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Author Topic: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage  (Read 2727 times)

Offline Airflyte

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1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« on: August 11, 2017, 08:12:12 AM »
Many, many thanks to Saxquest for making this footage available for all to see.

Clarinets start at the 6 minute mark.

Someday I'm going to figure out how to embed a video on this forum!
Here's the link  :)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWk0XHRCl5E
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 11:42:30 AM »
I don't believe you can even imbed videos here :(

Great video! Its like vintage how its made
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Offline LarryS

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 12:51:49 PM »
That was good to watch!
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 02:51:22 PM »
I'm glad the videos aren't embedded. That way I can watch them (like this one) away from home where I have speed. If it were embedded it would bog down loading the whole thread.

Great video by the way. Too bad the factory was retooled for military purposes a few years later. It was mothballed until the war ended, and things were never quite the same, particularly after the leveraged buyout in 1965 by the publishing giants and the export of manufacture to Yamaha. No more coprion bells.  :-\
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 03:15:31 PM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ePnrbO5qfSQ

- The earlier factory that burned. Where my early 1903 Conn Wonder cornet was made. My clarinets are from the later factory. A 1941 424N is a tough clarinet to beat. I think it was a pinnacle year.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 04:13:38 PM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uXvuU3Bkt_E

THis one is a walk through of Conn-Selmer showing current clarinet making. The first video covers key casting and flute tone hole drawing and rolling.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 02:43:16 AM »
Fantastic, Airflyte.  I really enjoyed that.

If you like your pre-war conn engraving, thank the Stenberg brothers.  If your valves on your horn are buttery smoothe, thank William Conrad.  Jake Burkle, William Funkhouse, Frank Hart and John Teed make the instruments what they end up being, playability-wise.  What a group of perfectionists...and while I know all good factories had a similar group of dedicated individuals, it's rare to have "back-stage" access.
Handling lead forms all day with bare hands?  I suspect OSHA would disapprove, nowadays.
Conn's craftsmen were among the very best, as the firm was in a position to recruit and retain the best, by 1937.  As a matter of fact, all of Conn's competition had left him by then (Buescher, Pedler, Martin, Armstrong, etc., ad nauseum)  and Conn, himself, had also been dead 6 years by the time this movie was made.

Johannson Blocks?  1/8,000,000"?  NONSENSE.  There is no way even the most modern machines can get that close, and it certainly was not possible in 1937. But it sounds good, so I'll give it a pass.  Heck;  he could have said 1/8000 and the world would have been extremely impressed, but he just had to reach further, didn't he?

Wonderful video.  I'm glad it was saved.
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 01:52:47 AM »
He doesn't say one 8 millionth he says 8 millionths which is about right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_block#Grades


Offline Windsong

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2017, 08:12:23 PM »
I watched it again, and you are indeed correct. Oh, those pesky decimals.  8 millionths is a little under 1/100,000th of an inch.
Machining to within one thousandth of an inch is an impressive but typical feat by modern standards with CNC machinery, and this is more than 100 times as precise--on manually-dialed antiques, no less.  Of course, this video was made during a time of great hyperbole that often went unchecked.

As a point of reference, a leaf of modern ream stock (i.e.: sheet of printer paper)  is appoximately 4.5 thousandths of an inch thick, or 450 times as thick as the specification this video claims. 
I appreciate the article you posted and learned a good deal.  Thanks for that.  Nevertheless, I'm afraid we may have to agree to disagree as to the definition of "about right". 

I am of the opinion that there is simply no way to enact that level of precision--even today.  Principle and practice are two very different birds.
Cheers-
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 02:22:10 AM »
I watched it again, and you are indeed correct. Oh, those pesky decimals.  8 millionths is a little under 1/100,000th of an inch.
Machining to within one thousandth of an inch is an impressive but typical feat by modern standards with CNC machinery, and this is more than 100 times as precise--on manually-dialed antiques, no less.  Of course, this video was made during a time of great hyperbole that often went unchecked.

As a point of reference, a leaf of modern ream stock (i.e.: sheet of printer paper)  is appoximately 4.5 thousandths of an inch thick, or 450 times as thick as the specification this video claims. 
I appreciate the article you posted and learned a good deal.  Thanks for that.  Nevertheless, I'm afraid we may have to agree to disagree as to the definition of "about right". 

I am of the opinion that there is simply no way to enact that level of precision--even today.  Principle and practice are two very different birds.
Cheers-

You've misunderstood.  The extremely accurately ground blocks were used to calibrate the micrometers.  The micrometers themselves are probably only accurate to a thou or so.

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 06:58:16 AM »
You guys! smidgimeters!  ;) They were built to exacting smidgimeters.

But what I noticed on the broadside was that the grenadilla was soaked in oil for a year. Well, plus or minus a day every four years maybe, but they soaked the wood for a year before they milled it. I bet that saved them from replacing the blades on the tools twice as often.

Who are these folks on some other forum that are perpetrating the idea that you should NOT oil a clarinet bore because the wood is not supposed to be saturated? That saturating the wood with oil ruins the tone? Bookmark that video, please.  8)

Early Penzel Mueller clarinets came with a warranty disclaimer letter informing the owner that failure to properly oil the bore regularly (every two weeks initially) would void the warranty. I'd say soaking it for a year, it starts out saturated. Most of the Conns I play were built in the late 30s or 40s and only one of these I have was oil dry and it looked like it had been stored in a dungeon or something. It also had obvious water damage. This video is first hand evidence that a Conn out of the box was oil saturated.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2017, 08:20:05 AM »
This video is first hand evidence that a Conn out of the box was oil saturated.

I appreciate you commenting on this fact. I found the footage with the narration very interesting regarding the oil tanks.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 07:25:10 PM »
Oh, very good.  I understand, now.  I work with an extremely competent machining crew from time to time (hand machining one-off bits and bobs, where electronically tuning for a single piece would add significantly to my bill) and have to come to understand a good many of the intracacies of hand tooling and the extreme craft of a dedicated machiner.  As a professional mechanic, I was tasked with certain standards I had to achieve, and most often relied upon CNC capabilities for boring and alignment work, where the skill of the operator made the biggest difference.  After all, a machine can only ever be as precise as the conductor's skill to programme it allows. 
May the craft never be superceded by pure machinery.
Cheers-

I watched it again, and you are indeed correct. Oh, those pesky decimals.  8 millionths is a little under 1/100,000th of an inch.
Machining to within one thousandth of an inch is an impressive but typical feat by modern standards with CNC machinery, and this is more than 100 times as precise--on manually-dialed antiques, no less.  Of course, this video was made during a time of great hyperbole that often went unchecked.

As a point of reference, a leaf of modern ream stock (i.e.: sheet of printer paper)  is appoximately 4.5 thousandths of an inch thick, or 450 times as thick as the specification this video claims. 
I appreciate the article you posted and learned a good deal.  Thanks for that.  Nevertheless, I'm afraid we may have to agree to disagree as to the definition of "about right". 

I am of the opinion that there is simply no way to enact that level of precision--even today.  Principle and practice are two very different birds.
Cheers-

You've misunderstood.  The extremely accurately ground blocks were used to calibrate the micrometers.  The micrometers themselves are probably only accurate to a thou or so.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: 1937 C G Conn Factory RARE Pre WWII footage
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 10:37:46 PM »
I did some homework on standards of measure, the document at this link chronicles the progression during the 20th C.: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jres/112/1/V112.N01.A01.pdf
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