1916 - 1928
The Silvertone label was produced by various manufacturers for mail-order sale by Sears, Roebuck & Company. Sears claimed use of the Silvertone trademark on phonographs and records since October, 1915, and discs first appeared in their autumn, 1916 catalog. Silvertone replaced Sears' popular Oxford label and initially was manufactured by the Columbia Graphophone Company.
The earliest Silvertone records were single-sided discs drawing on Columbia masters, including material recorded as early as 1903. Columbia master numbers served as Silvertone's catalog numbers.
Silvertone labels underwent several changes between 1916-1928. The earliest labels bore an elaborate piper design, which appeared in negative form on an orange background. In 1917, a simpler, more ornate design in gold on purple appeared. Sears temporarily discontinued the Silvertone record in 1918-19, but re-introduced it as a double-sided disc in 1919-20. These bore blue labels and a redesigned trademark in flowing silver script. These were manufactured by the Federal Record Corporation and drew on their masters, and were numbered in a short-lived 5000 series.
Silvertone's most familiar tan label was introduced in the early 1920s and persisted until the label was discontinued and replaced with the Supertone brand in mid-1928. During this period, Sears relied on numerous manufacturers for records, including Columbia, Pathé, Regal, Federal, Emerson, Brunswick-Balke Collender, and New York Recording Laboratories.
The Silvertone label was briefly revived twice by Sears. In 1940-41, Silvertone releases were produced by the Columbia Recording Corporation and drew on masters from the Columbia/Okeh pool as well as older American Record Corporation material. Finally, the Silvertone brand was revived one last time in 1947 for red vinylite pressings under a completely redesigned Silvertone Record Club label that was produced by Mercury Records.