1886 - American Graphophone Company established by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter to manufacture and sell graphophones in the United States and Canada under licence from the Volta Graphophone Co.
1889 - Columbia Phonograph Company established, licensed by the American Graphophone Company to sell graphophones in Washington, D.C., and by the North American Phonograph Company to sell phonographs in the same area.
1893 - American Graphophone Company acquired by Columbia Phonograph Company,
1898 - The Gramophone Co. Ltd. (England) established in London by William Barry Owen and E. Trevor Williams to manufacture gramophones and records in Europe.
1906 - American Graphophone Company reorganized and renamed as Columbia Graphophone Company to reflect its identity with Columbia. (this name-change might even have referred to Columbia Phonograph Company itself)
1917 - British Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd. was registered, but with its shares held by its US parent company, the American Columbia Graphophone Company.
1918 - a name change for the manufacturing arm of American/Columbia Graphophone Company, to Columbia Graphophone Manufacturing Company.
1925 - Louis Sterling of Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd. in London bought out its former parent Columbia Phonograph Company and reorganized it as Columbia Phonograph Company, Inc.
1931 - The Gramophone Co. Ltd. and Columbia Graphophone Company merged to form a new company, Electric and Musical Industries (EMI); anti-trust laws compelled EMI to sell off its American Columbia operation (name?).
1938 - after a series of brief acquisitions by others (incl. Grigsby-Grunow Co. and ARC) between 1931–38, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) bought over Columbia for US$750,000, renaming it Columbia Recording Corporation.
- 1886: Edward D. Easton used the profits from his shares in Volta Labratory to purchase the 1886 graphophone patents owned by Volta Labratory.
- 1887-05-13: Edward D. Easton incorporated the company. Col. James G. Payne became the first company president.
- 1887-05: American Graphophone Company proposed a merger with The Edison Speaking Phonograph Co. to Thomas A. Edison, demonstrating their new graphophone to him at the St. James Hotel in New York City. Charles Sumner Tainter opposed the demonstration, believing it would reawaken Edison's interest in his own phonograph. Edison rejected the merger offer and proved Tainter's fears correct, hiring Dr. Schulze-Berge on May 26, 1887, to begin new research on possible cylinder wax mixtures, and founding the Edison Phonograph Works a year later.
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