Neophone gramophone, England, 1904.
Neophone was a short-lived British company from c.1903 to 1908 and was apparently the first company to issue vertical-cut discs. The inventor of the Neophone "indestructible" record was a German man, Dr. Michaelis, and from the Neophone Company emerged the Crystalate records, ultimately merged into the Decca Company.
The playing surface was of white "enamel" backed with thick pasteboard with a paper reverse side carrying a larger version of the label. The labels (white on wedgwood blue) were presumably all identical as they carry no title or artist details. These are engraved in script inside the last recorded groove (partly visible in the picture). They start from the outside, and turn at a similar speed to normal records of the period. The groove was wide and shallow like a Pathe.
Neophone issued discs in a large variety of formats and types. They varied in size from 9 inches to a 20 inch disc which played for 10 minutes per side. They were also issued in a more conventional black material called Neolite. A 10 inch fine-grooved disc was made which played for 12 minutes per side. They opened offices and apparently recorded in many cities worldwide. It is likely that Neophone's apparent success influenced Pathe in bringing out its very similar disc format around 1906. Neophone was acquired by the General Phonograph Co. Ltd in 1907 and wound up its affairs in 1908.