Société Pathé Frères, Paris France (pronounced Pah-tay)
Founded in 1896.
Charles Pathé who had helped open a Gramophone shop in 1894 along with his brothers, established a phonograph factory at Chatou on the west outskirts of Paris. He expanded the record business to include film equipment. Pathé manufactured and sold their own records and machines to play them.
The grooves were cut vertically rather than the more common lateral method. The grooves were wider than that used by any other company, requiring a special sapphire ball-shaped stylus to play them. The discs rotated at 90 rpm and the recordings started on the inside near the center of the disc, spiraling outward to the edge. This was probably a preventive measure to ensure that no other record company could sue Pathé for violating any patents.
By 1909, Pathé had built more than 200 movie theaters in France and Belgium and by the following year they had facilities in many parts of the world. Prior to World War I, Pathé dominated Europe's market in motion picture cameras and projectors.
By the early 1920's, Pathé had stopped production of their special vertical cut discs and started production of the more common lateral "needle cut" technology and called these discs, Pathé Actuelle. These discs used the common metal needles and spun from the outside inward at 78rpm, like other label companies.
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