Nipper, Dogs and the Phonograph



Nipper, the Terrier that was the trademark for the Victor Talking Machine Company, promoted the talking machine by listening to his master's voice.

"Look for the Dog" and "His Master's Voice" (HMV) were two phrases closely associated with Nipper who became one of the most recognized product images in the history of advertising.


Victor Talking Machine Company, Everybody's magazine ad, 1904


This gallery, however, includes other dogs with connections to the phonograph. Nipper is seen in this gallery when he is actually "speaking" in the ad but he also has his own gallery of Nipper related art, cartoons, parodies and derivative creations in Phonographia's Nipper Art.



Ad for Douglas "Mega" Horns with a Nipper-like dog listening to an Edison Home Phonograph, Munsey's magazine, November 1903 (2.75" x 4")


The Phonogram, November 1901


The Phonogram used letters of the alphabet in issues from May 1900 to November 1901 with each letter making a connection with the phonograph. The Phonogram called this series their "Alphabetical series of jingles." This November 1901 page of "Y is for YOWL" features a surprised dog hearing something from the phonograph and the page ending with the question "His Master's Voice?" May be!!

Later in that same issue of The Phonogram a purported letter to the editor writes that he is confused by recent ads he has seen from the maker of the Gram-o-phone featuring a terrier supposedly listening to his master's voice on a Gram-o-phone. How is this possible, he asks, since the Gram-o-phone only plays records but cannot record. And even if a voice was recorded for a Gram-o-phone he doubts anyone would recognize the voice: "All of the flat records I have ever heard, have such hissing, sissing, scratching sound, caused by the needle, that it is a wonder that a dog or even a man, could distinguish a voice."


The Phonogram, November 1901


Nipper in Gold, 1904 St. Louis Exposition, The Booklovers Magazine, 1904


Child and her dog listening to the Phonograph, Edison 1908


Nipper as 'Spokesdog' listening and speaking for the Victor.


"The picture "His Master's Voice is a registered sure to see the Victor dog...Look under the lid! The Delineator, January, 1922.


My Master's Voice on the Radio, 1932


I'm Broadcasting Big News" says the Victor Dog. The Literary Digest, December 10, 1932


"Only RCA Victor makes the Victrola," 1945


"Heredity counts, whether you are buying pedigreed fox terriers or postwar radio sets." RCA Victor 1945


An interesting ad that promotes pedigreed fox terriers as evidence of producing a long-line of champions which the ad says translates to the background and experience of RCA Victor, particularly with its radio phonograph. Most believe that Nipper, the His Master's Voice (HMV) trademark dog, was a mixed breed dog, probably part Bull Terrier and some Fox Terrier.


"Heredity counts! Cute puppies are "a dime a dozen." And in engineering where will you find a background of achievement equal to that of the Radio Corporation of America?" RCA Victor, Life magazine, 1945.


"My ears know fine tone when they hear it," Nipper and RCA Victrola, 1942


Nipper Shop! Look! Listen! 1947


WATCH Clip of Pluto's Blue Note, Walt Disney (1947)


Sony Stereo for Dogs - "If a dog doesn't like it he can lump it." 1967


Maureen McGovern signs RCA Victor record contract, 1991