Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound. Founded in January 1889 in Washington DC as the [l112015] by Edward D. Easton, the company first sold phonograph cylinders and later disc records. [u]For 78's that have "Exclusive Artist (At Pressing)" on labels add "Exclusive Artist" in the FTT (format) field. You can also add "Exclusive Artist (At Pressing)" into the notes[/u]. [b]For all unofficial / bootleg copies of this label please use [l149411][/b]. It opened a British operation shortly afterwards. This was sold in 1922 to its own management, and then the independent [l=Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd.] itself purchased its almost bankrupt former parent in 1925. This was then merged with [l=The Gramophone Co. Ltd.], which had been set up in the UK in 1896. This company was incorporated as [l293204] (EMI) in 1931. US anti-trust laws forced the UK company to divest itself of its US operations that year. The label was introduced in Japan in 1931 by the Nippon Phonograph Co. (also known as [l630804]) which was a subsidiary of [l293204] In 1935 EMI sold its stake in Nipponophone, but Nipponophone kept ownership of the Columbia brand for Japan. After World War II, the label became part of [l=Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.] For the next few decades the Columbia imprint (trademark) was exclusively owned by Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd., outside North America, Japan, and Spain, where the rights were owned by a company unrelated to Electric & Musical Industries Ltd., [l=Discos Columbia, S.A.] (it was eventually sold to BMG Spain through RCA). In the US and Canada, Columbia was owned by [l=CBS Inc.] In 1961, Columbia set up a parent company for itself called [l=CBS Records], which was a division of CBS. In 1965, [l97841] is merged into [l253617], with the rights to the Columbia trademark subsequently being reassigned to that company. In January 1973, [l253617] begins phasing out some of its domestic labels ([l2294], [l39354] etc.) including Columbia, in favour of the newly established EMI label, and subsequently no longer using the label for releasing pop or rock acts in much of the world (although it remained in use in parts of Asia and for non-pop releases). On November 2, 1989, CBS sold its recording music distribution and label group to the Japanese conglomerate [l353657] for $400 million. On October 15, 1990, [l63404] (successor of [l253617]) officially sells its international rights to the Columbia trademark to Sony. On April 17, 1991, Sony's acquisition of Columbia Records and affiliated labels was completed; CBS Records was renamed to [l=Sony Music Entertainment] and the Japanese branch [l=CBS/Sony], which was formed as a venture in 1968 between [l=CBS Inc.] and Sony, was rebranded as [l=Sony Records] (now [l=Sony Music Japan]). In Spain, Sony managed to acquire the rights from [l1003], which it had merged with on August 5, 2004 as [l53569]. However, since the trademark was not owned by an EMI affiliate in Japan, Sony was not able to acquire it for that market. This is why Sony can't use the original Columbia brand nor name in Japan, where the label was operated by [l213761] until October 1, 2002, when the name was changed to [l213791] On October 1, 2010, the name was changed back to [l213761]. Today, Columbia (walking eye) remains one of the four flagship music labels operated by Sony Music Entertainment worldwide except in Japan, where Columbia (magic notes) is the primary imprint of Nippon Columbia. [b][u]WARNING[/u][/b]: Codes with the following prefixes should not be entered as catalogue number: XSS, ZSS, AL, BL. These codes are matrix numbers unique for each side of a vinyl release and should be entered in the Barcode and Other Identifiers section. The actual catalogue number is usually printed above the matrix number. European releases in the 1980's until the late 1990's often had supplementary numbers printed on the release in the following format: xx-xxxxxx-xx (e.g.: 01-497424-10 in addition to short catalogue number 497424). These are not distribution codes or catalogue numbers but were added by the Dutch [l=CBS, Haarlem]/ [l=Sony/CBS, Haarlem] plants and are commonly known as Computer Numbers. Do not add them as catalogue numbers. You can add these codes as "Other" in the BaOI section with "Manufacturing code" as description. Catalogue letters from 1989 to 2005 are listed as "CK 12345". Label code: LC 00162. Has the Spanish series [L=Espectacular (3)] French Columbia shellac codes, sizes, labels colours, price codes (1951): BF - 25 cm (10") - brown label (price code Medium) BFX - 30 cm (12") - brown label (price code Medium) DF - 25 cm (10") - black label (price code Standard) DFX - 30 cm (12") - black label (price code Standard) GF - 25 cm (10") - green label (price code Artistique) GFX - 30 cm (12") - green label (price code Artistique) LF - 25 cm (12") - blue label (price code Artistique) LFX - 30 cm (12") - blue label (price code Artistique) RFX - 30 cm (12") - red label (price code Medium) 9000 to 11672 - 30 cm (12") - black label (price code Standard) Please note some mid 1950's (USA) 45rpm releases have on the label a release # which end with -c "Which Indicates Country" 4-41008-c (Year released 1957) [r=3374163] 4-41012-c (Year released 1957) [r=5144473] 4-41020-c (Year released 1957) [r=12487985] Note some releases during 1986 up to 1991 (on record labels) have the ⎊ upside triangle (which looks like a Fallout Shelter) on the label marks this era of pressing. Found on [l442751] and also [l447694] On Lp's or 12" singles it helps designate the A side. This symbol does also appear on some CD's and cassette tapes.