Victor Legacy Recording Studios

Since the music industry was born in Camden, it would of course be the location of many historic sites and hold the memory of many important moments in time that took place there. The Camden, N.J. Plant of the Victor Talking Machine Co. began to expand quickly to support record pressing and record player manufacturing processes as early as the late 1800s. One of the earliest ‘experimental’ recording studios was located in The E.R. Johnson Machine Shop (which would then become known as the first Victor Building #1) . Very few recordings from these sessions survive in the modern era and largely, this early disk recording studio was designed to experiment in perfecting the recording processes developed shortly after Berliner & Johnson formed the partnership that would be known as the Victor Talking Machine Co.

For all intents and purposes, the first commercial recording studio in the world was located at Victor’s original offices and store across the river in Philadelphia until 1907, when that recording studio was shuttered and the new recording studios of Victor Building #15 (Building #15 at that time was opening as the new executive offices of the Victor Talking Machine Co…replacing the long held Philadelphia offices and recording studio) opened.

Click the tabs to explore our archival information about Camden’s legendary recording studio complex!

WORKSHOP STUDIO

VICTOR ‘WORKSHOP’ RECORDING STUDIO (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

108 N Front St

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1897-1900

DEMOLISHED:

1914

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Eldridge Johnson developed the record player and disc record at this small workshop. Here, he conducted his earliest recording experiments and first records at this workshop. The earliest record players were built in this workshop and distributed around the United States and to Victor’s UK subsidiary, the Gramophone Company. Before the establishment of the Cabinet Building at the Gramophone Company’s Hayes plant in 1911, all of the company’s record players were built in Camden and sent to London for distribution.

The interior of Eldridge Johnson’s workshop, ca. 1900-1901

STUDIO 1

VICTOR RECORDING STUDIO ‘ONE’ (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

Bldg 15, 114 N Front Street

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1908-1945

DEMOLISHED:

1973

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

This was the first purpose built studio in camden by the Victor Talking machine Co.

STUDIO 2

VICTOR RECORDING STUDIO ‘TWO’ (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

Bldg 15, 114 N Front Street

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1908-1945

DEMOLISHED:

1973

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

This was the first purpose built studio in Camden by the Victor Talking Machine Co.

STUDIO A (Auditorium)

VICTOR RECORDING STUDIO ‘A’ (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

Bldg 2, 201 N Front Street

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1917-1945

DEMOLISHED:

existing

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Building 2, also known as the Executive Offices, was the center of the Victor Company. Artists such as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Frank Sinatra came here to sign their recording contracts.

TRINITY STUDIO B

VICTOR ‘TRINITY’ RECORDING STUDIO ‘B’ (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

Bldg 22, 114 N 5th Street

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1918-1935

DEMOLISHED:

1960

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Many of the world’s greatest artists have performed in this hallowed studio space, including Bing Crosby, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and Louis ARMSTRONG. Studio B was situated on the first floor, along with its world famous Estey Organ.

TRINITY STUDIO A

VICTOR ‘TRINITY’ RECORDING STUDIO ‘A’ (CAMDEN, NJ)

ADDRESS:

Bldg 22, 114 N 5th Street

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1918-1935

DEMOLISHED:

1960

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Studio ‘A’ was situated on the second floor of the old church building and was smaller than Studio B, but was just as loved by Victor artists.