Recording Pioneers

Louis Saul STERLING  1879 - 1958   arrowarrow PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU


Louis Saul STERLING  1879 - 1958

aka Louis S. Sterling, L. S. Sterling, Louis Sterling, L. Sterling
birth 16 May 1879, Kowno, LITHUANIA/RUSSIA (NOT: New York)
remark According to many passenger lists he was born in Kovno, LITHUANIA/RUSSIA
remark ELLIS ISLAND: March 16, (1918)
death 2/3 June 1958, London, UK
remark arrival in USA 1882, 1884 or 1886
marriage married on .. July/Aug/Sep 1919, Marylebone, Middlesex to:

b. 17 March 1877, London, ENGLAND
d. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1963, Marylebone, London

childrenno children


father Moses STERLING

b. .... <1856>, ........
d. ...............

mother Julia .......

b. .... <1856>, ........
d. ...............

  • Nathan Aaron

    b. 30 March 1878, Kovno, LITHUANIA
    d. ............

  • Louis Saul

    b. 16 May 1879, New York or Kowno (Lithuania)
    d. 2/3 June 1958, London, UK

  • Katie

    b. <1888> in New York
    d. ........

  • David Arthur

    b. 15 July 1889, New York
    d. .........


Arrived in USA in May 1883 from Hamburg on SS "LESSAR" (source: PA Cissy Sterling)

1910 CENSUS (Manhattan, NY):
Moses STERLING (54y) Bookkeeper Grocery House
Julia STERLING (54y)
- Nathan (28y? = 32y) (b. on 30 March 1878, Kovno, LITHUANIA)
- Katie (21y) (b. in New York)
- David (20y) (b. in New York)
- Louis (27y? = 31y) Commercant/Commercial ......(?) Phonograph House
arrival in USA 1882, 1884 or 1886

1920 CENSUS (Manhattan, New York):
Julia STERLING (widow) (64y)
- Nathan (41y) (b. 30 March 1878)
(it says Julia & Nathan emigrated to USA in 1902)

1920 CENSUS (Manhattan, New York):
David A. STERLING (31y) (b. New York)
Maria/Marie STERLING (30y) (b. New Jersey)

Louis was naturalized on 23 Oct 1893, New York
founder Russell Hunting Record Co.

birth date: 16 May 1879
Managing Director Graphophone Co. Ltd., 102 Clerkenwell Road, London E.C.
Mother: Julia STERLING (New York)
no birthplace

chairman Board of Directors COLUMBIA PHONOGRAPH CO.
see Guinness p. 217 (Personalia)
see etc. for full story.
In Nov 1932 he became a British citizen (FRAGMENTA, p. .....).
Resigned from the board of directors of EMI Ltd. in May 1939 (FRAGMENTA, p. .....).
Sterling (London) resigned as governor (Du. "commissaris") from NV Transoceanic Trading Company on 20 Feb 1940.
New York Times obituary


  • PASSPORT APPLICATIONS Louis Saul Sterling & Cissy Sterling
  • 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)
  • A Fonotipia Fragmenta by H. Frank Andrews (in: The Talking Machine Review International, No. 44, Vol. 6 (of Feb 1977), pp. 901-930
  • The Story behind the Rena, Serena and Sonola Machines of the Rena Manufacturing Co., Ltd.. by Frank Andrews (in The Talking Machine Review No. 71 of Nov 1986, pp. 2007-2030)
  • Sir Louis Sterling. A Pioneer of a Great Industry by W. S. Meadmore (in: The Gramophone of July 1937, p. 5) online article
  • Sir Louis Sterling. May 16th 1879 - June 2nd 1956 by ........... (in: The Gramophone of July 1958, p. 19) online article
  • Licensing the Westrex Electrical Recording System to Victor and Columbia (
  • Columbia Employe(e)s Rewarded by Louis Sterling (in: The Music Trade Review, Vol. 88, No. 20 (of 18 May 1929) online article (, -- digitized with support from




Leslie Gage
Michael Lloyd-Davies