RCA Corporation. Office of Company Historian.
Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
10.5 linear ft.
B.L. Aldridge was Manager of Sales and Administration of Home Instruments for the RCA Victor Division of RCA and its predecessors, the RCA Victor Company and the Victor Talking Machine Company. Aldridge functioned as part-time company historian from the early 1950s to 1959, during which time he prepared several company histories and assembled a collection of Victor and RCA Victor phonographs, radios and televisions that were displayed in travelling exhibitions and the company's "Hall of Progress" at Cherry Hill, N.J. The records consist of documents created and collected by Aldridge as both historian and Manager of Sales. Histories and background include general histories of RCA and RCA Victor and a notebook of general operating and sales statistics. General historical files contain information about the history of Victor and RCA Victor including advertisements; miscellaneous products; the Nipper trademark and its originator Francis Barraud; the Berliner Gramophome Company and its patents; other phonograph, radio and record manufacturers; the company's various plants and facilities; Victor recording artists including Enrico Caruso and Arturo Toscanini; the development of color television; Victor founder Eldridge Johnson; the "Hall of Progress"; and recordings. Museum files are concerned with the creation and administration of the colleciton of radios and phonographs. Model files document models produced by Victor and RCA Victor. Materials contained in this series include trade catalogs, tearsheets, short manuscripts of the model's history and significance written by Aldridge, exhibit labels and adverisements. Distribution and allocation records contain extensive information about RCA's policies for allocating instruments to dealers during World War II shortages. Also included in the series is information about dealer and distributor sales and discounts, product distribution, production control, field personnel, sales comparisons, sales training and seasonal trends. Miscellaneous records include the 1963-1964 product line catalog, the "Computer Systems 1971 Business Plan" and a brief run of the company newsletter "Notes from Nipper". Oversized items include a scrapbook of advertising (1913-1915) featuring Victor Victrolas and recording artists, a scrapbook for the Camden's Plant's job safety program (1955), tear sheets and advertisements. Photographs of RCA facilities, products, personnel and recording stars are serviced by the Pictorial Collections Department.