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Author Topic: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List  (Read 2289 times)

350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2017, 07:14:12 PM »
As far as I am aware, no true Harry Pedler clarinets (1919-1930) were ever adorned with a serial number, and some were not even engraved at all--even with his name, during the earliest years.  The standing exception is that BBb models may have been serialized early in their production.  Until disproven, it is a cautious measure to operate under the calculated assumption that the serial number process began across the model spectrum when Martin Band Instrument Company took the reins in 1930.

I believe this to be at least partially incorrect. I've recorded a number of serialized Pedler metal clarinets that have every appearance of being made prior to the Martin era. The Premiere model, which was introduced in 1928, begins about where expected and I've never seen one (nor any other metal Pedler) without a serial. It's quite plausible that serialization began in the latter half of the 1920s rather than upon the Martin purchase.

I've noticed that metal Pedlers after a certain point have beveled toneholes. I'd have to surmise that those were influenced by Martin saxophones. Other notes I have:

The Pedler metal bass was introduced in March 1930 at the Music Supervisors' National Conference. This was the same month that Martin purchased Pedler. Multiple sources state that Pedler was operated as a separate entity after the purchase.

The Music Trades Review reported in April 1931 that the Pedlers had resigned from the company.

I've made note of a Premier (not Premiere) serial no. P8654 that was sold on 6-20-1942 for $121.
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Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2017, 05:01:26 AM »
Welcome, 350 Rocket,
Thank you for your knowledge, and contribution of a "date stake", as they are typically golden keys.  The 4 new bits of data you contribute are significant.
I will update my initial posting, and would appreciate further details on any documentation you may have.
Regards-

EDIT:  Music Trade Review is a treasure trove of extremely valuable information.  Just incredible, in fact.  Thank you again for sharing that, Rocket.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 01:30:06 PM by Windsong »
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350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2017, 04:31:21 PM »
Glad to be of help. I have a lot of raw data (list of instruments) that I can work on processing/interpreting. Admittedly, my research is heavily biased towards the Martin era as mine are from that period.

I own five Pedlers, so if there's any details I can examine just ask. An Ebonite E21xxx, wood Premier 18/7 P43xx, metal American 22xxx, metal Custombuilt 46xxx, and a plastic GrenOlite G10xx.
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Silversorcerer

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2017, 06:45:43 AM »
In sorting out a timeline, it might be of some use to note the styles of various key work features. I have seen a few differences that might translate to periods of manufacture. The most obvious one is the shape of the bridge linkage. There are some that feature the typical post WW2 "T" shaped bridge tab on the lower ring key. My guess would be that all of those with the "T" engagement are the latest key work type. There are also two different throat trill configurations, but these have to do more with model type than production period.

Some Pedlers have no shared throat trill pivot posts;- Pedler Woodwinds was one of the few makers to offer clarinets with completely separated throat trill pivots (Another maker worth noting for this is the later Martin Freres upper end student models). I think there are a few other makers that also had completely separate throat trill pivots.

There are also at least two different key shapes for the throat trill keys. One type has the typical hills and valleys, another has a gentler sweeping curve from the top to the bottom of the keys without any raised points. It will take getting some samples matched to the serials to figure out if these styles were produced at the same time or if one preceded the other. The key shapes of the Harry Pedler era are quite different from the MBIC era, but when the changes takes place might not coincide perfectly with the change of ownership.

Quote
I've made note of a Premier (not Premiere) serial no. P8654 that was sold on 6-20-1942 for $121.

It is really good news to have that date stake even if it is the only one. At least we now have a pegged midpoint for the Premier model. A curious finding from examples I have is that during the late Harry Pedler period, the model was marked "Premiere". That was later changed to "Premier" but exactly when that change was made is still elusive, most likely early in the MBIC era.
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350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2017, 03:04:54 PM »
I think the Premiere and Premier were completely different models, actually. The Premiere was marketed as a student instrument and I've only seen them in metal. The Premier seems to be only wood, and the existence of a 7-ring variant suggests it was more up-market. Considering the definitions of each word, that seems the most plausible. Unfortunate choice by the marketing department though.

All of my Pedlers have a shared post for the throat keys, but I noticed something important - earlier models have the rods for both keys in the same plane (i.e. the threaded ends could intersect) like a Bundy, later models have the Ab rod set above the A rod, like a Conn. My American and Premier (both from the '30s) have the older style while the Ebonite, Custombuilt, and Grenolite have the newer style.

I have a photo of a guarantee bond of a Model 157, serial no. E20675, with "8/21/47" written in the upper margin. Without any context I couldn't put much stock in it before, but knowing that revised keywork had probably appeared by this point we might have E20000 as a rough starting point for postwar production.
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Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2017, 11:02:51 PM »
That has the makings of a tremendous artifact.  Please post up pics if/when you have them available.
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Silversorcerer

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2017, 05:15:54 AM »
I think the Premiere and Premier were completely different models, actually. The Premiere was marketed as a student instrument and I've only seen them in metal. The Premier seems to be only wood, and the existence of a 7-ring variant suggests it was more up-market. Considering the definitions of each word, that seems the most plausible. Unfortunate choice by the marketing department though.

All of my Pedlers have a shared post for the throat keys, but I noticed something important - earlier models have the rods for both keys in the same plane (i.e. the threaded ends could intersect) like a Bundy, later models have the Ab rod set above the A rod, like a Conn. My American and Premier (both from the '30s) have the older style while the Ebonite, Custombuilt, and Grenolite have the newer style.

I have a photo of a guarantee bond of a Model 157, serial no. E20675, with "8/21/47" written in the upper margin. Without any context I couldn't put much stock in it before, but knowing that revised keywork had probably appeared by this point we might have E20000 as a rough starting point for postwar production.

If you have that photo, please share it here, and photos of other documentation, sales receipts, etc. I think it is best to pool the artifacts and document them here rather than simply reference such documents. That way we have a substantiated record of collective experience rather than one person's limited experience.

I have one clarinet marked Pedler Premiere (French spelling) that is hard rubber with no serial. It's featured and documented in another thread ( http://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php?topic=1122.0 ), identical to a La Premiere Française, which also was made by Harry Pedler. The key work is like that of the Harry Pedler era;- check the shape of the throat trills. The only difference I can see between that Premiere and "The Pedler" model by Harry is that the Premiere does not have the Pedler appliance on the lower joint and has a standard crow's foot arrangement. Of course that difference would mean that the Pedler model with the appliance would have been a higher end model than the Premiere without it, even during the Harry Pedler era.

I have documented another Premiere (French spelling) 7-ring that is also hard rubber, E3253. It also has keys that are mostly seen during the MBIC period;- again check the throat trill key work (seller's photo below), one shared trill pivot. Presumably there are wooden, ebonite, as well as metal Premier models, and definitely ebonite Premiere models. All three of the later MBIC Pedler woodwinds models were available in wood, hard rubber, or silver plated metal, according to an old advertisement from 1940, which I assume is authentic. Advertisements and catalog pages provide a snapshot of what was available at a particular point, but of course that could have changed independent of an ad or catalog at any time.

I also have a MBIC Premier wooden 7-ring, P9218. It's very nicely made, but it does not have the same mechanism as a 7-ring Pedler model P11297, nor does it have silver-plated keys as does P11297. Whether it is spelled Premiere or Premier, it is an intermediate model. There probably aren't many Premiere models made in wood because at the time of that production there were simply not many Pedler soprano clarinets of any kind made in wood.

The Premiere and Premier were different models, but mostly because these were built at different times. These were both second in the line up whatever period is considered. The two Permiere models that I reference above seem to indicate that at some point the Premiere became the Premier simply with the removal of one letter at the end of the name. The second model in the line was still being marked Premiere when the MBIC type throat trills came into use, and fairly deep into serialization as well.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 07:02:55 AM by Silversorcerer »
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Silversorcerer

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2017, 06:54:10 AM »
Regarding the shared or unshared throat trill pivot posts, in the case of all 15 of the professional Pedler models that I have documented (usually with sellers' photos such as these) all of the throat trills are mounted independently. This applies to both the ebonite and wooden "The Pedler" professional models. It might be a distinguishing key work feature of the professional models made during most of the MBIC era. Just to make sure we are referencing the same mechanism, here are two examples that show the independent UJ throat trill posts. I am NOT referencing the upper joint ring keys that are on the front of the joint. I am talking about the pivot mounts for the trills. The most common arrangement on Boehm clarinets is for two of these keys to share a pivot. On the Pedlers, often these are mounted independently, and it appears to be on the professional models.

Not all the sellers' photos will show the back sides of the UJ, so it is not possible to determine in every case what the post arrangement is, but in the instances where it was possible to see it clearly, so far it's 100% independent posts on the professional Pedler models that have the trill key style that appears to have been in use for most of the MBIC era.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 07:09:55 AM by Silversorcerer »
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350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2017, 06:46:04 PM »
Ah, I saw "throat" and thought you meant A and Ab. Nevertheless, that appears to be a difference worth studying as well.

For what it's worth, all of mine from the Custombuilt to the Grenolite have the trill keys on four sets of posts. I've noticed that lower-grade metal clarinets (Student, Hoosier, and the early American) have shared posts for the low E/B and F#/C# levers.

Below are a couple of Martin-era warranty cards, one is the dated one I mentioned above. The J.O. Thompson whose name appears on them became sales manager of Martin in December 1931 when management was reshuffled after O.P. Bassett passed away. He was mentioned as being with Pedler in 1937, and the 1940 census listed him as vice president of "Pedler Band Factory". If enough examples of these cards are found, whose signature appears when may lead to something.
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Silversorcerer

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2017, 10:54:47 AM »
I have noticed a good bit of variation in the G#/A key layout on the models I have. The post positions change on both keys. The way that variation progresses could also be an indicator of sequence of production. Small changes like that are often made while other things remain consistent. I'll take a look at what I have in photos as well as the ones in my inventory. I think we can take that 1947 marked warranty card as a date certain. It looks like the date and other writing were made with the same ink, same pen, and same hand writing. I wouldn't assume that it marks anything with certainty except the E (ebonite?) prefixed serials. Since the hard rubber was very popular, there should be plenty of those serials to spread before and after that date.

If we then match the slight detail changes that evolved in the key work, then we can probably get some good rough parallel dates for the P, A, and W prefixed serials. I am pretty sure that we are going to find the same thing that I found with Penzel Mueller;- that the numbers are only sequential within a given model production sequence. In other words, there are likely to be 4 different serial sequences that were running parallel in time.
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Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2017, 05:49:14 PM »
Thank you Rocket, for the warranty card photos, and thank you, Sorcerer for your proposed notion that we may be hasty in our conclusion that serial numbers are necessarily chronological, independent of prefix. 

While I am inclined to separate models (P,E,N,W,A,G, etc.), I may wait on that, and just remove the presumed date ranges for now, until such time when more affirmative information is available, and simply add the warranty card information.
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350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2017, 08:04:52 PM »
What I've seen suggests that each serial number prefix is of a separate sequence.

The highest number for each series that I've recorded:

51897
E36606
P19356
W19506
A3677
G1873

The warranty cards above confirm that 23000 is 1937 or earlier, and E20000 is after WWII. The date marked on the second one is probably the sale date, but there's no way any pre-war stock was left unsold. The Premier sale date I mentioned earlier suggests P8600 to be in the early 1940s.

I have two other cards in my research archive for Ebonite clarinets, both with Harry Pedler's signature.
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Silversorcerer

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2017, 10:59:57 PM »
One thing I noticed was that the metal clarinets listed did not have a letter prefix serial. That is curious. We need more of those metal serials to know how many of the metal ones that applies to.

I think it is wise to maintain just the list for now and draw conclusions as more of the serials, dated documents and anecdotal information comes in. This project is moving pretty well and it certainly has the potential to be the most complete compilation of Pedler information drawn from surviving artifacts. It is ironic that a company that produced so many instruments for so long as yet has no central pool of information. Given a little more time, I think we can collect enough here to form a detailed history of the Harry Pedler and Pedler Woodwinds history.

That Penzel Mueller timeline still has a lot of gaps to close and it took a while to get it to the current state starting with just a few instruments and no documents. 
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Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2017, 01:17:22 AM »
Excellent contributions there, Rocket.
Very smart of you to consciously record the highest SN for each model run.
Nice Guarantee Bonds, as well.  It certainly appears that they were signed by Sid Pedler, himself.  I was not aware he had any part in the original venture, but the signature very clearly looks like "Sid".  Examine the clear "S", the"I" climbing the arm to the "P" and the wrap-around "D".
If this is, in fact, Sid's signature, I *suspect* this might mean these were issued prior to April 1931, family loyalty being what it often is, as his father and older brother had both left the company by then.
Further graphology will be required to substantiate this, but I believe this to be plausible.
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350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2017, 04:26:45 PM »
One thing I noticed was that the metal clarinets listed did not have a letter prefix serial. That is curious. We need more of those metal serials to know how many of the metal ones that applies to.
Out of 77 metal Pedler clarinets I've recorded, none have a letter prefix in the serial.
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