Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker  (Read 5503 times)

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« on: September 11, 2016, 09:32:17 AM »
I'm frequently trying to solve stencil/maker puzzles and most of them I solve with some kind of side by side comparison with known samples. Sometimes what is visually obvious leads to surprising conclusions.

These two upper joints came with other marked parts, but neither part shown here has either a serial number or maker or brand mark. There are also no country of origin marks on either of these parts. The lower joints were no different in that respect. The bells and barrels were marked on both clarinets. All the rings match and by all appearances, both of these clarinets have all original parts.

There would be an efficiency advantage to this approach to distinguishing stencils only on the barrels and bells. It allows for the production of those two parts alone and marking them to fill orders for stencils right from the primary production line. No serialization is more curious. Usually we are looking for marks to match a maker, but if the maker put no marks on the joints of their own clarinets, they probably didn't put marks on their stencils either. Other characteristics and the lack of markings became that makers identity characteristics.

Without showing the bells and barrel marks, I am just presenting the upper joints, which IMO, match to such a high degree that these are quite plausibly from the same workshop and maker. The keys on one of them were apparently polished up recently but the other one can also be polished up to match. The key material appears to be the same. Look at the posts, the key shapes, rings, all the details. I find a few minor differences, but nothing that couldn't indicate a difference of a few years in production dates.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Airflyte

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 879
  • CONNoisseur of Vintage Ebonite
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 05:00:16 PM »
The one on the left appears to have wider rings and of course a different bridge key.

The fact that both upper and lower joints having no markings whatsoever is very interesting as well as mysterious.

I'm looking forward to disclosure of the markings on the bells and barrels. I enjoy researching stencils  - that's exactly how I discovered Phil's in depth and comprehensive website (ClarinetPages).

Thanks for posting the pictures!
"The Clarinet - in a class of its own"

Visit Phil Pedler's Clarinet Pages NEW website!
https://sites.google.com/clarinetpages.net/clarinetpages

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 06:46:28 PM »
The side key post positions have drifted a little and the tube has been adjusted, otherwise the shapes of that key are quite similar. Differences are quite minimal.

The lower joint is a different story. Again, there are striking similarities in a good number of the keys, and the shapes at the top of the lower joint. What happens below verifies the maker without any marks or serials. It is key work that is characteristic of the maker credited on the bell and barrel. The stencil does not have that however the key work that it does have is in the same position with a few functional substitutions. Note in the first photo that both of LH-5 F keys have letters on the backs of them, D on the one above and a larger G on the one below. The thumb rests are very similar also.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 12:05:02 PM »
I am reviving this thread because with 4 example now instead of just two, a more convincing stencil/maker case can be made. The two clarinets discussed above were a Harry Pedler marked clarinet and a La Premiere Française stencil. With the addition of a later Pedler, plausibly from just before or just after the Martin BIC acquisition of Pedler, and also a later La Premiere Française stencil, the minor differences between the first two can easily be explained as being introduced at some time in the decade of Harry Pedler clarinet production.

Presenting from left to right and maintaining the order throughout this series are an early La Premiere Française stencil, A Harry Pedler complete with the Pedler "appliance" at the lower joint, An early Pedler Premiere model, and finally a later La Premiere Français stencil. None of these clarinets have serials or maker marks on the joints. I have been extremely careful not to get the pieces mixed up. The barrels and bells are marked with the maker/brand. These are the upper joint details. Note that both La Premiere Française examples and the Harry Pedler example all have the leaf spring at C#. By the time the later Pedler was made (3rd from left), the leaf spring is gone.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 12:09:11 PM by Silversorcerer »
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 12:19:43 PM »
Now the lower joint details. Same order left to right, La Premiere Française, Harry Pedler, Pedler Premiere, and La Premiere Française. Note the bridge link differences. It's the same rounded corner on the first LPF and the Harry, then it changes to the hard cornered bridge link on the Pedler and LPF2. Also note a difference in the placement of the lowest E/F tonehole;- same on LPF1 and Harry, higher placement on the Pedler and LPF2. This parallels the changes seen in the upper joint. These are changes in the tuning strategy that were incorporated over time while the rest of the details remained very consistent.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 12:29:32 PM »
Finally there are some letter marks that appear on the backs of the LH5 F-key touches of all 4 examples. It's a different letter on each of these. Finally, the barrel and bell marks. The spelling of the "Premiere" on the early Pedler (3rd from left) is significant. In later production, Martin BIC changed the spelling of that model to "Premier", the English spelling. Check the matching oval on that early Pedler Premiere and LPF2. This is different on later Martin BIC Pedlers which have an oval closer to the Harry Pedler oval.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 02:45:24 AM »
Fantastic, Sorcerer.  I applaud your photographic and sleuthing skills.
I may have photos to add to the thread before long, myself.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2017, 06:23:32 AM »
Fantastic, Sorcerer.  I applaud your photographic and sleuthing skills.
I may have photos to add to the thread before long, myself.
It is now your responsibility to do so, being the caretaker of perhaps one of the rarest genuine Harry Pedler models, the 7-ring hard rubber model, that is illustrated in the Harry Pedler catalog.

My photographic skills can be thus summarized: Take the pictures outside in open shade. Use an antiquated camera that has knobs and dials, manual focusing, medium to poor digital resolution. With cameras I prefer the "simple system" (Canon G-5). The Canon G-5 is not even a pro DSLR. Someone gave me the one I am using and these can typically be found on ebay for chump change. These days the most useful accessory is a pair of strong reading glasses.

The Sun is the most even light source in open shade that is available to Earthlings. The white cloth background I use will fool most automatic cameras into underexposing the darker clarinets. Most automatic cameras have to be fooled into getting the exposure correct. Like automatic anything automatic cameras are as prone to automatic mistakes as automatic successes. If you want to get decent exposure automatically, I recommend a medium to dark gray background paper or cloth. The darker the background used, the lighter the clarinets will appear with an auto-exposure camera. I like the white background because it reflects the light into the shadow areas. I generally adjust the controls so that the camera light meter indicates at least overexposure by 2/3 - 1. Most telephones will now make pretty impressive automatic photos under "average" conditions.

Years ago when I was married to a Verizon marketing manager, Verizon was trying to decide what new functions to incorporate into cell phones. I was a photographer at the time so I suggested that she suggest (by way of the company suggestion box) that they put a camera on the phones. A few years later, Verizon introduced the first camera-phone, the Audiovox 8900. I still use that model of telephone. And it is also my wireless internet connection modem. And Verizon persists in trying to sell me a smart phone. I prefer to use the old one that might be the product of my ex-wife's suggestion.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 07:06:40 AM »
As I am long-winded (mostly when playing the BBb) as well as tangential, I have to report the difficulties I went through obtaining the two La Premiere stencils. Neither one was expensive by vintage clarinet standards, so the acquisition prices weren't prohibitive;- however...... The seller of the first one delayed shipping for more than two weeks. I got every poor excuse except, "My dog ate my homework". I thought I would never get it. Finally, it was shipped and arrived about a month after the purchase.

The second La Premiere appeared about the same time as the first and I could see these were slightly different so I was prepared to buy (price was dramatically reduced from excessive to almost reasonable) and then my computer failed and wouldn't boot for about a month and a half. When I finally got it back up and got back on the web, that La Premiere was still available and the price reduced even more. So I confidently snagged it, it was shipped from Oregon to Atlanta, and it supposedly arrived in what has to be record cross-continental air freight time;- 3 days, by USPS. In spite of a tracked delivery notice, there it wasn't.  ??? It had "gone missing" as they say. About a week after the disappearance from my mailbox, a total stranger that had seen me rehearsing in my yard approached me and asked me if I was missing an antique clarinet.  :o

The stranger reported that there was this fellow trying to sell this thing all over the neighborhood with no success (demonstrates what it is really worth?). Turns out the fellow is a notorious "package thief". Well, the stranger had followed him to where he stashes his stolen goods and witnessed the clarinet case being hidden in some bushes in a church yard about 3 blocks from my house. We went there well after dark and retrieved the clarinet. As I understand it now, the fellow is in jail on unrelated charges. I filed a report with USPS, also called the police (the stranger was willing to testify) and over a week later the police had still not shown up to take a report. I gave the stranger a reward equal to what I had originally paid for that La Premiere. Sometimes the research results come only after considerable and unanticipated difficulties.

I haven't decided whether this group of 4 is significant enough to keep together in a collection yet. Sending a couple in different directions would decrease the chances that unmarked parts might get interchanged, which is something I was paranoid about even while doing the photos. The proper documentation has been done and while Pedler is a very significant character in American woodwind design and manufacture, Pedler clarinets are not esteemed even as much as the early Conn hard rubber clarinets that must certainly be considered the earliest Harry Pedler clarinets. Documentation done, the future fate of these remains undecided.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 05:08:20 PM »
Aah, the grey background, scale, and card.  I know well about the obsorptive properties of a 90% grey card, as my dad was a professional, and although I retain roughly half of the knowledge he bestowed upon me (which is perhaps only half of what he actually knew) that's already more than I can use in the automatic world.  I too, shoot in natural shade, in the late afternoon, sun over the yardarm, whenever possible.  Anything else is just never as good.
2 years ago, I sprung for a high end Nikon.  I do not like it nearly as much as my 1967 Nikon F, in terms of mechanical capability, but in terms of convenience, there is no match.  I *could* shoot film and then convert it to digital representation of the actual image, but I fear I would lose more in terms of clarity than if I just learn to use my new Nikon optimally.
As for the Harry, I am waiting on this new Pedler 7-ring aquisition that should be arriving shortly.  At nearly give-away prices, I am also waiting for the world to tune in to these as viable, professional clarinets.
I will put the two next to one another and the striking similarities will be shocking.  I may also include the standard "student model" 17/6, for comparative purposes, but it is quite enough different, that the similarities, while there, will seem vague.
I wish I had the ability to glean more on the Harry, and Harry Pedler, in general.  There is precious little to be found on the internet, which appals me, and the first thing that pops up is always Harry Potter.  I refuse to accept that the world has patently forgotten about a great clarinet maker who had profound influence on the woodwind world, both through invention and association.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 06:16:50 PM »
I found a short synopsis that fills in some blanks on Harry Pedler. I think it is pretty accurate. Also there is an All experts answer about the metal clarinets and it includes a few extra details, such as that Harry got his training at Rudall, Carte & Co. He came to Conn knowing much more about woodwinds than Conn knew;- which is probably why Conn wanted him. Conn was mostly a brass innovator, and personally perfected the cornet. To diversify, he delegated.

And finally I have a catalog page from 1940, well into the Martin BIC period. On that page it becomes clear that the Premiere model (the 3rd from the left in the photos above) had changed into the Premier model. Perhaps Harry intended the name on the stencil to point homeward as much as possible, even with the "Française" appendage? Another plausible case: Given that La Premiere #1 (far left) shares features with the Harry Pedler 17/6, except the "Pedler appliance", and is different from both the Pedler Premiere and La Premiere #2 in small ways, it could well be that the La Premiere preceded the introduction of the Pedler Premiere model. It is certain by comparing features that the production of the shown Harry 17/6 with the appliance and La Premiere #1 were earlier than the other two and that La Premiere #2 preceded the Pedler Premiere, which finally loses the C# flat springs. When you don't have any serial numbers, the features that change over time are the only way to establish which came first or last.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 07:27:04 PM »
That's excellent sourcing, my friend.  I have saved those links, and believe that I will have to ressurect a Jerome John Jerry Garcia quote to say precicely what I mean when it comes to help in preserving the Harry Pedler name:
"Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us".
;)
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Dibbs

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 03:52:07 AM »
Aah, the grey background, scale, and card.  I know well about the obsorptive properties of a 90% grey card, as my dad was a professional, and although I retain roughly half of the knowledge he bestowed upon me (which is perhaps only half of what he actually knew) ...

Isn't that an 18% grey card?  I'm pretty sure that's what I used to use but it's 35 years since I worked in photography.

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 09:32:18 AM »
Yes, I misppoke.  Thank you.  The grey card only obsorbs 82% of light.  The white card reflects 90%, and the black card obsorbs 88% of light.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Two of a kind;- the rare stencil and rare maker
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 12:47:17 PM »
Now that we all know how bright the sky is in Rochester, NY, let's see some photos of that 7-ring Harry!  ;)

(That's an old Kodak joke.)
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum