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B.L. Aldridge files, 1897-1980

Accession: 2069Identifier: 2069-II.


  • Creation: 1897-1980

Biographical note

B.L. Aldridge was an employee of the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey and later Manager of Sales and Administration of Home Instruments for the Victor Division of RCA. From the early 1950s to 1959, Aldridge also functioned as a part-time company historian. During this time he used his long familiarity with Victor's consumer products, mostly radios and record players, to amass a collection of historic and significant Victor and RCA instruments which were then used in traveling promotional displays and later installed in a "Hall of Progress" exhibit at RCA's new facility in Cherry Hill. Aldridge also researched and wrote exhibit labels, brief model histories and several company histories.

Scope and Content

Consist of materials prepared or collected by B.L. Aldridge as company historian, including a small group of records extracted from the Secretary's contract file, all of which refer to the history of RCA Victor and its products. There are also records from Aldridge's official duties as Manager of Sales & Administration relating to the production, distribution, sales and marketing of home instruments.

B. L. Aldridge files is arranged into eight subseries: Histories and background; General historical files; Museum files; Model files; Distribution and allocation records; Chronological files of sales and marketing materials; Miscellany; and Oversized materials.

Histories and background subseries 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.


10.5 Linear Feet

Additional Description

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Related Names


Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA