60 produced by Edison Bell in London and a second series starting at 2000 running up to about 2020 used masters from Favorite. The "Favorite" ones state "Made Abroad" on the labels.

Click here to go to Adam Miller's site to see a listing of this label.
Thanks to Rainer Lotz and Adam Miller for the label images.
Please e-mail me or Adam with details of any of these records not on Adam's list.

Modern The Modern recordings Company of Piccadilly Arcade, London was a private recording studio, but, as this example shows, they did produce properly pressed and labelled records.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label photo.
MRS The MRS (Motta's Recording Studio) records were manufactured in England, according to the label, for Stanley Motta Ltd, of Kingston, Jamaica. I'm guessing they date from the 1950s, but I don't know who was manufacturing them.
Thanks to Richard Prout for providing the label photo.
Musical Made in England for export to the Middle East. Any further information gratefully received!

Rainer Lotz has provided the label photo, and apologizes for the quality of the image.
Music Master These records were pressed by British Homophone Ltd using ex-Filmophone masters; the records probably date from about 1934.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label photo.
Musogram Musogram "Long Playing Record" was another brainchild of Percy Packman (see "Marathon". These actually pre-date Marathon, as they first appeared in 1909. They were vertical-cut with a fine U-shaped groove giving an extended playing time. The following year came Musogram "Living Record" which has a coarser groove rather like Pathe discs (example right) 
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label photo.
(sold in Australia)
A close relative of "Phoneto", Musola appeared in 1917. They were pressed by Crystalate from Guardsman masters and exported to Australia. 

A colour label scan of the first design would be welcome, as would be details of any records.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the second image.

My Record This was a 6" plastic or vinyl record made by Louis Marx & Co in the 1970s for children. This must have been the "last gasp" for childrens' 78s?

  B     D     F     H      K     M                   W &  Z

To Top of Page