After several experiments, Berliner turned to the more stable zinc to create a disc with grooves for reproducing sound. He called his invention for playing the discs a "gramophone," and he received a patent for it on Nov. 8, 1887. In the following years, Berliner continued to perfect his discs and playback machine.
In 1899, Berliner visited the London offices of the Berliner Gramophone Company. There, he noticed a painting hanging on the wall of a small dog with cocked head posed in front of a gramophone. The little terrier was listening to his master's voice coming from the horn. The English artist Francis Barraud, using his own little dog Nipper as the model, painted the image. Berliner contacted Barraud and asked him to make a copy. Berliner brought the copy back to the United States and immediately sought a trademark for the painting. The trademark was granted by the Patent Office on July 10, 1900, too late for Berliner to use it, as his company by this time was little more than a name. However, he passed it on to Eldridge R. Johnson, with whom Berliner had worked on improving the playback machine. Johnson began to print it on his Victor record catalogs and then on the paper labels of the discs. Soon, "His Master's Voice" became one of the best-known trademarks in the world, still in use today.