Diary, 1898-1925 [photocopy]

Sooy, H. O. (Harry O.), 1875-1927


135 leaves ; 28 cm.
The record is a photostatic copy of what is apparently a typed original or transcript of a diary that Sooy kept from the time of his employment with Johnson to the end of 1925.
Sooy describes early working conditions in Johnson's establishment when it was a small machine shop, particularly the craft culture and the pranks and practical jokes played by workmen, himself included. Brief notes mark the enlargement of the plant and the development of recording studios in Philadelphia and New York.
Sooy lists the many famous artists who recorded for the Victor labels, often with the dates they were first engaged, the selections they recorded and what they were paid. These include Enrico Caruso, Arthur Pryor, Emman Eames, Nellie Melba, Paul Whiteman and John Philip Sousa. He also describes the many road trips taken to demonstrate Victor equipment or record foreign artists or famous political and literary figures in their homes. One such trip landed Sooy in the midst of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Sooy gives his estimates of such subjects as Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, James Whitcomb Riley, Will Rogers and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Machinist and recording engineer.
Harry O. Sooy was born on March 11, 1875 and joined the Camden, N.J., machine shop of phonograph pioneer Eldgidge R. Johnson in 1898, where he was later joined by his brothers Raymond and Charles. Johnson made gramophones for the Berliner Gramophone Company and also early recordings. After Berliner went into receivership in 1900, Johnson began full-scale manufacture of phonographs, leading to the formation of the Victor Talking Machine Company a year later. Sooy was transferred to the Recording Dept. early on and thus became heavily involved in the development of American sound recording. He was Chief of the Recording Staff (1909-1916), Manager of the Recording Dept. (1916-1923) and Superintendent of Recording (1923-1927). He died in Oakland, Calif., on May 24, 1927, and was succeed by his brother Raymond.
Nor restrictions on use.
Copyright held by owner of original.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/80438419