The uncatchiest brand name ever?

One of our charity stores had a pile of 78 rpms in after Christmas, which I like to check not for the music (I wouldn’t know what I was buying largely), but for any interesting sleeves and graphics. Two I picked up give a glimpse of the trade end of the record business before the war.
Both are grandly branded “Recordvelope”, an American patented product. They were developed by the Cohoes Carrybag Company Inc. based in New York State, a company which was still filing patents for envelope products as late as 1956 (and which we can but assume started out making shopping bags).
With the arrival of the 78rpm record, a number of companies developed generic packaging systems, most of which seem to have been aimed at shops and dealers. Eastlight for example, better known for making stationary products, lever arch files and systems for filing cabinets, sold one. Recordvelopes were another.
Record companies sent their stock out in thin brown paper sleeves, which afforded no protection for the fragile 78 rpm discs. Recordvelopes, made of a thin but stiffer rough card, could thus be purchased by shops to help file the records. I assume the buyer would then be given a card sleeve with the store’s name on to take the record home in, with the Recordvelope put to one side so staff could check at the end of the day what had been sold and reorder.
Some examples of Recordvelopes on the web show what appear to be rubber stamped numbers in the top corner. The example I have is marked 76, but I’ve seen one with 11,258 on, so maybe the company offered to mark the sleeves up in numbered batches for shops to order as their stock grew.
The second bag is again branded with the Recordvelope name, but with an area for making notes. This enabled the shop to jot down the catalogue number, the date the record was checked and the number of copies in stock. It looks a little later, and the construction is simplified too.
This sort of generic sleeve was used later for 45s and LPs right up until towards the end of vinyl, though usually just plain white card with stock levels jotted down in the corner.
There are a few similar examples of early variations on an interesting generic record sleeve blog maintained by designer Kavel Rafferty:

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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2 Responses to The uncatchiest brand name ever?

  1. Shelf Appeal says:

    Finally, a post more about tatty paper (interesting) than record covers (not so interesting).

    • simon robinson says:

      So you missed the one about home made wallpaper sleeves then? Tisk. I actually left some home made sleeves the other day, lined note paper stapled up the side and with biro titling! Maybe I should go back…

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