Author Topic: Harry Pedler & Co./The Pedler Co. Thread  (Read 26225 times)

Offline Lisa

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #90 on: December 08, 2017, 09:13:48 PM »
Those keys turned out beautiful!  shiny, but a mellow shine, if that makes any sense.
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2017, 11:57:26 AM »
Thanks.
I don't like to over-polish keys.  Complete debris removal and a uniform, natural look is my primary objective.

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Offline philpedler

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #92 on: December 09, 2017, 01:05:01 PM »
Wow! I am impressed by this wonderful contribution to clarinet manufacturing history!

Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #93 on: December 20, 2017, 07:13:36 PM »
I've started the overhaul process on my Grenolite. Note the matching stampings on the upper joint and barrel but the pennant logo on the bell. I've also seen at least one that had the pennant on the upper joint. The barrel on mine is glossy, "modern"-looking plastic. The main body joints are slightly less so, while the bell has an almost satin-ish look to it, kind of like a '50s plastic Normandy.

If anyone has any specific questions, ask. Overall, the keywork seems sturdier and much more generously plated than that of either my late '30s Premier or my late '40s Ebonite.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:35:35 PM by 350 Rocket »
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Offline Lisa

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #94 on: December 20, 2017, 07:26:27 PM »
It looks very nice!  What are the bore sizes on the upper joint?  Is it a straight bore?
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #95 on: December 20, 2017, 07:32:58 PM »
Straight bore, measuring at .585".
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #96 on: January 04, 2018, 04:41:01 PM »
Rocket,
I do not own any Pennant Gren-O-Lite Pedlers yet, but I'm interested to see how this one of yours comes along.  It appears you may have your work cut out for you regarding that lower joint tenon.
It appears that the Pennant was the final model made by MBIC, bearing the Pedler name.  Have you been able to determine (or take an educated guess on) the composition of these?  They appear neither to be exclusively hard rubber or resonite, but perhaps a combination of the two?  Babbitt makes 50/50 formulas, and I have to assume other manufacturers experimented with various polymer/rubber hybrids, as well.
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Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #97 on: January 04, 2018, 07:47:45 PM »
It appears that the Pennant was the final model made by MBIC, bearing the Pedler name.  Have you been able to determine (or take an educated guess on) the composition of these?  They appear neither to be exclusively hard rubber or resonite, but perhaps a combination of the two?  Babbitt makes 50/50 formulas, and I have to assume other manufacturers experimented with various polymer/rubber hybrids, as well.
I did my usual degreaser soak to clean the body and there was no discoloration at all. The upper joint has a very distinct seam on top tenon where the two halves of the mold met. There's some slight chipping/flaking around the serial number stampings and the leaf spring channels which also indicates plastic. It looks very much like the same kind of phenolic resin you'd find in a plastic Normandy or Bundy of the era. No hard rubber-like smell that I can detect.

I've only found three and a half Grenolites for sale in total. I was lucky to win the auction on this one.

The others were:
G1579   not verified in photo
G1799   Grenolite/Pennant   Pennant on upper joint, Grenolite on barrel
G1873   Grenolite   upper joint only

And then there's the Pennant with a higher serial number posted earlier in this thread.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #98 on: January 04, 2018, 08:01:07 PM »
Thank you for the additional serial numbers.  It would appear there are very few Grenolites in circulation.  I have seen only the occasional one come across the scales.

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Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #99 on: January 06, 2018, 09:22:57 AM »
Sadly, we've come no further in getting date stakes or unravelling the obscurity surrounding HP serial numbers, but I thought I would take a different angle tonite, and discuss the 6 different prefix letters that accompany most Pedler serial numbers.

I have seen P, E, N, W, A and G.  The metal clarinets do not have a prefix, ever, that I've seen, and I own a genuine Harry Pedler Albert System top joint made of hard rubber with no prefix (3762), further lending credance to Rocket's theory that the serialization process began while Harry Pedler still held the reins.

P designates "Premier", as best I can tell, and only adorns professional keyed models in various formats, many of which were stamped Premier.
E designates "Ebonite", and is only ever found on hard rubber models (some of which were professional models).
N is still undesignated, and we only have one confirmed example:  N24803
W probably designates "wood", as it only adorns wooden Pedlers (some of which were also professional models).
A is still unofficially designated,  but has only been found on wooden "American" models, to date.  There were also many hard rubber (ebonite) "American" models, but these all have the E prefix.  At this point, I draw the conclusion that an "A" prefix designates a wooden "American".
G designates Gren-O-Lite models.

We now have over 100 recorded entries on the serial number list, among which are a handful of non-serialized clarinets, and I'd like to make an observation on production levels.
If you add the highest recorded serial numbers for each prefix, to date, including the metal clarinets with non-prefix numbers, you arrive at a  number of 163,389.  This does not include non-prefixed wood and hard rubber clarinets--of which, both exist, albeit in small numbers.

In March of 1930, just prior to Harry Pedler selling his stake in the company to MBIC, it was reported that his shop could manufacture 600 clarinets per month.  This was the pinnacle of production, and I do not believe MBIC continued to make Pedler clarinets in quite these numbers.  If we assume (correctly, or not) that the serialization of Harry Pedler Clarinets began in 1928, and we know for a fact that the last Pedler clarinet was made in 1956, that's 29 production years with serialization, for an average of 5634 clarinets per year, of all designations, IF, AND ONLY IF (and that's a big "if") serialization began at 1 for each designation.  And this does not take into consideration the stencil brands Harry Pedler made clarinets for at various points.  He certainly did not make the stencils in his basement, so these ate into production time, as well.  Perhaps the stencils account for the missing production figures?

Several of these models were manufactured concurrently, which makes the dating process all the more difficult.  I am also not certain if there was a set, methodological approach applied to the S/N process across the spectrum.

I am reasonably confident in some dating techniques based upon subtle differences in keywork that I will not share until I can present iron-clad data, but I believe the hard rubber "E" line had reached 13K and the Grenadilla "W" line had reached 11K, by no later than 1936-1937, and perhaps as early as 1935.  Take that with with a grain of salt, if you like.  It's the safest bet, until it can be substantiated or cleanly refuted. 

A few months ago, I missed out on a very unusual Harry Pedler brochure that had some extremely special data within. I kick myself for not making its procurement an absolute priority, and will be on the lookout for another, of course.

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Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #100 on: January 07, 2018, 08:26:37 PM »
Is it possible that the "N" serial is somehow aberrant? With such a high number it seems unlikely that there's 25,000 clarinets out there so prefixed and only one would surface compared with other Pedlers.

Your conclusions on the others mirror my own.

and we know for a fact that the last Pedler clarinet was made in 1956
This is a piece of information I've been searching for for some time. What's the source?

If it helps, here's the starting and ending serials for every Pedler model I've recorded.

Metal
"Made by Harry Pedler & Co." professional model: 2847, 10075
"Made by Harry Pedler & Co." bass: 11490
Premiere : 3888, 15704
American, "Harry Pedler & Co.": 10728, 15711
American, art-deco "bundle of wheat" engraving (model 167): 22924, 23603
400: 13734
Precision Hand Made: 13935
Paramount: 15437, 15966
Hoosier: 19316, 44267
Student: 22741, 30699
Custombuilt metal clarinet: 31065, 48431
Custombuilt metal bass: 31964
Custombuilt metal alto: 45119
No model, plain block script: 48356, 51897

"A" serials
American: A1110, A3677

Ebonite
No model marking: E4891, E36606
Hoosier: E1430, E12418
Custombuilt bass: E3305, E13982
American: E17014, E17185

Grenolite
G1077, G1873

Premier
Premier: P2437, P8760
Special: P4338
No model marked: P12885, P19356

Wood
No model marked: W105, W11130
Custombuilt bass: W2549, W19506
Custombuilt alto: W6637
Pennant: W3290

I separate the metal American models because the art-deco engraving lacks "Harry Pedler & Co." However, the guarantee card for 23603 still has that name. It's plausible that after the rights to the name transferred from Martin to Harry Pedler, Martin was still using up the old stationery. The wood American model has a similar change but I've seen too few examples.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #101 on: January 08, 2018, 04:33:47 AM »
Fascinating post, Rocket.  Thanks for compiling all of that extremely valuable information.
I look forward to analyzing and absorbing it.

I believe you will find the following public domain information useful:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11720385
The author is perhaps the preeminent Elkhart historian, having compiled more factual data on Elkhart than any other source I have come in contact with, to date.

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Offline Sy.Flightdeck

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #102 on: February 17, 2018, 10:53:12 AM »
POLK'S  ELKHART CITY DIRECTORY 1922 (R. L. POLK & CO., Publishers) reveals the following information.

Harry Pedler  & Co Inc.
Band Instrument Manufacturers
#430 Baldwin, Elkhart Indiana
Incorporated 1919
Capital $10,000
Harry W. Pedler (Pres.) 1249 Garden Blvd. N. Elkhart Indiana
Harry W. Pedler jr. (V-Pres.)
Margaret E. Pedler secretary & Treasurer
Employees living in Elkhart:
Geneva Boyland - finisher
George E. Cook - mouthpiece maker
Bessie Cristman - finisher
Marjorie Cristman - finisher
Raymond E. Crowl - key maker
George Eberline - screw machine operator
Fred H. Fuller - drill press operator
Hugh A. Hamilton - helper

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Harry Walter Pedler  b.21 Jan 1872 at Bethnal Green, London, England. d. 25 Sep 1950 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA. Interred at Rice Cemetery.
Father:  Gorge Joseph Pedler (alternate Pidler) father's birthplace:England
Mother's Birthplace:   England
wife: Maria Louisa Hughes, born abt 1873 in Cardigan, Wales
married on 4 Apr 1896 in St Alphege, Greenwich, England
Children: 7
Margaret Annie Pedler b.1887
John Edward Pedler   b.1888
Harry Walter Pedler Jr.  b.1900
Katie M Pedler   b.1906
Thomas Pedler   b.1909
Sidney Pedler   b.1910
Donald L Pedler b.1917

British Military records reflect a Pvt Harry Pedler, Royal Army Serv. Corps sn SS/15667 and Labour Corps sn 305201 who served in France from 12/09/1915.

Arrived Southampton, England on 4 Jul 1920 aboard the Canadian Pacific S.S Grampian out of Montréal, Québec, Canada
Arrived Montréal, Québec, Canada on 22 Aug 1920 aboard the  S.S Scandinavian out of Antwerp, Belgium

in 1922 Harry and Louisa lived at 1249 N Garden Elkhart, Indiana, USA. He was President of his Band Instrument. Co.

Departed the U.S the U.K on 15 Aug 1925 aboard the Cunard S.S Franconia out of New York
Arrived back from the U.K on 24 Aug 1925 aboard the Cunard S.S Franconia out of Liverpool with wife Louisa and son Donald from a visit with his sister at 339 High Rd, London.

Arrived Liverpool, England on 8 Jun 1931 aboard the Cunard White Star S.S Laconia out of New York.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Harry Walter Pedler jr. b. 28 Sep 1899 in London, England to Harry Walter Pedler  & Louisa Hughes. d. 23 Dec 1983 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA.
Wife: Helen Courante Lounsberry b. 22 Mar 1900 in Elkhart, Indiana
Wife's Father:   Cassius Morton Lounsberry
Wife's Mother:   Mary Hough
Married to Helen Courante Lounsberry on 29 May 1926 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Son: Harry Walter Pedler 3rd b.1 Jun 1928 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA, d.3 Jun 1928 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA

in 1928 Harry and Helen lived at 316 E Crawford Elkhart, Indiana, USA - he was Vice President of his father's Band Instrument. Co.

in 1930 Harry and Helen lived at 316 E Crawford Elkhart, Indiana, USA - he was Sales Manager of his father's Band Instrument. Co.

in 1933 Harry and Helen lived at 1227 S Central ave. Glendale, Los Angeles, California, USA where he was a Music Instructor/Representative

in 1934 Harry and Helen lived at 1227 S Central ave. Glendale, Los Angeles, California, USA where he was a Music Instructor/Representative

A "Harry W Pedler" with a birth date of 1 Jan 1940 is also reflected as living at #2100 E Bristol St # 13i, Elkhart, Indiana.


Harry Pedler had some interesting ideas - many of which appear to have been incorporated by other manufacturers - most likely as a result of his not obtaining US patent rights to them. (I own a "Pertin" silver clarinet ("German Silver" base metal, plated with sterling and with a gold washed bell) that is identical to a Pedler in every detail except the name engraved on the bell)

From the list of employees Pedler employed in the early days it is unlikely that he manufactured the entire clarinet (wood or metal) from scratch, but probably sub-contracted some of the work out to other band-instrument makers around the area. 

His very early metal models are built more along the lines of a flute (with keyword being made separately and then soldered on) and I suspect that the body tubes were made originally as flute tubes, then flared. After the flaring the tube where the bell attaches, the tone holes were added by soldering them on individually before drilling the centres out as the tube material is too thick to draw.

This solder-on tone-hole process produces a very nice sounding flute.
Having a thick walled metal instrument means it is less susceptible to tonal shift due to heating of the metal tube once warmed up.

The thicker tone holes also allow for a good seating on the pad either by chamfering or rounding the edges and as the entire instrument is "Sturdily built" it is robust and less likely to get damaged than an instrument with thinner walls and thin tone holes.

The use of a bright white formulation of German Silver, a hard nickel alloy that doesn't actually contain any silver, resulted in a metal with a very unique harmonic. I own an old 2 litre chalice - part of a Catholic Church service set - made of 4 lbs "German Silver" that rings like a bell when the rim is struck and resonates for a minute or more like a tuning fork!

You assemble a "German Silver" instrument and also make repairs to it using a solder made from the same German silver - and when the instrument is buffed / polished you cannot see any solder joint and the instrument itself it is mistaken for sterling silver by everyone who doesn't know the base material.  German silver has a very high melting point and to anyone trying to repair one who is ignorant of what the instrument is made of it would really give them grief !

Plating was and is still done to change the harmonic / resonance of the inner tube - and so the whole thing would get plated. Professional models would not all have been plated, but most were - it depended upon the option the artist was willing to pay for. 

Usually the "Gold wash Bell" meant only the inside of the bell was gold plated, again this was for sound quality (but also to show off )

Considering that the best of the "Silver" Clarinets of the day cost as much as or more than a car, you could say they were the equivalent of a hand-made instrument built today costing $15K-$30K or more before embellishment!

« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 08:57:48 AM by Sy.Flightdeck »

Offline Sy.Flightdeck

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #103 on: February 17, 2018, 04:27:51 PM »
 just took delivery of a Harry Pedler “wonder tone” clarinet - the serial number for this instrument is 3384.

 this instrument appears to be made of  brass however it may also be made of nickel silver

 the bell is sulver plated brass

 the construction of this instrument is very similar to that of a flute in that it uses key work preassembled and then soldered to the main body tube of the clarinet

 The tone holes are alse pre-made and then soldered to the body of the clarinet.

the key work the actual keys themselves appear to be made from nickel silver but do not appear to be plated as they are not black and do not show the characteristic black tarnish of silver key or silver instrument

Offline Windsong

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Re: Harry Pedler and Co./The Pedler Co. Serial Number List
« Reply #104 on: February 19, 2018, 11:20:41 AM »
Here is the seldom seen Harry Pedler "Diamond Logo".  I believe it to be among his first, if not the very first used by Harry Pedler/The Pedler Co. 

This logo was photographed from a Model 152 Albert System with a wrap register key, Circa 1921-1922, during the firm's brief affiliation with the distribution company Kesselman-O'Driscoll, Co., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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