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ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES

THE BEGINNING OF THE RECORD INDUSTRY

IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY


THE HISPANIC-AMERICAN SOCIETY

 

The "Hispanic-American" Society Inurrieta and Company was established in deed as a mercantile association on January 30th 1917. The two partners that form part of it were Juan Inurrieta, an industrialist, and Eugenio Insausti, a dealer1. The purpose was the "sales operation of pianos, player pianos, harmoniums, organs, rolls, typewriters and accessories, and the like, in installment and cash".

On September 1st 1917, in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property, the trademark No. 31105 which consisted of the name "Hispanic American Society" was requested and a month later they were also granted the trade name No. 3712, "the Hispanic American". The initial capital was invested equally, although Eugenio Insausti was devoted to administrative area, accounting part and other business of rules of procedure, while Juan Inurrieta took on the requests for goods and everything that concerned technology. Both partners agreed on sharing the administrative management.

The express written authorization for Juan Inurrieta to continue their business was reflected in the statutes2, but without "trading in pianos, harmoniums, organs and rolls of W.W. Kimball and Company in Chicago, USA ... " among other limitations. This was a prestigious American brand that the Hispanic-American Society owned in Spain.

The company, with head office at 27 Libertad Avenue, sold "Ideal" piano rolls for automatic pianos of 65 and 88 notes. In 1918 it had agencies in Madrid and Barcelona, in Fuencarral and José A. Clave Street respectively. In the advertising inserted in newspapers and magazines at that time, they announced their installment sales in 20 months and in cash with a discount of 15%. Basque music appeared in their large repertoire of over a thousand rolls, in addition to universal classics and Spanish music: Ezpata dantza, Aurresku and San Ignacio March by Marcos de Alcorta, also fragments of the opera Marina by Emilio Arrieta, Anhelos by Bartolomé de Ercilla, Mamita by Juan Guelbenzu, Guernikako Arbola by José Mª Iparraguirre, La Paloma by Sebastián Iradier, some mazurkas, fantasias and jotas by Joaquín Larregla, Basconia by Antonio Peña y Goñi, Capricho vascongado and other works by Pablo Sarasate, the famous zortziko La del pañuelo rojo by Ignacio Tabuyo, the Pantomima of Las Golondrinas by José Mª Usandizaga and the zortziko Aritzari by Dámaso Zabalza.

In 1920 both partners met to amend the statutes in order to extend the term of the partnership until December 31st 1925, what "it will not be able to be dissolved or canceled for any reason". This was due to the agreement signed with Don Filomeno Acía y Urra, who invested a significant amount of money in the “form of limited partnership” to the company.

In 1922 another change happened. The two managing partners gave a broad general power to Don Baltasar Reparaz Arizpe, who as attorney, was in charge of the financial transactions since that moment. This year they registered under No. 6005 other version of the brand "Sociedad Hispano Americana" where agencies throughout Spain were listed (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Leon, Palencia, Oviedo, Gijon, Almeria, Granada, Murcia, La Coruña, Vigo and Santander). In 1923 the mark No. 51619 was registered. It consists of a rectangular label with a boy dressed as a callboy in the center, who holds in his hands some billboards of items to sale by the Hispano-American Society3.

In the same year, on June 16th 1923, Eugenio Insausti died. In the following month, Juan Inurrieta signed the agreement to dissolve the partnership with his widow, Ramona Arriola4. The society ceased its activity since July 3rd 1923. The reasons given for their liquidation were the total loss of capital as a result of the last balance made on June 10th; moreover, Ramona Arriola stated her wish to not continue belonging to the partnership. They also agreed that the partner Juan Inurrieta would take care of the liquidation of the company, keeping the assets and liabilities of it in order to "be responsible for the observance of the social obligations outstanding liabilities, which exceeded the asset, leaving completely exempt from any responsibility to the heirs and rightful claimants of Mr. Insausti". The money Mr. Filomeno Acía had invested in the company along with the benefits was paid off at the same time.

The deed of dissolution was registered on September 27th 1923 and, appropriately, it was not mentioned at any time the agreement signed some months earlier, on January 17th 1923, with the Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd. in London. What's more, they continued using the name of the dissolved company for some time. In 1924 Juan Inurrieta, as the manager of the Hispanic-American Society, requested with No. 54022 the Bristoll mark to distinguish firearms and as the manager of the Columbia Graphophone Company SA with No. 54921 the "Regal" mark to distinguish talking machines, records, needles and accessories.

On February 10th 1925, on behalf of the company Columbia GC, Eduardo Vega de Seoane signed a document addressed to the City Council of San Sebastian, as the owner of two thirds of a land of 4,050 sq m and 89 sq dm undivided, located in the Balda land in the Antiguo district, in the area of the expansion project (the other third was owned by Andrés Peña Elósegui, to whom Salustiano Loinaz had sold his part on July 22nd 1921). This was obviously the same site acquired by Loinaz and Inurrieta for the Pathéfono exploitation in 1917. There was a mortgage on those 2/3 of the company with “Banco Español de Río de la Plata” and “Banco Urquijo” as warranty for the debts with these banks. The land was affected by the expansion project of the Antiguo district in San Sebastián5. It would be partly occupied by the project of the Eustasio Amilibia Avenue and partly by the project of the Circular Square and the layout of other streets, with a small land being left outside of the needs of the project. Vega de Seoane requested the expropriation of the whole land, because the small part that was outside from the project would be useless for any other activity.


1 Eugenio Insausti, along with Leclercq, was one of the owners of the biscuit company "La Cantábrica"
2 In January 1919 Inurrieta and Cª, at 27 Liberty Avenue, was advertised as selling agent for the car "Chevrolet"
3 A variant of this brand will be attempted to register in 1924 with the number 53307 by that company with head office in Madrid, but it will be denied in 1927.
4 Ramona Arriola, Widow of Inchausti, was a sponsor and administrator of Passaman Foundation. He left after the coup in 1936 and she never returned. In: Zapirain, David; Irixoa, Iago. Pasaia: desarrollo urbano. Pasaia: Udala, 2011. p. 88-89.
5 Under this area, which will become a property of the City Council, there was a well and a pipeline that supplied in irregular way to both the ice factory and the record company. This causes a major conflict that was published in the newspaper "El Día" in 1935 with the title "El Expediente Inurrieta"

 


ERESBIL

Basque archives of music
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