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Author Topic: The "Harry"  (Read 11831 times)

Offline Airflyte

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 08:00:48 PM »
Very nice, thanks for sharing the pics!
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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 08:35:19 PM »
Very nice, thanks for sharing the pics!
I'm just sorry it took so long.  They are lousy photos, but when I dive in, I'll use a real camera.
Can you make out the weld I referenced on the bottom joint?  Curious. 
The barrel and the top joint are labelled Harry Pedler and Co.  The bell is labelled The Pedler.  I have read that The Pedler was also used by Harry before moving on after the Martin aquisition on bell stampings, but I cannot confirm this claim with any accuracy.  The rubber appears identical, and the size and shape of the stamps are identical, leading me to believe this is accurate.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 08:42:44 PM »
Well, It just depends upon whether your clarinet was made in or just before 1932.  If so, it was reportedly made under the instruction (or at least approval) of ole Harry Walter Pedler, himself. Your Pedler would not be considered a stencil by any means, even if it was manufactured after 1932, as it was the extension of Pedler's original design. 
The Harry Pedler stamp was discontinued, I suspect, because Harry likely had plans to use his brand again, and probably had legal rights to it.  Martin kept the essential part of the Marque to retain what precious small customer base was already in place, and, of course, because the clarinet--at least for a time, went unchanged.

At least yours has a serial number, so if records exist, it may prove definitive in dating it.  What little I can gather on Harry and his son states that they had quite the falling out with Martin, as they had different ideas on how things should be manufactured, and washed their hands of the entire enterprise abruptly.  Interestingly, the Pedlers apparently were so incensed with the Martin company (not Mr. Martin, himself, who reportedly died in 1910) that they allegedly went to work for Martin's direct competition--Buescher--making saxophones, but would never again see their own name adorn a woodwind.  I'd love more info, but it's entirely scarce.  Much of the info I have been able to find (which is not much) I had to translate from German from a free translation site into butchered/oversimplified English.  And without notations, it's impossible to call the info anything more than plausible.  I can tell you that Harry Pedler first moved from England to the US in 1905 to work for G.G Conn, and so he probably did meet Mr. Martin, as I believe Martin worked for C.G. Conn for a time.  Gus Buescher certainly did.  Anyway, end of history lesson for today, but it IS fascinating.

Regardless, I believe what you have is very unusual--maybe even rare, dunno.  It certainly exhibits all the characteristics of a pro level horn, and while Martin may never have been widely known for their clarinet manufacture, they certainly knew how to make a saxophone.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2017, 09:13:48 PM »
It certainly exhibits all the characteristics of a pro level horn, and while Martin may never have been widely known for their clarinet manufacture, they certainly knew how to make a saxophone.

Shhhhh, on the Martin saxes . . . I'm really digging my alto  ;) Even the Reynolds (RMC) horns are Martin to the core.

Great sleuthing work on Mr. Pedler and his relationship? with Martin Band Co.  Where did you read that Pedler had anything to do with saxophone manufacture???  Amazing.

As far as the weld mark goes, it just looks so clean and neat that it must be a factory process - I don't know what else could explain that.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2017, 10:09:36 PM »
Here is a link I translated from German, using Freetranslation.com.  Quite informative, actually:

http://capionlarsen.com/george-lewis-pedler-albert-metal-clarinet/
(Pay no attention--unless you want to--to the George Lewis info.  It's quite interesting, too, but not what I was after.  The meaty info about Pedler begins below that.)
Other information I referenced was found on Woodwind.org, and Angelfire, as well as a few rather obscure accounts that cross-link Harry Pedler on Wikipedia to Conn, Buescher, and Martin.  These guys all knew each other, and it seems, that while they all came up with their own unique interpretations for designs, it all goes back to one bloke--C.G. Conn.  He trained them all, and by gum; they ALL became his competition.  Apparently he didn't make any of them sign a non-compete agreement!
I get the impression, based upon days and days worth of info I've read on Conn, that he was more interested in the proliferation of musical instrument invention and perfection than he ever was with turning a profit.  Just look at the way he went out.  All his chips were on the table, and he went out in a fiery blast, with little more than a penny to his name.  It's a really sad story, actually...for a man who was brilliant, innovative and resolute.




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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2017, 10:24:44 PM »
Airflyte,
Did you notice the "D" stamped into one of the undersides of the keys in the weld mark photo?  There is another D stamped into another key, and other random marks, too, here and there.  The spatula and trill keys are flat and broad; almost leaf-like in their design, and I have never seen keywork like it.  Also, check out the thumb rest.  Typical 1920s over and under pinning, but again, different than the typical French design, and unique.

As for the secret of Martins being excellent horns, I'm afraid the secret is already out.  Tried pricing a Searchlight Committee II, lately?  Ridiculous!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 11:24:44 PM by Windsong »
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2017, 08:33:53 AM »
Airflyte,
Did you notice the "D" stamped into one of the undersides of the keys in the weld mark photo?  There is another D stamped into another key, and other random marks, too, here and there.  The spatula and trill keys are flat and broad; almost leaf-like in their design, and I have never seen keywork like it.  Also, check out the thumb rest.  Typical 1920s over and under pinning, but again, different than the typical French design, and unique.

As for the secret of Martins being excellent horns, I'm afraid the secret is already out.  Tried pricing a Searchlight Committee II, lately?  Ridiculous!

Yes, I did see that - very unique clarinet you have. I'm going to dig into that link you posted - I find it fascinating how intertwined the Indiana based companies were.

 . . . . and you are correct - the Martin secret was exposed years ago. Now I see that prices for Indiana's and Imperial's are on the rise.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2017, 09:03:58 PM »
It is fascinating and curious. Johnny Martin, Gus Buescher and Charlie Conn were all buddies for a time, but who can truly say what drove them to form separate companies.  I partially jest at Conn's lack of non-compete agreements, but I believe he wanted the other two to succeed, though I can only speculate as to why.  They were essentially partners, even if only Conn's name was on the factory.  Without Buescher, who knows if Conn would have ever launched a saxophone line.  Martin, having had extensive tutelage in Germany from Hammig, decided to immigrate and try his skills out in the US, in Chicago, initially.  (Holton also initially set up shop in Chicago, btw, but more on Holton later).

All were of German descent, but Buescher and Conn were both born in the States.  Only Johann Martin emigrated from Germany.  All worked together launching Charlie Conn's business off the ground in 1876. 
Johann Martin had 4 sons.  At least one of them (his eldest, Henry) also went to work for Charlie Conn in 1890.  He then went to work for Buescher some time later.  I bring this up because:
Without Buescher, Conn wouldn't have had a sax maker.  If you place a Martin and a Buescher next to one another  without looking at the em"bell"ishments, you could easily confuse the early split bell models, as they appear nearly identical.   Coincidence?  Certainly not.  They shared ideas and designs, and must have liked each other a lot.  Directories were irrefutably interlocking, and it would not surprise me to learn they shared employees, or had a lot of flip-flop between factories.  Certainly their engravings, while based upon different motifs, implement almost identical techniques during the 1920s and 30s.  Very curious.

Now, as promised, here is a fun fact about Frank Holton.  Although he got his start in Chicago, he made the decision to move operations to Elkhorn, WI.  I guess it really is true that if you wanted a successful band instrument company in America, your city had better start with "Elk".  While Holton never achieved the same level of fame the other three received, his later horns are considered fantastic, and saught after as of late.

Finally back to Harry Pedler.  In 1905, Pedler was essentially recruited by Charlie Conn to come to the states and work for him, due to his extensive experience building some of the most (non-French) precision clarinets the world had seen.  He accepted Conn's offer, and the rest is history.  Curious how the only two soprano clarinets I have seen with a locking top and bottom alignment catch are Pedler and Conn...but--oh, that's right!  They worked together.  Extensively.
 ;)
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2017, 05:41:30 AM »
That's a well written tutorial on "horns from the heartland" (that has a ring to it) - as far as Martin and Buescher sharing employees, I can imagine some were double agents to a degree.

Imagine this scenario:

                   Joe Smith works at the Buescher factory - he's the keywork fitter, making sure everything lines up with the rods/posts.
 
                   Bob Jones works at the Martin factory - he's busy soldering in tone holes, making sure everything is level and true.

                   Their kids go to the same school, everyone knows each other as friends. One day, Joe decides to invite Bob and his family over for a barbeque . . . . . . and inevitably after dinner, the two men start discussing "work" and that's how it starts!

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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2017, 01:22:02 PM »
Indeed.
Gus Buescher also made some fantastic clarinets between 1910-1920.  They are scarce these days, and I do not own one, but they come through from time to time.   Among his clarinets from that time period, ALL that I've seen were made in the Albert system.  The newer Bueshers (1963 and newer) are not *really*  Bueschers at all, other than in name.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2017, 02:24:10 PM »
http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1412&context=grtheses

Here's a masters thesis written in 1953 on instrument manufacturing in Elkhart In.  An interesting read, and shows the link between all the Elkhart makers was Conn.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2017, 11:06:25 AM »
Mechanic--that's a fascinating read.  Thanks for posting that link.
And I stand corrected:  C.G. Conn was a fighting Irishman, whose grandfather immigrated from Ireland--not Germany. Kahn would be German, but Conn (derivative of such popular Celtic names like Connelly, Conner, etc.) is indeed Irish.

"I have as intelligent, faithful and industrious a lot of working people as ever were assembled under one roof, and find it is my duty as an employer to adopt and put in force any and all measures which shall in my opinion promote their welfare." 
C. G. Conn
(From the body of the above research thesis)
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Offline Tinker73

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2017, 11:59:35 AM »
      Have you found out anymore information on this "Harry" clarinet?  It looks very similar to the Henry Gunckel that I recently picked up, same chromatic Eb/Bb key, 7 ring, even the same thumb rest.  I have been on a quest recently to figure out how actually made some of the Henry Gunckel clarinets that have been called Buffet stencils for the longest time - I do not believe they are Buffets at all, I believe they were more than likely built by Couesnon.  Another that appears very similar is the F. Barbier (Couesnon) and on Phil's site he shows a uni-body seven key Peddler with the Eb/Bb key.
      Are the keys on your "Harry" soft Nickel Silver?  I noticed the keys on the Gunckel that I just got are very soft and bend easily.
      What is the bore on yours?  I was shocked to find the bore on the Gunckel that I just got measured a whopping 15.06 mm at the top of the LH joint.
      Does yours have B LP stamped in the RH joint by the second post from the bottom?  My Gunckel is also stamped at the top of the LH joint.
      Does yours have any markings stamped in the barrel under the keys?  Both of my Gunckels have very similar batch stamping under the keys on both upper and lower joints letter and #. 
           
Keep sharing any other information you come up with on your "Harry", because I think it probably it is at the very least a close relative to my Gunckel and probably the F. Barbier 7-ring clarinets.
 

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Offline Windsong

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2017, 05:33:54 PM »
This Harry Pedler has a very standard 14.75mm (.581") bore, like most bores of the time, all the way through the top joint, but it has a sweet, fat sound like you would expect from a large bore.

Your Gunckel has a 15.06 bore?  That's big!  Bigger, in fact than my largest Boosey.  I can't imagine that using a standard mouthpiece will garner an optimal sound.  You might try to source a B&H .600" MP that won't hamper tone or projection, or something comparable.

I see no batch marks, except for the Ds stamped into the underside of some keys.  The keywork is silver-plated nickel-silver, and does not seem particularly soft, but it is thin and dainty, so I suspect far more fragile than your average Bundy.  As a result, the keywork, even unrestored, is fast and light, despite weak spring tension.  I feel like a superhero playing it.

It is not stamped Bb or LP anywhere, and has no serial number, as was standard on most clarinets to well into the 20s, save for Buffets and Conns and a few others, who stamped early.

As far as I know, Henry Gunckels were only ever made in France.  I would not be surprised if Pedler "borrowed" ideas from successful French designs of the day, especially since he worked in England until 1905, and likely had the opportunity to visit French factories.

If you think this one is nice, check out Lisa's full Boehm Pedler.
Actually, I'd be curious about the bore on that one.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: The "Harry"
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2017, 12:51:17 PM »
That is a really nice "Harry". Harry was a promoter of hard rubber clarinets and took the material very seriously;- even when he worked for C.G. Conn. I therefore view the early C.G. Conn hard rubber clarinets as also being stealth "Harrys".

I do have a 6-ring "Harry" hard rubber, also no serial, that has the unusual alternative to the crow's foot. These confirm that this type of keywork was a Pedler feature that was used on a few "Pedlers" even during the Martin period, but it seems to originate on the genuine "Harrys". "Harry" also made some stencil brands in hard rubber. More on that later.
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