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The painting His Master's Voice in its original form was completed in 1899 and originally showed the dog (who had in fact died some years previously) listening to a cylinder phonograph. This was a rare model, electrically driven and housed in a distinctive round-cornered case, known as the Edison-Bell Commercial Phonograph and produced by Edison's factory exclusively for the British market,
Barraud probably derived the idea of buying it from Hubert von Herkomer who kept a similar machine in his studio. He later replaced the phonograph with a disc machine on the suggestion of William Barry Owen of The Gramophone Company, which then bought the picture. It was used in advertising by the Gramophone Company and by its US equivalent Victor and became one of the world's most recognisable trademarks, although it did not appear on British record labels until 1909.