Weco-Tonbild-Postkarte-158

 

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Discography

Weco-Tonbild-Postkarten

 
 


 

Weco-Tonbild-Postkarte-135

Weco-Tonbild-Postkarten

Please note: This is a discographical catalog - items are NOT available for sale from us
Achtung: Dies ist eine Discographie - die Platten stehen NICHT zum Verkauf

Acknowledgements:
Peter Bastiné, Lyle Boehland, Dave Easterla, Helmfried Luers, Margarida Estanyol Ullate, Jos Hocks, Antonio Popp, Hermann Sachse, Paul Sonntag, Kirk Thorsteinson, Helmut Weiß

Introductory notes:
The basic idea of a gramophone postcard is to glue a single sided miniature disc record onto a postcard and punch a center hole through both card and disc. For further details see the exploratory history of the phono postcard. In contrast. The Weco cards are entirely coated with a translucent material into which the grooves of the electric recordings were pressed.

Weco:
Little is known about the Weco company background. The only flyer ever found (undated, but listing cards in the range 133 to 219) identifies the supplier as Arthur Meier, Hamburg 20, Nissenstr.11. Most of the music was published by "Verlag moderne Tanzmusik", at Moritz-Strasse 11, Berlin, Germany. Some cards show a company logo, the word "Weco" enclosed in an oval. The appearance of Weco phono cards occured at the time of the introduction of sound films. All Weco recordings are electrical. It had therefore been speculated that Weco stands for the Western Electric Company. However, thanks to the untiring research by Jos Hocks it is clear that the Weco trademark was owned by Hans Wiesner & Co. An advertisement was placed in "Photographische Chronik", vol.36, no.5, 29 January 1929. (In German the letter "W" is pronounced "Ve" as in Venezuela). 

Hans Wiesner, originally from the Berlin suburb Niederschöneweide, ran his business from Cöpenicker Str. 152, Berlin SO 33 (later SO 36). Wiesner was an art publisher, he ran a bromide photographic printing business and advertised as a "Luxuspapierfabrik", i.e. a de luxe paper factory. His business is listed in the Berlin address books from 1921 to 1932. His business partners are not yet identified, but another ad located by collector Peter Bastiné identifies the owners as Hans Wiesner and Günther Wiesner, both residing at Köpenickerstr. 152, Berlin.

It seems that at least some cards were still being manufactured after the Nazi takeover in 1933, as a copy of Weco 134 has been found were the names of Jewish performers and compositions have been obscured.

Weco also produced "regular" postcards without recorded sound. The phono cards ("Tonbild-Postkarten") are numbered from 101 upwards, the highest number identified is 234. The earlier cards were organized  as "Mappen" (portfolio files), of four cards each. Each "Mappe" was identified by a Roman numeral, from I [1] upwards, the highest number identified is XX [20], see Mappe III, Mappe IV, Mappe XI (all from collection Antonio Popp). Weco also manufactured custom cards to order, and those have not been allocated a number. In most cases, matrix numbers are identical to order or catalog numbers. Weco recommended that their products should be played with Pegasus "Winkelnadeln" and enclosed such flyers with their cards. Some individual postcards are reported to have been protected by (fragile) cellophane protective sleeves (image 1) , (image 2). Cards other than custom pressings were normally distributed through the stationary trade, but occasionally also through record dealers.

From 1929 Wiesner applied for patents in various countries:

Ansichtspostkarte mit akustischen Lautaufzeichnungen

Country                        Germany

Patent number               545253

Application date            29.10.1929

Publication date             27.2.1932

Page 1, Page 2 

 

Carte postale illustrée avec enregistrements acoustiques

Country                        France

Patent number               704396

Application date            27.10.1930

Publication date             19.5.1931

 Page 1, Page 2

 

Improvements in or relating to picture postcards with acoustic records

Country                        United Kingdom

Patent number               353343

Application date            28.10.1930

Publication date             23.7.1931

Page 1, Page 2

 

Picture postcard with acoustic record

Country                        Canada

Patent number               315838

Application date            ?

Publication date             6.10.1931

Page 10, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9 

 

Procedimiento para la fabrication de tarjetas postales ilustradas con inscripciones fonopostales ilustradas con inscripciones fonográficas

Country                        Spain

Patent number               120269

Application date            23.10.1930

Publication date             1.1.1931

 

In contrast to its competitors, the Weco company in Germany mostly used excellent black-and-white photographs, but there are also graphic designs and combinations. Musical content and graphic designs often matched, and renowned artists were employed to record recent compositions. Most of the earlier cards identified artist, composition and authors on the picture side, but later cards just reproduce the image of a beautiful girl or a pair of lovers, while basic details (usually the title) are listed on the reverse. The same masters occasionally surface with different designs and different languages printed on the back. 

Weco also produced advertising cards and custom pressings under the trademarks Weco, Weco-Tonbild and Wecoton, including in square and circular shapes. Some cards were marketed as CEKO brand:  Ceko No.4, Ceko No.5 and reverse of Ceko No.5

Two disc-shaped cards have been found which use the numbers and images of regular Weco-Postcards: No.203 (front - reverse) and 228 (front - reverse). The reverse sides bear information in longhand which suggests they were trials or tests, although rectangular sleeves have also been found. 

Although the Weco phono cards seem to have been quite popular in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, The Netherlands, Spain and other countries (including Uruguay) – at least 234 cards were produced in quick succession between 1929 and 1932 – the economic depression wiped this high quality product off the market..

Numerical listing: Attention: This is a large file which may require a long loading time. Be patient...

Weco-Tonbild-Postkarten

Links to images by matrix numbers

100

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

119

120

121

122

123

124

125

126

127

128

129

130

131

132

133

134

135

136

137

138

139

140

141

142

143

144

145

146

147

148

149

150

151

152

153

154

155

156

157

158

159

160

161

162

163

164

165

166

167

168

169

170

171

172

173

174

175

176

177

178

179

180

181

182

183

184

185

186

187

188

189

190

191

192

193

194

195

196

197

198

199

200

201

202

203

204

205

206

207

208

209

210

211

212

213

214

215

216

217

218

219

220

221

222

223

224

225

226

227

228

229

230

231

232

233

234

235

236

237

238

239

 

160x





104r
146b

106x
106xx

106xxx

167x
147x

127x



190x

151x

 134x

113x

114x

115x

 116x

 197r
157x

158x

119x

Wecoton was a subsidiary of Weco for custom-made records and advertising purposes.

It is not presently possible to determine the total number of cards produced, and information on matrix numbers etc can only be derived from physical autopsy of the artifacts. Some cards have same numbers with different photos. Some cards are known to exist with and without description on the photo side, or with and without lyrics an the reverse side.  Some matrices show a suffix "B" (for Bachaphon?) or a suffix -1 (a take identification?). If you have additions or corrections: Please contact us by e-mail: Rainer E. Lotz

 

Literature:

Peter Bastiné, Weco Tonbild-Postkarten 1929-1931 aus Berlin (Hamburg: Eigenverlag, 2011)

 

 

  LAST UPDATE: 2011-11-05

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Contact:
Rainer E. Lotz
Rotdornweg 81
53177 Bonn, Germany

Phone(International): +49-228-352808 / Phone(National): 0228-352808
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