Otto Heinemann Phonograph Supply Co., Inc. New York City.
The Okeh label got its name from its founder, Otto Heinemann who came to the USA to set up a branch office for the german indusstrialist Carl Lindstrom in 1916. It appears that the common word of assurance - okay - came from an American Indian tribe, which meant ‘It is so', or ‘So be it', and so be it that OH used an Indian motif as his trademark - but only on one of his labels, the first.
The firts pressings were a modified form of hill-and-dale groove which, it is said, could be played by either a sapphire or steel needle, but that only lasted a year before the universal lateral-cut record was accepted.
The initial catalog contained the usual popular songs of the day, standard ballards and sacred numbers, military bands and dance music.
Note the spelling of the label naame - in capitols, which lasted till 1920, then in a flowing script emphasising the initials ‘OK'. By then the company had been renamed (in 1919), the General Phonograph Corporation.
Early artists of note include Mamie Smith. By 1921, the Okeh ‘race' records commenced, giving the listening public over the next few years a wealth of excellent jazz - the first recordings of Louis Armstrong under his name, and the King Oliver band in 1923.
Records in collection:
OKEH RECORD Otto Heinemann Phonograph Supply Co., Inc. New York City.
OKEH Okeh Phonograph Corporation, New York.
OKEH RECORD. Otto Heineman Phonograph Supply Co. Inc., New York City/