Fisher, Vories

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This page presents a biography of Franklin Vories Fisher, always known as Vories Fisher.

It is part of the site Classical 'Society' Records by Nick Morgan.

From the early 1920s, Fisher worked as a stock broker in Chicago. He collected records, and wrote about them for British and US magazines.

In 1925, Fisher and his first wife, Dorothy B. Fisher, started hosting a private gramophone circle which became the Chicago Gramophone Society. Together with fellow-member Robert Pollak, Fisher was responsible for commissioning the USA's first known subscription records, issued by the Society in 1927.

In 1928 Fisher ceased writing about records. The Chicago Gramophone Society also disappeared from view.

In the 1930s, Fisher changed career and worked as a professional photographer until his retirement.

For dates of creation and latest update, please see 'Page information' in left sidebar.

Life

Born 23 May 1901, Chicago, Illinois, USA[1]

Married 28 October 1924, Dorothy Button, Chicago

Divorced date unknown

Married 13 April 1943, Florence Gertrude Armstrong, Chicago

Children Daughter, born 12 September 1943 (still living); daughter, born 17 December 1944 (still living), both Chicago

Died 31 December 1969, Chicago

Studies

Fisher was the only child of George Franklin Fisher Jr. (1876-1942), manager of a laundry, later President of the Hyde Park Laundry Company and an officer of the Illinois Laundry Owners' Association,[2] and Grace Elizabeth Vories (1877-1959), born into an affluent family prominent in the baking industry.[3] The Fishers were reportedly conservative and not artistic; Vories' personality, artistic, altruistic and progressive, was in noted contrast to theirs.[4]

Vories attended Hyde Park High School in Chicago, and then the University of Chicago, from 1918 to 1922, graduating as PhB (Bachelor of Philosophy).[5] At the University, Fisher was very active in student drama: he was a member and officer of the Dramatic Club, appearing in many of its productions, directing some of them, and finally becoming its President.[6] As well as acting in plays put on by other groups, in May 1922 Fisher played a reporter in Bartlett Cormack's highly successful Anybody's Girl, mounted by the Blackfriars, the student musical comedy society.[7] His appearance in the role was captured in a contemporary photograph:


(University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf4-03050, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)

It was possibly through the Blackfriars that Fisher met Robert Pollak, who was closely involved in its 1923 and 1924 productions (although Fisher is not known to have joined the society). Later, they would be fellow-members of the Chicago Gramophone Society and co-sponsors of its two recorded issues. In 1924, after graduating, Fisher acted in the University's annual Christmas 'Revels', put on by the faculty Quadrangle Club;[8] Pollak contributed to the Revels for several years, although his early involvement is not yet documented. Fisher also belonged to an unofficial student society, the 'Green Chalybeate', whose 'Supreme Calyb' was Fisher's friend John Gunther; Pollak witnessed some of their antics and later chronicled them.[9] Finally, Fisher was a member of the Score Club, a sophomore honour society.[10]

Fisher did not study music, academically or privately, and did not learn or play an instrument. According to his daughter, he 'could not carry a tune', but he had attended orchestral concerts in Chicago as a child, and became a life-long lover of classical music and opera.

Early employment

After completing his studies in the summer of 1922, Fisher sailed for Europe on a cattle boat with friends, including Gunther, later author of the celebrated Inside— books.[11] Together, they visited several European countries. On his return, Fisher found employment in Chicago's financial sector. He reportedly did not enjoy this work, and had to rein in his bohemian tendencies. Years later, he told the Chicago Sunday Tribune that

'he shaved the beard he had grown while traveling to Europe with John Gunther [...] "In the financial world then one just didn't wear a beard!"'[12]

It is not known which firm or firms Fisher initially worked for. Possibly he went into business on his own account (see below). He may also have met his future wife at work: in 1927, his business address was given as 208 South LaSalle St., where the Chicago branch of H.M. Byllesby and Co. Investment Securities had had its offices until late 1924.[13] Dorothy Button had been working for Byllesby since 1922;[14] admittedly, many firms had their offices at 208 South LaSalle, but the coincidence is striking. After they were married, the Fishers apparently enjoyed a reasonable income: Vories Fisher was able to afford to buy a large number of records, some imported from abroad, and to travel again to Europe with his wife.

The Gramophone

Fisher's interest in recorded music is first documented in the British magazine The Gramophone, to which he was probably an early subscriber (although he never specifically described himself as such). In 1925 and 1926, it published three contributions from him:

  • 'Polydor Records' [letter], The Gramophone, Vol.III No.1, June 1925, p.40
  • (with Dr. Kenneth E. Britzius) 'List of Recorded Music of Richard Strauss', ibid., Vol.III No.4, September 1925, p.183
  • (with Dr. Kenneth E. Britzius) 'Recorded Music of Debussy', ibid., Vol.III No.12, May 1926, p.563

The letter was written in response to a request from the Editor for readers' opinions of orchestral works issued on Polydor, the export label of Germany's Grammophon company, which had recently begun to be distributed in Britain.[15] Fisher had to import Polydor records to the USA, presumably at considerable expense; but he did not let this affect his judgement, offering perceptive, honest and trenchant evaluations of them. His other two contributions are remarkable as early efforts at discography, compiled jointly with a collector from Minneapolis.[16] Fisher was an admirer of Richard Strauss's music, and probably owned many of the numerous records he listed, again including several imports.[17] These contributions confirm Fisher's later claim that he had been collecting records for some time, possibly since 1922 or so.[18]

The Gramophone almost certainly gave Fisher the ideas of forming a gramophone society, of using 'contests' as a form of market research, and possibly of commissioning private recordings. The magazine's first number included an article on 'How To Start A Gramophone Society', and two pages of reports of the activities of existing societies in London, Glasgow and on Tyneside;[19] it carried these reports in almost every issue for several years.[20] In the fourth number, the Editor, Compton Mackenzie, mooted a subscription record scheme, which was successfully launched by the end of 1924 as the National Gramophonic Society (N.G.S.).[21] Like the magazine itself, this innovative venture quickly attracted subscribers in the USA, some of whom were named in the Society's reports and notices in The Gramophone.[22] Fisher was not among those named, and clear evidence for his membership of the N.G.S. is lacking, but he later acknowledged the Society as a source of inspiration.[23] He probably also took inspiration from The Gramophone for the various contests which he oversaw in the magazine's first US imitator (see below).

In 1927, Fisher and his wife called at the London offices of The Gramophone, and met its London Editor, Christopher Stone, who was also the N.G.S.'s Secretary; in an enthusiastic account of the visit, Fisher relayed a hopeful rumour that 'in the not too distant future the N.G.S. records will be made available in this country.'[24] He later sent a copy of the Chicago Gramophone Society's first issue to The Gramophone; it was acknowledged in the magazine but not reviewed.[25]

The Phonograph Monthly Review

In the autumn of 1926, a publisher in Boston, Massachusetts, launched a new magazine. Clearly and closely modelled on The Gramophone, The Phonograph Monthly Review aimed to emulate the British magazine's role as an independent intermediary between US consumers and producers of recorded music. Like its predecessor, the newcomer was enthusiastically received by record-buyers and collectors, and became a forum for their opinions and ideas, as well as an advocate for a local phonograph society movement, publishing regular reports from new groups (Boston's own shared personnel with the Review, effectively its official organ[26]).

The Phonograph Monthly Review was a natural home for Fisher. The first number introduced him to readers in glowing terms:

'Mr. Fisher [...] is a phonograph and musical connoisseur of long standing all over the country. One of the leading phonograph enthusiasts and delightful personalities in the Middle West, we are proud to have him for our Chicago representative and for the Chairman of our Contest Committee. No better man could be selected to conduct this significant and important contest.'[27]

The number included two contributions from Fisher himself - a record review and a preliminary report on his wife's and his gramophone society - and from then on until mid-1928, he appeared regularly in its pages. His contributions to the magazine over that period were of six types:

These are considered in more detail below.

Contests

As the article quoted above explained, under Fisher's direction The Phonograph Monthly Review Contest Committee would oversee two contests:

'Both will have far-reaching and valuable results and cannot fail to be of great interest to all music lovers and phonograph enthusiasts. The first will give our readers the opportunity of selecting a work to be recorded and the second, to be held early next spring, will be a comparative test of instruments.[28]

Neither of these contests came to fruition.

The second was never mentioned again. The first was introduced by Fisher in November 1926, in an article which set out the contest's aims in greater detail;[29] but subsequent articles did not materially advance it.[30] Only several months later were detailed rules for the contest and a voting form promised, though neither materialized.[31] In April or May 1927, Fisher and his wife left for a tour of Europe. In his absence, management of the contest was delegated to the Contest Committee's Assistant Chairman, George S. Maynard of the Boston Public Library (the only Committee member, besides Fisher, to be named or alluded to in the Review).[32]

Two months later, a new contest was launched, titled 'The Sacrifices I Have Made To Obtain Good Records'.[33] Once home from Europe, Fisher resumed duty as Contest Committee chairman, but from now on he wrote only, and rather briefly, about the new 'Sacrifices' contest.[34] By now, the Chicago Gramophone Society had issued its first recording, and in October Fisher made the first, tentative announcement of a second;[35] it seems he had given up on the contest and transferred his private recording project to the Society. The following month brought the last article on the original contest, unsigned and possibly written by Maynard rather than Fisher. Ominously, it observed that

'Recent releases from the domestic and foreign manufacturers have diminished the list of the most desired recordings and re-recordings by no inconsiderable measure [...] It seems almost unfair to ask for more works, now that so many works of the highest class are being issued so liberally; indeed, suggestions are no longer requests, they are coming to be merely hints as to the paths future progress is to take, and also an indication of the wishes of the record buying public.'[36]

In the same month, an interim report on the 'Sacrifices' contest stated that it would be judged by record company employees, although Fisher remained 'the court of final decision'. This was the last mention of Fisher in this capacity.[37] In December 1927 the Editor announced that the original 'Favorites' contest would be dropped:

'after counting up the recent releases of major works, it begins to look as if there was hardly anything left to "contest" about any longer!'[38]

The 'Sacrifices' contest remained open, but adjudication was considerably delayed,[39] and the winner was only announced many months later, in May 1928.[40]

If the recording contest was ultimately abortive, it surely played a part in shaping the Chicago Gramophone Society's recording programme. Not only had the contest thrown up the first work to be issued by the Society,[41] it may also have confronted Fisher with the drawbacks of planning by plebiscite - the difficulty of pleasing everyone, and the indecision brought on by unfettered, free choice. It was perhaps no coincidence that, for the Society's first issue, Fisher and Robert Pollak adopted a diametrically opposite policy: one artist, one work, no choice.

'Recorded Remnants'

This column was Fisher's most extensive contribution to The Phonograph Monthly Review: from February 1927 onwards, eleven instalments were published. At the start, Fisher made it clear that these were his personal musings and reactions to news, trends, gossip and rumours in the music world and recording business.[42] They add up to a valuable self-portrait of an early gramophile, voraciously curious, a little obsessive (by his own admission), opinionated but open-minded and observant. The series ended in May 1928, with what would prove to be Fisher's last words in The Phonograph Monthly Review.[43]

Reviews

The Phonograph Monthly Review published just one review by Fisher, of the US issue of Beethoven's Symphony No.9 in d Op.125, conducted by Felix Weingartner and recorded in London by Columbia.[44] Fisher's capabilities were many and varied, but reviewing records, a specialised task which entails considerable drudgery, seems not to have been congenial to him. His effort was probably judged not to have been a success, and rightly so; the magazine had a better reviewer on its roster, Robert Donaldson Darrell (1903-1988), who would become one of the USA's most respected record critics.

Miscellaneous articles

The Phonograph Monthly Review published a submission by Fisher to its planned 'Open Forum' for 'Suggestions to the Manufacturer and Dealer'.[45] It stimulated a lively, at times acrimonious debate, and is considered with Fisher's letters, below. The Review also planned to publish an article by Fisher on the life and music of Modest Musorgsky. This did not materialize, probably because Fisher used it as the basis for a talk to the Chicago Gramophone Society which was printed in the magazine, seemingly in its entirety, although the planned article would probably have included a discography.[46]

Phonograph society reports

The first issue of The Phonograph Monthly Review included a preliminary report by Fisher on what would become the Chicago Gramophone Society;[47] thereafter, the duty of writing the Society's reports fell to the Secretary, L.J. Harris. One report was left unsigned.[48] Another contained a substantial piece of writing by Fisher: a talk of nearly 4,000 words on the life and music of Modest Musorgsky, illustrated with named recordings of excerpts from the opera Boris Godunov. It was given at a meeting of the Chicago Gramophone Society on 18 January 1927, and was reportedly based on an article originally intended for The Phonograph Monthly Review.[49]

Letters

Fisher's passion for his hobby could land him in hot water. The second number of The Phonograph Monthly Review included a submission by Fisher to its 'Open Forum' for 'Suggestions to the Manufacturer and Dealer'. Comparing record shops and their sales personnel with booksellers, highly unfavourably, Fisher claimed that when he could not find something in a bookshop, 'where the emphasis is laid on the more worthwhile literature of all nations [...] the intelligent salesman' would know of it, would order it for him, and might recommend something else in the meantime. On the other hand,

'The shop handling recorded music seems to have no interest in any records aside from those on their shelves. No interest? Let me say no knowledge. The person who waits on you may know a particular catalogue, but only as such; he will never know it as to the Debussy records contained, as to the Brahms that is available. [...] I should be able to go into a shop and ask, for example, "What has been recorded from Boris?" "What Beethoven Quartets are made?" and I should get at once a complete answer. The record collector is not interested in only the Victor records from Boris but rather all those available.'[50]

Fisher was clearly unaware of the very different distribution models prevalent in the book and record trades. Towards the back of the same issue was a measured but heartfelt open letter from 'A Dealer', to whom Fisher's tirade must have been shown before publication:

'Dear Enthusiast: [...] There is one thing that you are prone to forget, – that is, that I am in business to make a living. Records are not simply things to enjoy for me (although I do get enjoyment from them as well as you) but they are my stock in trade. If I don't sell them, I don't eat, to put the matter in its crudest light. Yet you and others, through thoughtlessness alone, I am sure, often hurt me financially.'[51]

Three issues later, the magazine printed a more combative response from 'S.K.', a retailer in New York:

'As usual, it seems to be we dealers who come in for all the blame. I have been in the game for many years and [...] always the dealers were at fault for everything wrong in the eyes of the so-called enthusiasts. It sounds fine to talk about keeping all these wonderful things in stock [...] but it doesn't make any money. [...] the few of my customers who really like the classical stuff certainly do keep coming back for more. But [...] the "jazz-hounds" are the ones that keep me alive. They may throw their records away after a week or two but that's none of my business. There are enough of them to keep me busy.'[52]

Perhaps unwisely, 'S.K.' added a jibe at those who claimed to like 'Strangle-insky', drawing a passionate rejoinder from Fisher the following month.[53] Others joined the fray and the correspondence dragged on, somewhat inconclusively, with Fisher making one further, conciliatory contribution, months later.[54]

In Britain, The Gramophone had headed its correspondence column with the Latin tag 'De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum', as early as its sixth issue.[55] This did not prevent spats between readers, which the Editors often had to put a stop to. (The parallel with modern internet 'flame wars' is striking.) As it happened, Fisher would be proved right: his original 'Open Forum' submission and subsequent letters effectively argued for more specialization and segmentation in retail, for more and better information for sellers and buyers, and for better-trained salespeople. In The Gramophone, British record-buyers clamoured for exactly the same things; and the trade responded positively on both sides of the Atlantic.

Again, as with The Phonograph Monthly Review contest, this episode may have helped to convince Fisher that it was not possible, or at least very time-consuming, to achieve consensus in the intensely personal world of musical taste.

The Phonograph Monthly Review published one other letter from Fisher, providing a fellow-reader with information about recordings made by the German pianist Walter Gieseking for Germany's Homocord label.[56]

Chicago Gramophone Society

Fisher's involvement with the Chicago Gramophone Society lasted from 1926, when it was officially formed by his wife and him, until its sudden disappearance in mid-1928. It is examined in detail on the relevant page of this site.

Later employment

By 1928, Fisher had his own securities and investment firm in Chicago, Vories Fisher & Co.[57] His workload may have contributed to the lessening of his interest in and time for record-collecting.

Fisher's firm survived apparently survived the 1929 Crash.[58] By 1932 it had taken on a new partner, becoming Vories Fisher, Marr & Co.,[59] but it seems to have been dissolved soon afterwards.[60]

In January 1937, a new firm, Fisher, Schmick & Watts, Inc., 'an investment banking business', was formed, with Vories Fisher as Secretary.[61] Within a year, the firm was effectively absorbed by another, and presumably ceased to trade.[62]

At an unknown date, Fisher became a professional photographer. He perhaps pursued his new career in parallel with the old, building up expertise and contacts until he felt he could quit the financial world completely.

In 1940, according to a later reminiscence, he

'spent months photographing old southern plantations in Louisiana. He crept thru the bayous from New Orleans to St. Francisville snapping more than 35 ante-bellum mansions to be used in travel folders of the Illinois Central railroad. [...] "I felt strong about that plantation business," he said recently. "Those homes are representative of a way of life that was unique in this country."'[63]

It was through photography that Fisher met his second wife, Florence, who was also a photographer, specializing in portraits. They were married in 1943. She later gave up her work to be a full-time housewife and mother.

From 1943, Fisher's work was regularly published in Life magazine.[64] In 1946, the Chicago Sunday Tribune reported that Fisher and three other photographers had remodelled a 'fine old mansion' on La Salle Street as 'a modern plant for their work'.[65] As well as working for corporate clients,[66] Fisher undertook assignments for the University of Chicago, photographing faculty members and scenes of teaching and student life; his images can be seen in the University's online photographic archive. Fisher's work was also published in newspapers such as the The Cincinnati Enquirer,[67] and magazines such as The Farm.[68]

By 1949, Fisher was official photographer to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, a position he still held in 1960.[69] That year, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported plans for a public exhibition of his 1940 photographs of Louisiana's ante-bellum mansions, many of which had been destroyed in the two intervening decades.[70]

In the 1950s, Fisher gave lectures on photographic practice and technique at the Museum, the University of Chicago, the YMCA and other venues.[71]

At an unknown date, Fisher became official photographer to Chicago's Goodman Theater, a position he reportedly held for 17 years.[72] In 1961, Fisher's photographs of ante-bellum mansions were again exhibited, at his place of work, the Museum of Science and Industry.[73] Later that decade, Fisher left the Museum to became head of the photography department of Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago.[74]

In the mid-1960s, Fisher very occasionally broadcast on Chicago's AM station WBBM.[75]

Charitable and other activities

Fisher was for many years actively involved with the Parent-Teacher Association of his alma mater, Hyde Park High School.[76]

From at least 1960, possibly earlier, Fisher was a volunteer officer of Child and Family Services, a welfare organization in Chicago; he was later its president.[77]

Hobbies

Fisher retained his love of classical music all his life. His daughters remember him conducting the broadcast performances which he listened to via Chicago's WFMT station. He did not remain a record collector; there were records in the Fisher household, but far fewer than at the height of his collecting craze in the early 1920s.

In the 1930s, Fisher and his first wife maintained a second home near Nashville, Brown County, Indiana. Fisher took up hunting to hounds and was Master of Hounds of the Hunting and Kennel Club of Gnaw Bone, Indiana.[78] One one occasion in 1934, he had 'charge of the [shooting] traps at which Kurt Vonnegut won the cup given by the M.F.H. [Master of Hounds]' (the winner was father of the writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr.[79]). Fisher also reportedly managed Nashville's baseball team for a time.[80]

It was on holiday in Indiana that Fisher was fascinated by a loom used to make rag carpeting, leading to his greatest avocation in later life, weaving.[81] In a letter to the Chicago Daily Tribune, published in 1955, he wrote

'I have been a hand weaver for over 20 years. I have woven on all types of looms from the old Colonial clunker [...] to the most modern of Swedish and American foot power looms. I have woven all kinds of materials from simple rag rugs on two harnesses to complicated 16 harness damask and double faced twill. [...] Several years ago I was forced to give up weaving for the simple reason that I did not have the room to house the big floor looms [...] A couple of years ago I heard about this new tubular aluminum loom. I was frankly skeptical. [...] I have now used this modern tubular aluminum loom for some two years, and I can say without equivocation that I would have no other!'[82]

After some years, Fisher decided to weave only woollen cloth and tweed for clothing, using hand-dyed yarn which he obtained from Uist in Scotland's Western Isles.[83] He dressed his wife and daughters in his cloth, and he supplied his tweed to Chicago outfitters, who made it up into men's suits.[84]

After his death, Fisher was described in a tribute as

'a "rugged individualist", a "Renaissance man." [...] who could wear a corduroy suit, red flannel shirt and bow tie to an exclusive restaurant for lunch.'[85]

Images


Vories Fisher, 1945 (Getty Images)
(This photograph may have been taken by Fisher's second wife Florence, a portrait photographer)

References

Note The Phonograph Monthly Review underwent various name changes, detailed here, but on this page and elsewhere on this site, the magazine is referred to in the text and footnotes as The Phonograph Monthly Review or, where appropriate, the Review.

  1. Biographical data for Fisher and family retrieved from birth, death, census, travel and other documents, accessed via ancestry.co.uk, except where noted; additional details of Fisher's early life, education and personality kindly supplied by Fisher's daughter, whose generous and patient help are very gratefully acknowledged (personal communications, June 2017)
  2. 'Sober Is Head Of Laundry Owners', The Decatur Herald [Decatur, Illinois, Saturday 24 March 1928, p.24; 'George Fisher Pays $250,000 For Laundry', Chicago Sunday Tribune, Sunday 19 May 1929, Part 3, p.2; 'Death Notices', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 18 November 1942, Section Two, p.28
  3. 'Week Of Weddings', The Sunday Inter Ocean [Chicago, Illinois], 12 June 1898, p.17; 'Harry F. Vories Funeral Rites To Be Tomorrow', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 16 August 1931, Part 1, p.16; 'Death Notices', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 22 April 1959, Part 3, p.[12]
  4. Information kindly supplied by Fisher's daughter (personal communications, June 2017)
  5. 'Alumni News', University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.LXII No.4, January 1970, pp.36-44
  6. 'Dramatic Club Elects Seven Candidates To Associate Membership', The Daily Maroon [University of Chicago], Vol.XVII No.23, 8 November 1918, pp.[1]-2; 'Dramatic Club', Cap & Gown (University of Chicago Junior Class yearbook), Vol.27, 1922, pp.210-13
  7. Bird, Harry Jr. 'News Of The Quadrangles', University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.XIV No.7, May 1922, p.256; see also 'Large Audience Applauds Plays by Chicago Authors', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 2 May 1922, Section One, p.25 (Fisher is not named in this report)
  8. 'Alumni Affairs', University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.XVI No.3, January 1924, pp.87-90
  9. Pollak, Robert 'Continental Footnotes', University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.31 No.3, December 1938, pp.8-9, 20; id 'Those Were the Days', ibid., Vol.60 No.1, October 1967, pp.4-7
  10. 'Score Club', The Daily Maroon [University of Chicago], Vol.17 No.108, 14 May 1919, p.[1]
  11. Krebs, Albin 'John Gunther Dead; Wrote 'Inside' Books', New York Times, Saturday 30 May 1970, New York edition, p.1
  12. Page, Eleanor 'Does a Beard Add to Manly Charm?', Chicago Sunday Tribune, Vol.CXIII No.39, 20 July 1958, Part 7, p.4
  13. In November 1924, H.M. Byllesby and Co. Investment Securities moved to 231 South LaSalle, see 'Tax-Exempt Investments Yielding 4.25% to 5.25%' (advertisement), Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 12 November 1924, p.36, and 'Investors in Municipal Bonds' (advertisement), ibid., Tuesday 25 November 1924, p.27
  14. 'Class Catalogue', Bulletin of The University of Kansas Lawrence Alumni Catalogue, Vol.XXIII No.4, 15 February 1922, pp.17-206 (on p.123)
  15. 'The Polydor Catalogue', The Gramophone, Vol.II No.10, March 1925, pp.373-74
  16. Fisher later credited the Tulsa architect Bruce Goff with having compiled a discography of Debussy, which may have formed the basis of the list submitted to The Gramophone by Fisher and Britzius, see [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, p.215
  17. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.274
  18. Fisher, Vories 'S.K., my silence has not been (...)' [letter], The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.12, September 1927, pp.511-12
  19. Rogers, Wm. J. 'How To Start A Gramophone Society', The Gramophone, Vol.I No.1, April 1923, pp.10-11; (various authors) 'Gramophone Societies' Reports', ibid., pp.11-13
  20. The Gramophone suspended its regular society reports between early 1927 and June 1935, see Mackenzie, Compton 'December Records', The Gramophone, Vol.IV No.8, January 1927, pp.[314]-22 (on pp.321-22); 'Correspondence and Gramophone Society Reports', ibid., Vol.XIII No.145, June 1935, pp.41-44
  21. On the background, launch and early months of the National Gramophonic Society, see Morgan, Nick The National Gramophonic Society, Sheffield: CRQ Editions, 2016, §2.4, pp.51-60
  22. '[...] records are already being sent to America, China, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, and even Turkey.': 'National Gramophonic Society Notes', The Gramophone, Vol.II No.8, January 1925, p.294; among early US members of the N.G.S. was Fisher's fellow-discographer, Dr. Kenneth Britzius of Minneapolis, see e.g. 'National Gramophonic Society Notes', The Gramophone, Vol.III No.2, July 1925, p.80
  23. 'We are very proud in Chicago of the first set of privately made records that is soon to be issued; we will always look upon The National Gramophone [sic] Society in London as one of the really important movements in modern phonograph activities'; [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.274
  24. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.11, August 1927, pp.462-63
    National Gramophonic Society issues had been available to North American members of the N.G.S. from the Society's launch in late 1924, but Fisher was clearly hoping for local retail distribution; this was not realised until the opening in April 1928 of the first North American retailer to import N.G.S. records, The Gramophone Shop in New York City, see Johnson, Axel B. 'General Review', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.II No.7, April 1928, pp.241-44 (on p.244), 'The Gramophone Shop' [advertisement], ibid., p.262, 'Trade Winds and Idle Zephyrs', The Gramophone, Vol.V No.12, May 1928, pp.511-12 (on p.512)
  25. 'Trade Winds and Idle Zephyrs', The Gramophone, Vol.5 No.4, September 1927, pp.171-72 (on p.172)
  26. Axel B. Johnson, Managing Editor of The Phonograph Monthly Review, was for a brief time secretary of the Boston Gramophone Society, see 'Boston G.S.' in 'Trade Winds And Idle Zephyrs', The Gramophone, Vol.III No.11, April 1926, pp.519-20 (on p.520); by late 1926, the post had been taken over by his assistant and staff writer Robert D. Darrell, see Darrell, Robert Donaldson 'Boston Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, pp.33-35 (on pp.33-34); Frank B. Forrest, Business Manager of the Review, was also a charter member of the Boston Gramophone Society, see Johnson, Axel B. 'Topics of General Interest', ibid., Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, pp.29-30 (on p.29)
  27. 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded Coming Contests Conducted by Vories Fisher', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, p.23
  28. 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded Coming Contests Conducted by Vories Fisher', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, p.23
  29. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, pp.28-29
  30. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.3, December 1926, pp.119, 122; id. 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', ibid., Vol.1 No.4, January 1927, pp.177-78; 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', ibid., Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, p.218
  31. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.252
  32. 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.7, April 1927, p.299
  33. 'As announced in the April issue...' [notice], The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.9, June 1927, p.396
  34. Fisher, Vories et al. 'Prize Contest', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.11, August 1927, pp.472-73; eid. 'Prize Contest', ibid., Vol.1 No.12, September 1927, pp.506-07
  35. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.1, October 1927, pp.9-10 (on p.10)
  36. 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.2, November 1927, pp.56-58
  37. 'Prize Contest', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.2, November 1927, pp.65-66
  38. Johnson, Axel B. 'General Review', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.3, December 1927, pp.[81]-84
  39. 'Prize Sacrifice Contest', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.6, March 1928, p.204
  40. 'Prize Contest Awards', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.8, March 1928, p.292
  41. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.4, January 1927, pp.177-78
  42. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, p.215
  43. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.II No.8, May 1928, p.298
  44. Fisher, Vories 'Beethoven's Ninth Symphony... (review), in 'Analytical Notes and Reviews', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, pp.34-47
  45. 'Suggestions to the Manufacturer and Dealer', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, p.23; V[ories].F[isher]. 'Suggestions to the Dealer', ibid., Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, p.27
  46. Harris, L.F. [sic, recte L.J.] 'Chicago Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, pp.269-74
  47. Fisher, Vories 'Chicago Phonograph Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, pp.32-34 (the title of this report was probably an error)
  48. 'Chicago Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, pp.224-27
  49. Harris, L.F. [sic, recte L.J.] 'Chicago Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, pp.269-74
  50. 'Suggestions to the Dealer', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, p.27
  51. 'A Dealer' 'An Open Letter to a Phonograph Enthusiast', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, p.46
  52. 'S.K.' 'Open Forum', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, p.213
  53. Fisher, Vories 'Having only looked over...' (letter), The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.258
  54. Fisher, Vories 'S.K., my silence has not been...' (letter), The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.12, September 1927, pp.511-12
  55. 'Correspondence', The Gramophone, Vol.I No.5, October 1923, pp.117-19
  56. Fisher, Vories 'I am glad to be able to help...' (letter), The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.8, May 1927, p.353
  57. 'We are pleased to announce...' (notice), Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 17 September 1928, Section Two, p.32
  58. 'Business Personals', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 14 March 1930, Part Two, p.25, and Thursday 4 February 1932, Section Two, p.26
  59. 'Hartley Rogers Investor House Extending Field', The Los Angeles Times, Thursday 22 December 1932, Part I, p.11
  60. 'Vories Fisher, who was formerly head of the Vories Fisher & Company, one of the well known Chicago trading houses...': 'Opens Chicago Trading Office', The Los Angeles Times, Sunday 30 June 1935, Part V, p.[1]
  61. 'Business Bits', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 20 January 1937, Section Two, p.29
  62. 'We are pleased to announce...' (notice), Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 3 January 1938, Finance Commerce section, p.24
  63. Bach, Erwin 'Photographer Tells His Secret', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 27 October 1960, Part 5, p.11
  64. Fisher's earliest known credit is for one photograph in 'Farming For War', Life, Vol.14 No.4, 25 January 1943, pp.81-89, on p.82, bottom left (picture credit on p.17); his latest known credit is for one photograph in 'A Vivid Moment in Time by Degas', Life, Vol.39 No.19, 7 November 1955, p.119 (picture credit on p.2)
  65. Clark, Herma 'When Chicago Was Young', Chicago Sunday Tribune, Sunday 7 April 1946, Part 7, p.10
  66. 'Vories Fisher Rites Are Set For Monday', Chicago Tribune, Friday 2 January 1970, Section 1, p.16
  67. Whole-page photograph captioned, 'Snooze Test. [...] Scene is the famous Sleep Laboratory', credited to Vories Fisher, in Lader, Lawrence 'Why Can't You Sleep?', The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sunday 15 June 1947, This Week magazine section, pp.4-5, 22
  68. 'Brown County Featured In New Magazine', Brown County Democrat [Nashville, Indiana], Thursday 18 April 1946, p.[1]
  69. Jones, Billie 'Early Fire Fighting Equipment Goes on Display at Science Museum Today', Chicago Sunday Tribune, Sunday 9 October 1949, Part 3 (Metropolitan Section), pp.[1]-2
  70. Bach, Erwin 'Photographer Tells His Secret', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 27 October 1960, Part 5, p.11
  71. e.g. 'Photography to Be Subject of Two Museum Lectures', The Chicago Heights Star, Friday 4 September 1953, Part 2, p.14; 'Tell Programs Of U. Of C. Adult School In Loop', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 13 March 1952, Part 3, p.2 S; 'Y Will Hold Talent Night In Hyde Park', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 13 June 1954, Part 3, p.3
  72. 'Vories Fisher Rites Are Set For Monday', Chicago Tribune, Friday 2 January 1970, Section 1, p.16
  73. 'Close-Up of Camera Clubs', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 16 February 1961, Part 5, p.11
  74. 'Memorial Service Held For V. Fisher', news rounds, Vol.8 No.1, February 1970, pp.5-6
  75. e.g. 'Tie Line. Vories Fisher discusses cameras': 'Monday AM Choices', Chicago Tribune, Monday 12 July 1965, Section 2, p.14
  76. Earliest known mention: Avery, Suzanne 'School Board Hears Groups' 'Space' Pleas', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 24 December 1959, Part 2, p.2 S F; Fisher named as 1st Vice President, Hyde Park High School PTA: Quinn, Helen & Fisher, Vories 'School Board Appointments' [letter], Chicago Sunday Tribune, 9 April 1961, Part 1, p.24
  77. Earliest known mention: 'Agency Marks Anniversary; Elects Heads', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 29 January 1961, Part 8, p.12; Presidency: 'Memorial Service Held For V. Fisher', news rounds, Vol.8 No.1, February 1970, pp.5-6
  78. 'Locals', Brown County Democrat [Nashville, Indiana], Friday 14 October 1932, p.[4]
  79. 'The Stroller' 'What Have We Here?', The Indianapolis Star, Saturday 17 November 1934, p.5
  80. 'Fun Finding Fisher Fails; 6 Men, 6 Hounds, 1 Rabbit', Brown County Democrat [Nashville, Indiana], Friday 16 November 1934, p.[1]
  81. Rannells, Elizabeth 'Have You Heard?', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 26 September 1954, Part 7, p.4
  82. Fisher, Vories 'Weaver's Challenge' [letter], Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 13 October 1955, Part 1, p.14 H*
  83. 'Photographer Weaves a Hobby', Buffalo Courier-Express, 20 November 1955, pictorial section(?), pp.32-33
  84. Rannells, Elizabeth 'Have You Heard?', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 26 September 1954, Part 7, p.4
  85. 'Memorial Service Held For V. Fisher', news rounds, Vol.8 No.1, February 1970, pp.5-6