On March 25, 1954, RCA manufactures its first color TV set and begins mass production. One of the lasting legacies of the electronics manufacturer and later corporate holding company is the iconic Nipper the Dog, who is best known for staring squarely in to the cone of a gramophone listening to “His Master’s Voice.”
The original work was painted by 1899 Francis Barraud, who inherited Nipper, a mix breed mongrel, from his brother. The painting was first used by The Gramophone Co., who bought the original commission for a sum of 100 British Pounds. This became Barraud’s major accomplishment, as he spent much of the rest of his professional life recreating 24 major reinterpretations of His Master’s Voice.
Over time, collectors have come to cherish the work, including the publication of A Collectors’ Guide to Nipper Collectibles. In 1990, RCA gave their icon a youthful companion who they dubbed Chipper. While American’s generally associate this with RCA, several audio recording and associated brands have used some variation including: Victor Talking Machine Company, His Master’s Voice, HMV, EMI, RCA, RCA Victor, Victrola, Electrola, Bluebird, Zonophone, JVC and Deutsche Grammophon.