Sunday, February 12, 2012

Noropa - Amsterdam

A Dutch advertisement for English durium records: Durium brengt de nieuwste dansplaten binnen ieders bereik. (= Durium brings the latest dance records within everybody's reach) Mind the funny Dutchmen in their local dress ( Source: Nieuwsblad van het Noorden - 8th of July 1932) ( bron: Historische Kranten Koninklijke Bibliotheek)
The Hit of the Week Records were recorded between 1930 and mid 1932 in the US and distributed in a weekly schedule at the newspaper stands all around the country. Not all records were sold during these weekly ( or two week) limited period, so Durium took had to take all unsold records back in stock and sold it to people who loved to "complete" their collection ( the so-called Records for your Hit.of.the.Week. Library) or shipped it in large quantities for the European markets.
Advertisement for an extra income ( Bijverdienste ƒ 200 ,- per maand) ( source: Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 26th of April, 1933)
The Hit of the Week records were sold in England, Scandinavia ( as Veckans skiva), Holland and France ( re-labelled as Sefono, ABS, DoReMi, Dancing and a half dozen of other record labels. ). In Holland it could have been that Noropa distributed those Hit of the week records. I found an advertisement where it promotes the English durium records: durium brengt de nieuwste dansplaten binnen ieders bereik (= Durium brings the latest dance records within everybody's reach). Pre 1932 advertisements learn that Noropa seems to have been an importer ( like fountain pens). Fact is that long after the Durium US-firm was broken ( Summer 1932) these Hit of the Week records were sold in large quantities in so-called bargain shops, "dime-stores" ( In Holland this name wasn't used).
Noropa Taalcursus Fransch ( Noropa Language Course French) (record IV) ( Hans Koert collection)
In April 1933 the N.V. Noropa firm, located at the Heerengracht 270 in Amsterdam, placed an advertisement with the head Bijverdienste ƒ 200,- per maand, ( Extra income 200 guilders each month). The Dutch text reads that it is very easy to earn an extra income of ƒ 200,- each month, selling the unbreakable Durium records to your friends and family, promissing a high commission. The suggested retail price is one guilder each. A sample of 5 records ( 10 tracks) could be obtained for ƒ 2,50
A Noropa Language Course advertisemenbt: De moderne Mensch dient zijn talen te kennen: Dit is goedkoop met Noropa ( = The modern men should know his languages. Enjoy this cheap opportunity with Noropa) ( Source: Nieuws van de dag voor Ned. Indië ( 15th of March, 1935) ( bron: Historische Kranten Koninklijke Bibliotheek)
The Noropa firm distributed language course, Taalcursussen, in fancy boxes. Three different Taalcursussen were released, Engelsch ( English) - Duitsch ( German) and Fransch (French). Each course contained six cardboard Durium records, labeled Noropa and a text book. The Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad of November 1933 shows an article about the Noropa's Taalcursus Engelsch. It reads that Noropa is preparing to publish several language courses in Duitsch, Fransch, Spaansch ( Spanish) and Italiaansch (Italian) and that the English one is ready to be published. Mind that the Spanish and Italian language course have never been released. In the Middelburgsche Courant which also published the story in November 1933 ( the story was published in several national newspapers) these Noropa Taalcursussen were distributed by NV-Publiciteits-Onderneming Rudolf Mosse from Amsterdam, which seems to have been a publisher.
A RN Kleintje ( a Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad page with small private advertisements) offers fonkelnieuwe, brand new Noropa taalcursussen. ( source: Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad - 20th of August, 1940)
In a public advertisement site in the Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, entitled RN Kleintjes, from August 1940 ( the Second World War had just started), a person offers brand new Noropa language courses, including a windup gramophone for ƒ 55 guilders. He also offers an Underwood typewriter. Maybe this advertisement is symptomatically for the quality of the Noropa language courses, as even today only unused, new copies seem to have survived – I wonder who ever learned a foreign language with these courses!

In a previous post I wrote about the Noropa Taalcursus Duitsch

Hans Koert
author of the (online) Hit of the Week-Durium Discographies


Blogger Gregory in San Diego said...

Pic of the guy demonstrating Durium's flexibility, looks like he's doing a new dance step! LOL

February 12, 2012  
Blogger Ton said...

Hi! I just found a German course, put in in my album and linked your supurb info! Thanks!i=2214850584&k=8hhf4CC&lb=1&s=A

November 14, 2012  

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