Recording Pioneers


Arthur Howell BROOKS  1875 - 1950   PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU

PIONEER

Arthur Howell BROOKS  1875 - 1950

aka Arthur H. Brooks, A. H. Brooks, Arthur Brooks, A. Brooks
nationality
occupation
birth .. Dec 1875, London, or Kennington, Surrey, UK
baptism
death .... 1950, ............
burial
marriage married on .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1897 at ......., Linton, to:
Ada Ellen PALMER

b. .. July/Aug/Sep 1877, Elstree, N.W. London
d. .. July/Aug/Sep 1940, Kensington, London, ENGLAND (62y)


children
  • Violet Isabel A.

    b. 25 May 1899, Ely, Cambridgeshire
    d. .. Apr/May/June 1972, Isle of Wight, ENGLAND) (GRO 6b 2298

  • Eric Philip Arthur

    b. .. Mar/Apr/June 1901, Fulham, West Kensington, London
    d. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1954, Bath, Somerset, ENGLAND (52y)

  • Cynthia Marjorie

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1902, Wandsworth/Clapham, London, Surrey
    d. ...................

  • Geoffrey Stanford

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1909, Wandsworth/Streatham, London
    d. .................) (GRO 1d 646


PARENTS

father Dav(e)y Jones BROOKS

b. .... <1844 or 1846>, Woodbury, Devon, ENGLAND
d. .... 1910, Wandsworth, Surrey, ENGLAND

mother Isabel(la) Hester LAVARACK

b. 21 Oct 1848, Marylebone, Middelsex, ENGLAND
d. .............

marriage on 25 Oct 1869, Westham, Essex, ENGLAND
children
  • Philip Fuller
  • Jess/Jo Mc Allen
  • Arthur Howell

    b. .. Dec 1875, London, UK
    d. .... 1950, ............

  • Stanford Morton
  • Geoffrey
  • Bernard
  • Millicent

LIFE


About thirty years ago [= ca 1898] I was a struggling member of the theatrical profession on tour with such musical comedies as "The Gay Parisienne" and "The Lady Slavey", at the stupendous salary of £2 per week. I also acted in Shakespeare and "The Sign of the Cross". Of course, two pounds went a long way in pre-war days, when a penny was worth all of four farthings. It is interesting to recall that in those days Gustav Holst played the trombone in theatre orchestras, and look where he is to-day. In 1903 I was "at liberty" and practically starving for three whole months. During these enforced vacations I used to manage "sideshows" for that astute Exhibitions promoter, Imre Kiralfy, at Earl's Court. In fact, had I stuck to the role of showman, there might have been another C. B. Cochran in the field. However, I chucked up my job, and one day in the street ran across a man whom I had helped at the Exhibition. He had introduced into this country a metal namestamping machine which worked on the slot principle, and was a great draw particularly with the youngsters. It so happened that I had done him a good turn by placing some of these exhibits in advantageous positions without any extra charge. The manager remembered this small service, and promptly gave me an introduction to Nicole Frères, who used to deal in Swiss musical boxes in Ely Place, Holborn.
(source: "Round the Recording Studios; No. III - Recollections and Reflections" by Arthur H. Brooks of the COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY, LIMITED in an interview with Perceval Graves. (in: The Gramophone of May 1928, p. 487)

1891 CENSUS (Clapham):
Davy J. BROOKS
Isabel H. BROOKS
- Philip
- Jess M.
- Arthur
- Stanford M.
- Geo.
- Bernard
- Millicent



1901 CENSUS (46, Turneville Rd, St Andrew, Fulham, London):
Arthur H. BROOKS (25y) (b. <1876>, Kensington, London) actor
Ada H. BROOKS (23y)(b. <1878>, N.W. London) actress
- Violet I. (NOT "T.") (1y) (b. <1900>, Ely, Cambridgeshire)



1911 CENSUS ( )
Arthur BROOKS (35y) recording engineer // Graphophone Record Manufacturer
Ada Ellen BROOKS (33y)
- Violet Isabel (12y)
- Eric Philip Arthur (10y)
- Cynthia Marjorie (8y)
- Geoffrey Stanford



recorder NICOLE FRÈRES (1903)
J. D. Smoot transferred to Berlin in 1906
April 1908 recording engineer for Odeon at Hamsell Street
In April 1909 left Britain for a recording expedition on the European continent (for Odeon)
COLUMBIA (1910)
Prob. replaced by William DITCHAM
Chief recording engineer for COLUMBIA; appointed artistic director (in July 1928)
(source: FRAGMENTA, p. 73)

1903 Nicole Frères (Holborn, London)

1906 he replaces John Daniel Smoot who is sent to Berlin
In the Phonographische Zeitschrift of 17 May 1906 (7/20/440 or 443) appears the following announcement:
Bei dem technischen Personal dieser Firma [Die INTERNATIONAL TALKING MACHINE Co., Weissensee] sind insoweit Änderungen eingetreten, als der bisher in der Londoner Filiale beschäftigte Experte Mr. [Dan] Smoot in die hiesige Fabrik übernommen ist, während dessen Stelle Mr. [Arthur H.] Brooks, bisher Techniker der Firma Nicole Frères in London, übernommen hat.
Für die Erweiterung des Deutschen Repertoirs hat die Firma den in den ersten Künstlerkreisen wohlbekannten Impresario Herrn Ajo Wiese gewonnen.

[see also: "A Fonotipia Fragmentia" by Frank Andrews (The Talking Machine Review No. 41. Aug 1976, p. 743/753]

April 1908 recording engineer at Hamsell Street

April 1909 to make recordings on the European continent for the ODEON label

In 1910 he joined COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY, England.



Arthur H. BROOKS (38y4m) recording engineer
SS "LUSITANIA"
dep.: 11 April 1914, Liverpool
arr.: 17 Apr 1914, New York
mother: Mrs D. J. Brooks
final destination: COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE Co., Woolworth Building, New York
Home address: 104 King's Avenue, Clapham Park Ave., London


Probably replaced by Willam Ditcham

(EMI, the first hundred years by Peter Martland, p. 119)



A. H. BROOKS (49y) recorder
SS “AVOCETA”
dep. Las Palmas, SPAIN: .. June 1924
arr. Liverpool, UK: 16 June 1924
address in UK: 8, Headway Gate, London NW11

article on Brooks in The Gramophone of May 1928: Round the Recording Studios; No. III - Recollections and Reflections (by Arthur H. Brooks of the COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY, LIMITED; In an interview with Perceval Graves.) pp. 487-490

cartoon of Brooks and text in The Gramophone of December 1929, p. 295 and 296

His name occurs in a series of articles written by Herbert C. Ridout entitled "Behind the Needle" in The Gramophone (1941-1943).



Arthur BROOKS (76y)
SS “EDINBURGH CASTLE”
dep.: .. Jan 1950, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
arr.: 17 Feb 1950, Southampton
Home address: Savage Club, Carlton House Terrace, London


Arthur Howell Brooks died in 1950.


NOTES

  • 'Lindström' Companies in Britain by Frank Phillips (in: The Lindström Project. Contributions to the history of the record industry / Beiträge zur Geschichte der Schallplattenindustrie. Vol. 2 (editors: Pekka Gronow & Christiane Hofer). Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, Wien 2010. ISBN 978-3-9500502-1-9
  • EMI, the first hundred years by Peter Martland, p. 119
  • A FONOTIPIA FRAGMENTA. A History of the Societa Italiana di Fonotipia - Milano 1903-1948 by Frank Andrews (Historic Singers Trust, 2002), p. 47
    (this (revised) edition originally appeared as a series of articles in The Talking Machine Review - International between June 1976 and December 1977)
  • Round the Recording Studios; No. III - Recollections and Reflections by Arthur H. Brooks of the COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY, LIMITED in an interview with Perceval Graves. (in: The Gramophone of May 1928, pp. 487-490)
  • The Gramophone of December 1929, p. 295 and 296
  • articles by Herbert C. Ridout entitled Behind the Needle in The Gramophone (1941-1943)
  • Some Famous Recording Rooms: No. 3. The Odeon (in The Sound Wave and Talking Machine Record of May 1907. Reproduced in: The Lindström Project. Contributions to the history of the record industry / Beiträge zur Geschichte der Schallplattenindustrie. Vol. 4, pp. 125-127 (editors: Pekka Gronow & Christiane Hofer). Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, Wien 2010. ISBN 978-3-9500502-0-2



PHOTOS

Arthur Brooks
Arthur Brooks



THANK YOU


Dave Mason
Paul Cleary
Lorraine Courtenay