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Author Topic: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line  (Read 71959 times)

Offline LOLKATZ

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #135 on: March 16, 2023, 08:21:00 PM »
Hey! I recently just found this website trying to figure out what this clarinet I just bought at a flee market was. I have not played clarinet before as I play trombone mostly in band but I got a nice deal on it with the person running the both so I was like why not get it right? It also came bundled with another clarinet that is much newer. This one I know is a B Flat clarinet. I am assuming this one is as well but I am not entirely sure. It looks like everything is the same and none of the pieces were fixed or changed in anyway. Except the mouth piece. The mouthpiece is stamped as Artist Series while the rest of the body is stamped as Empire series. So I don't know who previously owned this clarinet and if they took the mouthpiece from another Artist clarinet they had or what but I guess there is an Artist clarinet thats out their with no mouthpiece haha. The rest of the body is stamped with a serial number of H14154B. I just kinda want to know what type of clarinet is but if this clarinet helps anyone keep data on a wider scale project, then sure why the hell not. I will be attached a ton of pictures of this clarinet, its case, and it next to the aforementioned other clarinet if there needs to be a size comparison. I can also provide up close pictures of the clarinet body and keys if needed. I hope this helps in anyway! Also for some strange reason the mouth piece has stamped on it 3 star which is strange. I will attach a pic of that as well. I also just noticed someone wrote in marker on the bell B2415 BY i think whatever the hell that means.

Offline LOLKATZ

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #136 on: March 16, 2023, 08:22:47 PM »
 Here is some more pictures.

Offline Jfrejo

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #137 on: March 17, 2023, 05:47:40 AM »
I have several Penzel Mueller clarinets (A Super Brillante, 3 Artists models  in wood , one in metal and a Empire model)and they all came with an Artist mouthpiece. I think that was just the standard mouthpiece provided with the clarinets.

Offline Bluboxer

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #138 on: January 27, 2024, 03:06:28 PM »
Artist model. Ser #L-307-B.

Offline Sqawkamunga

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #139 on: February 05, 2024, 09:30:26 PM »
hey, all.

i've got a clarinet to add to the list with a bit of a story.

the clarinet was my grandfather's, who was a member of the baltimore evening sun newsboys band.  we have a photo of the band with john philip sousa, and my grandfather is in the front row, holding the clarinet.  the photo would have been taken sometime between 1922 and 1924, and we know he bought the clarinet used.

it's stamped with the eagle, B LP, and a serial number of 11744.  it also has additional letters stamped at the top of the upper joint, but they're hard make out - it looks like P??RED.FOR, but i can't be sure.  i tried to get a better image using paper & rubbing, but no joy.

i don't know what model the clarinet is (if anyone has any thoughts on that, please let me know), but given what we know of the age of the clarinet (likely made prior to '22), the serial number doesn't fit in with what's been listed here.

it's a lovely instrument.  my mother played it, and i played it, and now my daughter is playing it.  it's been completely overhauled (original keys, but new cork, springs, pads, etc.) twice now, once before i started playing it in the early 80s, and once at the end of 2023.

Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #140 on: February 09, 2024, 07:53:41 PM »
What a wonderful story and intro.  Is it possible the clarinet says "Pruefer"?  Not sure I have seen a Pruefer that early, but he was certainly around, and working with a Penzel and Mueller for a time.  It may also say "Pat. Appl. For." (?) 🤔
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Offline Sqawkamunga

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #141 on: February 15, 2024, 09:55:22 PM »
you know, i'm really not sure.  i'll see if i can get some decent macro photos of the lettering in question, and post them here.

unfortunately almost everything i know about the instrument specifically is secondhand through my mother, as my grandfather passed away only a few years after i started playing, and i never really talked to him about the instrument.  the things we don't think about when we're kids... :/

Offline ghoulcaster

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #142 on: February 26, 2024, 07:27:04 PM »
One of my favorite clarinets is a LP Penzel Mueller A 6 ring Albert.
Great for sharp keys, of course, but the extra keywork helps playing in musical keys that overlap with Bb horn territory. Great sound, but it is a tough horn to play physically, as the hand span is much more demanding than a boehm clarinet, and slightly more so than Bb Alberts I’ve played. I can just barely reach the LH alternate Eb/Ab.

I looked over the entire instrument; no sign of any serial numbers, though the logos are nearly worn off. Maybe it got buffed off if there was one.
All parts are marked A and GL Penzel & Mueller, except the barrel, which has a crude crack repair and is marked B. It is much too short so I use an alternate barrel when playing. Maybe will get a PM A barrel someday… B ones come up occasionally ;D
The bell says “Pat’d April 18 1899” I guess referring to the articulated G#/C#.


Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #143 on: February 26, 2024, 10:16:29 PM »
Hey that's nice, and historically significant.  The early logos were not very deep, and did not age well.
I don't believe I have ever seen a true Albert 6 ring.
Yes--some Bb and A Alberts are very tricky to play, with the extreme finger spread.  The Harry Pedlers have excellent tone, and are just fine if the player has very long slender fingers.
I prefer Couesnon Alberts for comfort.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2024, 10:19:01 PM by Windsong »
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Offline geogal17

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #144 on: May 23, 2024, 08:09:49 PM »
Well here is a mystery. I bought this clarinet online from goodwill that appeared to be a plastic P-M, so I thought it might be one of the famous Dynatone plastic models. Now that I have received it , it definitely appears to be plastic but does not have the Dynatone logo anywhere on it.

Even more mysterious is that it appears to have a "double" Penzel Mueller Logo on the top joint and the bell: A fainter carved in logo with the normal block lettering and then an almost shadow effect, as if there was some sort of vinyl sticker of sorts on top of it at one point that has since been removed....Leaving another logo in a slightly different block lettering colored into the plastic itself. Both the top joints and the bottom joint have matching serial numbers of R1424B.

Some of the key work is kind of peculiar too especially the way the upper joit's A/A flat keys are disconnected...the A flat keys lower post is cutting into the tone hole.  The lower joint has some noticeably curvier keys, and flat springs, quite unique from my other clarinets as well.

Any other Penzel Mueller collectors out there seen anything like this before that could give me some clues as to what model it is or when it was made?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 12:33:56 AM by geogal17 »

Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #145 on: May 24, 2024, 11:44:09 PM »
I agree that the keywork appears different than the typical Artist or Brilliante, and the composition, as evidenced by the speckled glint, is no doubt bakelite.  I am afraid I cannot offer much more than that. 
That light-bleached imaging shadow is very curious!
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #146 on: May 25, 2024, 09:52:05 AM »
I wouldn't be surprised if this was some type of transition piece. They updated the logo but still had some NOS. So they just slap the new sticker over the old ones and nobody is any the wiser.
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Offline geogal17

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #147 on: May 26, 2024, 06:46:51 PM »
I agree that the keywork appears different than the typical Artist or Brilliante, and the composition, as evidenced by the speckled glint, is no doubt bakelite.  I am afraid I cannot offer much more than that. 
That light-bleached imaging shadow is very curious!

After poking around these and other clarinet forums, I found a warranty letter someone had uploaded that was spotted as part of an auction.  It is dated Feb 3, 1954 and is for an EMPIRE clarinet, but curiously the serial number is R-1203-B.  This seems different than the other R serials listed by Silversorcerer on his lists, as it previously looked like only BEL CANTOs had the R prefix. Curiouser and curiouser. If this is a snapshot in time of when P-M reorganized their serialization, I guess that would put my R-1424-B as sometime after 1954.  The font type of the logo on the letter matches the font of the 'shadow' logo on my clarinet, so I have a hunch its closer to 1950s than 1930s.

Another interesting tidbit I found going down a rabbit hole was a couple of P-M instrument catalogs dated from 1968 and 1970 when it appears the company was now part of E. Chiasserini (of the infamous 'fake' oboes).  Here is an excerpt from an interview with Nora Post, an oboe repair expert in New York(https://www.norapost.com/pub_recent/NoraPostInterview.pdf) :

 "...He had worked for Alfred Laubin, and they had both worked together for a guy named Evaldo Chiasserini at what was known at the time as Oboe City. It was in Long Island City, which was a fairly gritty industrial section of Queens, New York, at the time. The factory was called Penzel-Mueller, which was the name of an American clarinet manufacturer dating back to about 1880 that Chiasserini had bought out. Penzel-Mueller/Oboe City became the place where the lion’s share of woodwind instruments were imported into this country. This all started in the fifties and continued right through to the mid-seventies, when they were bought out and sold off. ... In 1968, Al Laubin left Penzel Mueller and opened A. Laubin, Inc. in Elmsford, New York. Bill Glover went with him, as did all the other oboe stars at Oboe City, including Paul Laubin. It must have been quite the oboe exodus."


I was under the impression that Penzel Mueller ceased operations by 1960 so finding these later catalogs and the info from that interview was eye catching. Looks like P-M models were still being made...or stenciled....as Penzel Mueller. The only plastic clarinet listed there is the Dynatone, but it lists the material its made of as something called VIBRANITE plastic.   Google was of no help in what the heck vibranite is, maybe just their word for bakelite, who knows.  I am seriously wondering if what I have is some sort of odd imported stencil that wasn't even made in New York, but I don't know enough of the keywork details yet to figure out who the manufacturer could be.  Whats left of the sticker on the upper point still reads MADE IN USA. 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2024, 07:06:15 PM by geogal17 »

Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #148 on: May 27, 2024, 04:01:15 AM »
This is a rather remarkable discovery, and look at all of those stencil names under the PM umbrella!  Who knew?  Yes; Vibranite could have been their special blend of polymers and bakelite, or just another brand name for the same product.
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