Monday, July 4, 2011

His Master's Voice

You know the logo . . . ‘His master’s voice’ . . .  it’s been used in advertising for over 100 years!

There’s a story behind the image . . . meet Nipper.  Nipper is the little dog looking inquisitively into the horn of the phonograph.  Nipper was a real live dog. He was a stray that ended up in the home of painter Francis Barraud.   He got his name because he had a propensity to nip at people’s ankles.  Barraud observed that his dog was fascinated with the phonograph . . . he couldn’t figure out where the voice was coming from.  It wasn’t until three years after Nipper died that he rendered the iconic painting.

Originally named 'dog looking at and listening to a phonograph', the image didn’t garner much interest.  The response when he tried to sell the painting were
'no one would know what the dog was doing' and 'dogs don't listen to phonographs' . 

Apparently they were wrong because Nipper sure did!

In an attempt to make it more appealing, Barraud decided to modernize the painting by replacing the black horn with a newer style.  He approached Berliner Gramophone with a photograph of his painting asking if he could borrow a brass horn to use as a model.  The manager was so taken with the image he told Barraud he would buy the painting if he replaced the Edison cylinder machine with a Berliner gramophone.

A visitor to the gramophone company saw the painting and commissioned Barraud to make a copy for him.  The gentleman took the painting from England to the United States where he trademarked the painting and gave the patent to his partner . . . who happened to own the Victor Talking Machine company.  The Nipper painting soon became the brand logo the company and is still to this day.

Unfortunately, Barraud Barraud sold the rights to the Nipper painting, and only received two payments of £50 each.

Candied Orange Peel

This candied orange peel is made with an unusual method that makes it especially flavorful and aromatic.  You can roll the strips in granulated sugar or leave them plain, to use in cakes and breads, cookies, or to dip in chocolate.

Weigh the oranges whole, and take an equal weight of sugar.

Wash and scrub the oranges. Squeeze the juice through a strainer into a large pan. Mix the sugar with the orange juice.

Cut the peel in narrow strips.

Boil the peels in water, changing the water twice and replenishing it with boiling hot water kept ready for this purpose. Cook the peels until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Bring the orange juice and sugar mixture to a boil, add to it the drained orange peel strips and boil 20 minutes.

Drain on racks, and when dry but still slightly tacky roll in sugar or leave as they are.

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