Recording Pioneers


William DITCHAM  1874 - 1937   PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU

PIONEER

William DITCHAM  1874 - 1937

aka W. Ditcham
nationality English
occupation musician (organ/bells/xylophone), recording engineer
birth 11 Nov 1874, Finsbury/Islington, Greater London, Middlesex
baptism on 13 Mar 1901, St. George, Tufnell Park (home address: 2 Clapham Road)
death .. Apr/May/June 1937, Islington, Greater London, London
burial
marriage married on 14 July 1903, Saint Paul's Church, Canonbury, Islington, Greater London, Middlesex to:
Lucie Minnie RUSSELL

b. .... 1872/1873, Cannes, FRANCE
d. .. Apr/May/June 1931, Kingston, Surrey, ENGLAND

children
  • Alice Helen Dorothy

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1904, Islington, Greater London - baptised on 6 Jan 1905 at Emmanuel, Hornsey Road, Islington (Holloway)
    d. ............

  • Ma(r)jorie Nora Constance

    b. .. July 1906, Islington - baptized: 20 July 1906, ........
    d. .. Feb 1990, Barnet, Hertfordshire, Middlesex

  • William Russell

    b. 9 Sept 1908, Islington, Greater London, Middlesex
    d. .. Jan 2002, Barnet, Hertfordshire, Middlesex


PARENTS

father George Moffatt DITCHAM

b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1850, Totnes, Devon, ENGLAND
d. ...............) builder

mother Martha PREEDY

b. .... 1855, Notting Hill, London, Middlesex
d. ...............

marriage they got married on 22 Dec 1873 in Hackney, London, Middlesex
children
  • William

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1874, Finsbury/Islington, Greater London, Middlesex
    d. ..........

  • George Herbert

    b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1876, Finsbury Park/Islington, London, Middlesex
    d. .........

  • Harry

    b. .. A/M/J 1877, Finsbury Park, London

  • Clara Martha

    b. .. J/F/M 1879, Finsbury Park, London

  • Emily

    b. .. J/F/M 1880, Tottenham, London

  • Ethel

    b. .. J/F/M 1882, Tottenham, London/Edmonton, Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex


LIFE


1881 CENSUS (Tottenham, London):
George M. DITCHAM (31y) (b. Dartmouth, Devon)
Martha DITCHAM (26y) (b. Notting Hill, London)
- William (6y) (b. Islington, London) organist's pupil // music
- George H. (5y) (b. Islington, London)
- Harry (4y) (b. Islington, London)
- Clara Martha (2y) (b. Islington, London)
- Emily (1y) (b. Tottenham, London)



1891 CENSUS (Peckham, Camberwell, London):
George M. DITCHAM (41y) (b. Dartmouth, Devon)
Martha DITCHAM (36y) (b. Notting Hill, London)
- William (16y) (b. Finsbury Park, London) organist's pupil // music
- George H. (15y) (b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Harry (13y) (b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Clara Martha (12y) (b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Emily (11y) (b. Tottenham, London)
- Ethel (9y) (b. Tottenham, London)



1901 UK CENSUS (Canonbury, Islington):
George Moffatt DITCHAM (51y)(b. Dartmouth, Devon)
Martha PREEDY (46y)(b. Notting Hill, London)
- William DITCHAM (26y)(b. <1875>, Finsbury Park, London) music professor
- George H. DITCHAM (25y)(b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Harry 23y)(b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Clara (22y)(b. Finsbury Park, London)
- Emily (21y)(b. Tottenham, London)
- Ethel (19y)(b. Tottenham, London)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1901 UK CENSUS (Parkhurst Rd., Islington, London):
Lucie M. RUSSELL (29y) matron's assistant



remark: not found in 1911 CENSUS.



recorder

EDISON BELL Consolidated Phonograph Company

1904/1905 Electric Phonograph Record Co.
"..., Mr. William Ditcham, all-round musician and recording expert, ..."
"Mr. Ditcham, the supervisor of the Recording Department, informed the paper that he was recording every day, ....." (The Talking Machine Review No. 38)
"Mr. William Ditcham, in the recording department, demonstrated the art of making a record with Mr. Lloyd Morgan, Mr. Ditcham playing the accompaniment to the song on that occasion. Ditcham was described as an "expert musician" and a past master in the art of building up the exact diaphragm which would meet the needs of the record to be made. He had been engaged in this type of work with the Edison Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co., Ltd. for many years previously."

CRYSTALATE GRAMOPHONE Co. Ltd. (1930)

chief recording expert EDISON-BELL

RUSSELL HUNTING COMPANY
"HMS Pinafore" on STERLING CYLINDERS (From Tinfoil to Stereo, p. 148-149)

Established Bulldog Records during WW1 (internet: see print-out)

In the British Phone Books of 1932 to 1947 William Ditcham is listed at 56 Lincoln Road, East Finchley, London N.2.
He was probably survived by his wife, which might explain why the phone book citings continue until 1947.

From Tinfoil to Stereo, p. 148: William Ditcham

In 1910 Arthur H. Brooks left ODEON and joined COLUMBIA GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY, England.
William Ditcham probably replaced him. before Nov. 1913 ("A Fonotipia Fragmentia" p. 930, Andrews).
Brooks possibly left before Jan. 1912, as he is not mentioned in the Lindström report of Jan. 1912, whereas William Ditcham is.

On certain JUMBO records William Ditcham’s initials “WD” can be found, according to Frank Andrews (p. 930)

See also: A FONOTIPIA FRAGMENTA, pp. 1200-1201 (F. Andrews)

See also: : A FONOTIPIA FRAGMENTA, pp. 41 and 78 (F. Andrews)
Recording engineer for the Crystalate Gramophone Co. Ltd. in 1930 when Colquhoun was an artist with that company.

Willam Ditcham is mentioned under: ORGAN RECORDINGS (in: Encyclopedia of recorded sound, Volume 1 by Frank W. Hoffmann, Howard Ferstler)

BULDOG RECORDS (Bill Dean Myatt)



NOTES

  • Back from "South Ameriky. An Interview with Mr. W. Ditcham, of the Russell Hunting Co. (in: The Talking Machine News Vol. 3, p. 409 (1 Oct. 1907))
  • Bulldog Records and the Career of William Ditcham (Part 2) by Frank Andrews (in: For the record No. 36, Winter 2010, pp. 206-214)
  • Bulldog Records and the Career of William Ditcham by Frank Andrews (in: For the record No. 37, Spring 2011, pp. 274-280)
  • Crystalate. The History of the Grystalate Companies in the Record Industry 1901-1937, Part 1: Origins by Frank Andrews (in: Hillandale News No. 134 of Oct 1983 (pp. 259-265))
  • Crystalate. The History of the Grystalate Companies in the Record Industry 1901-1937, Part 2: Imperial by Frank Andrews (in: Hillandale News No. 135 of Dec 1983 (pp. 290-298))
  • Crystalate. The History of the Grystalate Companies in the Record Industry 1901-1937, Part 3: Rex and retirement by Frank Andrews (in: Hillandale News No. 136 of Feb 1984, pp. 317-324)
  • Electric Records [The Electric Phonograph Record Company] by Frank Andrews (in: The Talking Machine Review No. 39 (April 1976), p. 628-648)
  • 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), (p. 930)


COMPANIES & LABELS



PHOTOS

William Ditcham



THANK YOU


Paul Cleary
John Beech