Two observations regarding T. R. Reid's story on EMI Music's resistance to being purchased by an American company ["EMI Deal Stirs British Concerns," Business, Jan. 25]:
Reid writes that EMI's roots go back to the "cylindrical gramophone records of the 1890s."
For the record (pardon me) there is no such thing as a cylindrical gramophone. "Gramophone" was Washington inventor Emile Berliner's trademark term for his pioneering flat-disc recordings. At the time of Berliner's invention, the late 1880s, "phonograph" was the trademark for Thomas Edison's cylinder recording invention, and use of the term was restricted to that type of recording and playback mechanism.
The article quotes EMI's chairman, Eric Nicoli, defending his company's alliance with the American Time Warner firm, as saying, "We're acutely aware of our roots and traditions."
While Nicoli's remark was intended to reassure the English that EMI would retain its British identity, out of context it could be interpreted as acknowledgment of EMI's true roots.
EMI was created in 1931 by the combination of two record companies earlier established by American (actually Washington) investors: the Gramophone Co., created by Berliner and partners, and the Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd., a creation of the Columbia Phonograph Co.