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The Nippers of November: 1920

The Nippers of November: 1920

New York, 1920. "Graham shop." Store window display of the Graham Talking Machine Co. at 75 Graham Avenue in Brooklyn. Among the titles you could take for a spin: "Ever of Thee I'm Fondly Dreaming," "Drowsy Baby" and "My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle." Who'll be the first brave soul to attempt a Nipper count? 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.


I have a life-size Nipper!

My dad came across it years and years ago- he brought it home because it reminded him of his old dog Tina. Since then I've taken Nipper to camp, to college halfway across the country... he's seen a good deal of the country through my efforts. :)

Nifty Photoshop Work!

Fascinated by the contents of this shop window, I found the LOC version, hoping to glean more detail. In the original photograph, the window is overexposed to the point of being almost completely white. Hats off to you for your super-proficient restoration job!

Nipper Census

I see 29. I'm very curious about the interior of this shop, which appears to be decorated as a little town of its own?

Thank you, Mr. DC, for the LOC link. Amazed I have been missing out on this!

Selling The Sizzle

The Zenith Radio & TV Company was the leader in window trimming and store displays. Twice a year they sent Decorators into the store to do interior displays at no cost to the dealer. They would have loved to do our windows as well, but we could not limit ourselves to one brand. My Company, Sound City, would hire those same window trimmers to do our storefront show windows four times a year. With the immense amount of pedestrian traffic on West 45th Street those windows were our best salesmen.

I count


There's a display card to the right

...of the doorway advertising the song "Ever of Thee I'm Fondly Dreaming" performed by Sophie Braslau.

Braslau was a prominent contralto of the day, the daughter of Ukranian-born anarchist parents living in NYC. She died young of cancer, at age 43.

You can in fact hear a recording of her singing this song on YouTube:

Library of Congress "National Jukebox"

The Library of Congress National Jukebox streams (free of charge) more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925.

For example, there's a faster, instrumental version of "My Little Bimbo..." at:

Marketing 101

Modern marketers would do well to study the depth of the marketing support provided by Victor -- branding, branding, branding! Clever stand-up displays show that Graham is selling phonograph records, not terriers (in case that wasn't clear); a wide range of artists and styles is featured. And how hard is it to sell small products in a giant store display window?


I make it at Twenty nine, including probable blurs(they moved?)and not including 1 possible reflection.

How much is that dog in the window

Seeing a lot of bad copies of the nipper dog I've always tought that these copies were made this decade. Seeing the nippers in this shop it's very clear that they made even bad copies of the dog in those days.

Music stores are dispappering in a very quick tempo overhere in our country (The Netherlands) due to the digital solutions and illegal downloads of music.

It's a great picture which gives a good impression of how we could listen to music in those days

Pavek Museum of Broadcasting

That large Victrola in the window reminded me of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, St. Louis Park, Minnesota. They have a large acoustic record player in their lobby - said to be a relic from a dance hall. It was remarkably loud and had MUCH better low frequency response than one expects from non-electronic record players.

Gothic Cabinet Victrola

I'm guessing that if William Randolph Hearst needed a stylistically appropriate talking machine for his San Simeon ranch in central California, that would be the model of choice.

Nipper is all that's left

Nipper still exists as a corporate logo, but the Graham Talking Machine Company has long vanished. The building's gone too, replaced around 1930 by a three-story building consisting of a couple apartments over a store (Bobby Sportswear). New York has tens of thousands of such buildings, known locally as "taxpayers," a term rarely heard elsewhere.

75 Graham Avenue sits in the Bushwick district of Brooklyn. Until about World War II it was a respectable if not necessarily affluent neighborhood, known for its large German- and Italian-American population. Urban decay set in after the war, and the commercial areas were devastated by rioting and looting following a blackout in 1977.

Yet all was not lost. Starting around ten years ago, just as things looked hopeless, hipsters and other trendy types priced out of nearby Williamsburg took the L subway line a few stop further east and began settling in Bushwick. While the neighborhood still has a very long way to go, things are looking better for the first time in decades.

Thanx for sharing that OldNavyDave!

That was really great! One of the most interesting "comments" posted lately!

Here stands the victor!

Before that battle between VHS and Betamax, there was the battle between the disc and the cylinder. By 1929 the cylinder was discontinued and the disc won!

Nipper Count

Doggone it! I count 33!

My Little Bimbo

... Down on the Bamboo Isle

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