The Vim Company was founded in 1896 in Chicago, Illinois, and it was active in labeling records in the first decade of the 20th century. Vim was primarily a sporting goods store but also sold bicycles and electrical goods. Record Research newsletter categorizes the firm as a "Department Store Label", meaning the owners entered an agreement with an already established record company, and "... they proceeded to have their own records pressed with the name of the department store prominently printed on the label."
The company offices were moved between 1901 and 1903. Known address are:
- 56-60 Fifth Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
- 68 E. Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois (1903); after street renumbering this was 10 Lake Street
- 39 S. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois; Company Headquarters
A branch office was opened in late 1903 at 704 West Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa. In 1906 the branch was moved to 808 West Walnut Street, and in 1907 it was moved to 204 7th Street. This location remained open until late 1908 when the firm of Harger & Blish, an established firm from Dubuque, Iowa, were appointed the jobbers in Des Moines.
The last listing for the firm producing records in Chicago was in the Edison Phonograph Monthly January 1910 issue.
The owner and president of the company was Leon Atwell Olmsted, a native of New York who moved to Chicago in the 1890s. After opening his first store in 1896, he eventually expanded to seven stores in Chicago and another seventeen throughout the nation. It was reported that he died in a fire at his home in Minocqua, Wisconsin, at the age of 63, but it was soon learned that he died of exhaustion after fighting the blaze. At the time of his death in 1936 the stores were being managed by his son Leslie B. Olmsted.
There are at least two other record labels that use/used the acronym "VIM."
- Variety In Music (VIM), in New York City, approximately 1959 - 1964
- Very Important Music (V.I.M.), in Thessaloniki, Greece, established in 2007
The record numbers on Vim labels can be broken down into multiple series. The following companies are known to have produced records for Vim.
- Leeds & Catlin: V-prefixed records are from Sun and associated labels
- International Record Company (IRC): X-prefixed records are from Excelsior and associated labels
All unprefixed record numbers in the chart below appear to have been produced by IRC. Every artist and recording name matches up with the IRC catalog numbers.
All recordings in this chart must be verified by seeing the information on a Vim Record label or in a Vim Company catalog. A Leeds & Catlin or International Record Company catalog that do not specifically state "Vim Record" are not sources for adding new records to this chart.
Unconfirmed information in any row must have an asterisk symbol (*) placed beside the information. This may happen because the label is not readable or the information was not printed on the label. The International Record Company recording catalog is useful for obtaining Vim Records information, but unless actually seen on a Vim label, all such information should be marked with an asterisk symbol.
All information in the chart must be placed in order by the "Record Number."
|Record Number||Artist(s)||Recording Name||Type||Year Recorded & Notes|
|Frederichs and Strange||Jesus Lover of My Soul||Duet||This is likely baritone William Frederichs and soprano Ellen Strang, but the title is not in the IRC catalog. Spellings of their names differ.|
|316||Metropolitan Band||Coax Me||Medley Two Step|
|604||Peluso's Orchestra||Grand March from "Faust" (Soldier's Chorus)|
|1575*||Frank Stanley||The Old Church Bell||Baritone Solo*|
|1604||Frank Stanley||When the Mocking Birds Are Singing in the Wildwood||Baritone Solo|
|1621||Joe Brown||So Long Mary||Baritone Solo|
|1640||Arthur Collins Orchestra Accompaniment||You Look Awfully Good To Father||Baritone Solo|
|2054||Billy Murray||I've Got a Little Money, and I Saved it All For You||Tenor Solo|
|2098||Billy Murray||You're A Grand Old Rag||Tenor Solo|
|2099||Billy Murray||Cheyenne (Shy Ann)*||Tenor Solo|
|2105||Billy Murray||How Would You Like to Spoon With Me?||Tenor Solo|
|2707||Spencer & Jones||Every Little Bit Helps||Vaudeville Sketch|
|3003||Vess L. Ossman||The Gay Gossoon||Banjo Solo|
|3006||Metropolitan Band||Free Lance March (Sousa)|
|3009||Metropolitan Band of New York*||The Flag of Victory March||Band*|
|3040||G. P. Watson||Hi Le, Hi Lo (German Hunter Song)||Yodel Song|
|3059||Metropolitan Band of New York*||Stradella Overture||Band*|
|3063||Metropolitan Band of New York*||Hero of the Sea||March|
|3098 (Possibly 3070?)||Vess L. Ossman||So Long Mary, Intro. "Mary's a Grand Old Name"||Banjo Solo|
|3105||Collins & Harlan||It's up to You to Move||Baritone and Tenor Duet|
|3113||Metropolitan Band of New York*||Royal Italian March (Gambetti)||Band|
|V-2||Harold Eisenberg||Traumerei (Reverie)||Violin Solo|
|V-11||Henry Burr||Silver Heels||Tenor Solo|
|X304||Metropolitan Band of New York*||Merry Makers||Band|
|X317||Metropolitan Band of New York*||First Kiss Waltz||Band*|
|X323||Metropolitan Band of New York*||At The Race Track||Band|
|X336||Metropolitan Band of New York*||The Forge in the Forest||Band|
|X635||Peluso's Orchestra, with calls*||Metropolitan Lanciers, last figure||Band|
|X638||Peluso's Orchestra, with calls*||Recreation quadrille, last figure||Band|
|X642||Peluso's Orchestra*||Miesrere from "Ill Trovatore||Orchestra|
|X 1523*||Arthur Collins*||The Preacher and the Bear"||Baritone and Orchestra Accompaniment|
|X 1532||Frank C. Stanley*||Where the Sunset Turns to Ocean's Blue to Gold||Baritone Solo with orchestra accompaniment|
|X 1572||Frank C. Stanley||Old Man Moon||Baritone Solo with Orch. Accom.|
|X2087||Byron G. Harlan*||Somebody's Sweethart I want to be||Tenor Solo (w. orchestra accompaniment)|
|X2163||Henry Burr & George Gordon||My Old Kentucky Home||Tenor & Baritone Duet|
- "Vim company, Chicago, Ill". Catalogue of Title Entries of Books. 26 (1): 990. January 3, 1901. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Kunstadt, Leonard (April 1955). "An Introduction to the Department Store Labels". Record Research. 1 (2): 5–6. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Jobbers of Edison Phonographs and Records". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 1 (2): 11. April 1903. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Among the Jobbers". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 1 (9): 9. November 1903. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Among the Jobbers". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 4 (5): 5. July 1906. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Among Jobbers". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 5 (2): 8. April 1907. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Among Jobbers". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 6 (11): 13. November 1908. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Jobbers of Edison Phonographs and Records". Edison Phonograph Monthly. Orange, New Jersey: The National Phonograph Company. 8 (1): 32. January 1910. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Fire Injuries Are Fatal To L. A. Olmsted". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. April 25, 1936. p. 14.
- "Will of L. Atwill Olmsted Gives Wife $175,000 Estate". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. May 3, 1936. p. 30.
- "Beg Your Pardon". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. May 11, 1936. p. 7.
- "International Record Company". www.78discography.com.