1916 - 1927

There are two incarnations of ‘Citizen’. The 3000 series was first. There are only about fifty-odd issues, derived from Guardsman. They date from 1916, and, like Guardsman, were pressed by Crystalate.

The other series, with an almost identical label, began at 501 about 1920, and ran to nearly 900 by perhaps 1927. These were first drawn from Guardsman as before; but in 1922 The Invicta Record Co. (Guardsman) was bought up by The Aeolian Co. (‘Vocalion’). So production switched (in the mid-600 catalogue numbers) to the Hayes factory of The Universal Music Co., the manufacturing wing of Aeolian, often loosely called Vocalion. They drew from its Aco repertoire.

From this point, after about 650, Citizen Records were distributed by a firm in Liverpool, and it is widely thought they were sold on the door-to-door ‘tallyman’ system. That is, the customer was given a gramophone, and provided they bought a number of Citizen records on a regular basis, say for a year or more, the gramophone finally became theirs, ‘free’. Evidence for this lies in the fact that when these Citizen discs turn up – which is not very often! – it is usually in the north of England, and there is a quantity of them together.

Source: Frank Andrews /

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