Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master's Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising

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In 1898, three years after Nipper’s death, Francis painted a picture of Nipper listening intently to a wind-up Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph. On February 11, 1899, Francis filed an application for copyright of his picture “Dog Looking At and Listening to a Phonograph.” Thinking the Edison-Bell Company might find it useful, he presented it to James E. Hough who promptly said, “Dogs don’t listen to phonographs.” On May 31, 1899, Francis went to the Maiden Lane offices of The Gramophone Company with the intention of borrowing a brass horn to replace the original black horn on the painting. Manager, William Barry Owen suggested that if the artist replaced the entire machine with a Berliner disc gramophone, the Company would buy the painting. A modified form of the painting became the successful trademark of Victor and HMV records, HMV music stores, and RCA. The trademark itself was registered by Berliner on July 10, 1900. [4] (See HMV for a complete history of the brands based on Nipper.)

Stylized version of Nipper as used by HMV record stores.The slogan “His Master’s Voice” along with the painting were sold to The Gramophone Company for 100 pounds sterling. As Francis Barraud stated about this famous painting: “It is difficult to say how the idea came to me beyond that fact that it suddenly occurred to me that to have my dog listening to the Phonograph, with an intelligent and rather puzzled expression, and call it “His Master’s Voice” would make an excellent subject. We had a phonograph and I often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from. It certainly was the happiest thought I ever had.”

This picture is in the public domain.

albions001, Eugene_Lee, Sammy8146, and 206 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 13 more comments

  1. a. coronado design 40 months ago | reply

    One of my fav Icons. Thank you for making it available. Very Happy New Year 2012

  2. judo_dad1953 39 months ago | reply

    Now this is a great looking portrait!

  3. Saulo Valley [deleted] 34 months ago | reply

    Hi! I put this pic in my article:

    Thanks for sharing

  4. stephgum32807 31 months ago | reply

    ~~ Lovely picture ~ Certainly a Classic ~~

  5. Evan.Godo [deleted] 31 months ago | reply

    Wow Great shot!!

  6. fullgalo 28 months ago | reply

    i have 1 for sale his masters voice sound box . plesse call me 408 6078669

  7. racheln53 28 months ago | reply

    WOW! Great! I LOVED!

  8. Mandolina Moon 27 months ago | reply

    I just searched "dogs" and got all this great information! Thanks, 'love this shot.

  9. testaferrata 26 months ago | reply

    The Clasic Trade Mark of "His Masters Voice" was displayed at many UK Record & Gramaphone stores in the mid to late 1920's I own one of there naw rare Enamel on steel (not tin) panels. It measures 10" X 8.75" and weighs 1 lb 6 oz,mine was never fixed outside the store, but shown within the shop ,so even after 90 years is in perfect condition. Note present ownere is also 90 years old now residing in MALTA..

  10. testaferrata 26 months ago | reply

    I am also wanting to purchas a genuine Old Horn Phoograps like in the HMV Photograph. Eric Frith .

  11. testaferrata 26 months ago | reply

    I am also wanting to purchase a Genuine Old Horn type Gramaphone in full working order. 00356 21311198 Malta.

  12. rtubb99 26 months ago | reply

    Thanks for letting me use this image under Creative Commons license. I appreciate it! I've used it in my blog post about Voice Recording apps at

  13. martikramaer 22 months ago | reply

    Hi, how are u , thiss is a test message!

  14. vocabninja 8 months ago | reply

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I used your picture on our ‘Daily Spanish word’ website:
    Thank you for making it possible to use it!

  15. massimopaolini 5 months ago | reply

    Great image. I used it on our post - Kickstarter Project Tips Part 2. The post will be published on November 05, 2014. (please read my profile for the link)

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