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Author Topic: Harry Bettoney - The Cundy-Bettoney Co.  (Read 3895 times)

Offline Sy.Flightdeck

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Harry Bettoney - The Cundy-Bettoney Co.
« on: December 16, 2017, 11:32:37 AM »
The Cundy-Bettoney Co.

Mr. W. H. Cundy is first listed in the Boston City Directory of 1868 as having a music store at 1195 Washington St.
For a short time the firm was "Cundy & Whitcomb".
Mr. Cundy seems to have moved frequently since he was given at various addresses in successive years, such as:
Continental Building - 1869,
1135 Washington ton St. - 1870
717 Tremont St. - 1873,
1317 Washington St. - 1875,
55 Court St. and 717 Tremont St. - 1878,
186 Washington St. - 1890
93 Court St. from about 1900 until 1907 when Mr. Harry Bettoney, who had started in 1900 the "publication of educational works of music for all kinds of wind instruments", bought out the Cundy Music Publishing Co.

Mr. Cundy was a fine clarinet player and a good, all around musician. He had studied clarinet in the English Military Band Conservatory at Kneller Hall, England, 4 and became a member of Patrick Gilmore's band.

In his retail store he dealt largely in imported instruments, string, woodwind and brass.

He was agent for "Higham" Band Instruments (made in England) and was largely instrumental in making well known in the United States the Buffet Clarinet made in Paris by Buffet-Crampon.

Mr. Cundy also started an engraving and publishing business, probably soon after he opened his store, as some of his music bears
addresses of early locations like 1123, 1135 and 1195 Washington St.

Mr. Harry Bettoney came from England to Boston in 1893 and got a job in the orchestra at the old Park Theatre playing the clarinet.

In 1897 he went into business with W. H. Cundy, a music engraver and publisher who had started in Boston in 1855.

In 1900 he started for himself at 48 Hanover Street and imported clarinets and woodwinds and "introduced" into the United States the Buffet "Clarinet" made in Paris by Crampon. (made by M. Buffet and his wife Mme Crampon) however "Whitmore & Boris" of 178 Washington Street, Boston, and in business only a few years, imported the very first (Buffet "Clarinet") just two weeks ahead of Mr. Bettoney

After three or four years Bettoney bought out Mr. Cundy.

Soon after 1900 Bettoney also bought out instrument maker and repairer "E. H. Wurlitzer"

One year later Bettoney  began to make flutes and piccolos while continuing to import clarinets.

His place soon became a service station for New England for repairing all kinds of woodwind instruments.

The making of clarinets of which this company is now a leading manufacturer, was begun in 1912.
The factory is located in Jamaica Plain.

In 1919 the Cundy-Bettoney Co. bought out the "Boston Musical Instrument Company", the oldest manufacturer of brass instruments in
the United States, established in 1841 and incorporated January 1, 1913.

The Boston Musical Instrument Company were known for over three generations for their high grade "Boston 3 Star Trumpet".  (Did BMIC originally manufacture the Boston "Wonder" clarinet? The silver one I own says "Pat. Pending" below the mouthpiece -  ser. no. 4-83  under the lower register keyword and  "Boston Wonder" identified on the bell as TRADE MARK reg'd U.S. Pat. Off.) 

Eb and Bass Clarinets, oboes and bassoons cannot be made in the United States to advantage except in a quantity which exceeds the demand in the U.S.A.

In March 1930, Bettoney established - as an experiment - a "branch factory" for making these instruments (Eb and Bass Clarinets, oboes and bassoons) at Markneukirchen (a town in the Vogtlandkreis district in the Free State of Saxony) Germany (close to the Czech border) which is a center of skilled musical instrument workers.

A full line of woodwinds and "Silva Winds" are made there.

They are (then imported) adjusted, finished and tested in the main factory in (the USA at) Jamaica Plain.

This company makes instruments of varying prices to suit all purses, supplying many for school use, the different grades being indicated
by trade names.

They also carry the necessary accessories and repair each kind of instrument.

In the woodwinds they make the following:

C and Db metal, Boehm system, with tone holes made by a patented process, three grades, both American and French models in the highest grade.

C and Db, three grades, Boehm system, Bettonite and metal.

Wood and "Bettonite" Clarinets in Boehm and Albert systems.
Bb , A, C, and Eb , 3 grades but not all in each pitch.

Metal Clarinets:
  • five grades in Boehm and three grades in Albert systems.
    Bb, A and Eb in the best grade, covered keys on two grades.
    Alto E in metal, Boehm system, best grade only!
    Bass Bb in metal, Boehm system, best grade only!

Conservatory system two grades

Oboe tone, sax fingering, Grenadilla wood

Paris Conservatory and Germany style models, maplewood, hard rubber lined.

Figures are not available for the total number made to date of each kind of Bettoney woodwind.
The largest volume is in clarinets of which 6228 were made in 1931 as compared with 556 flutes and 174 piccolos.
Mr. Bettoney, knowing a player’s difficulties with the cracking of ebony wood, created "Bettonite" - guaranteed against cracking for ten years.

Bettoney brought out a metal clarinet in September 1925 (patented March 21, 1929)
Since September 1925 the company made only metal clarinets in all grades. These have been sold in all parts of the United States and many Bettoney clarinets have been exported to Europe. A special hard white metal is used for the body of these.

Among the special features are the following:
    • It has a single metal tubular body with raised tone holes,
      The F# and F vent holes are closed by fingers
      The G vent hole is closed by a cap carried on a lever which is pivoted on bearings.

    The Bettoney clarinet has been the leader in popularizing the metal clarinet, which is "made more accurately and played more easily than the wood clarinet".

    A patent for another invention, a new forked Bb for the Boehm system clarinet has been applied for.

    ’’Silva-Bet” clarinets are used by many prominent bands including:
    • The U.S National Guard (for their entire section) ,
      The U.S. Army Band (for their entire section) and
      The U.S. Navy Band (for their entire section)

    and by artists like:
    • Harold Babcock - Sousa Band, Erie, Pennsylvania
      Harry Baldwin -  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
      Rand L. Rand - Dornberger & Opera Club Orchestra, Chicago,
      Thomas Hunter - People's Symphony, Boston.
      Roy Schmidt - Symphony Orchestra, Detroit.
      Jan A. Williams - New York Symphony and formerly of the Metropolitan Opera House Orchestra.
      Rudolph Toll - player and teacher

    Source : Christine Merrick Ayars - Master of Education, Degree thesis - BOSTON UNIVERSITY - 1932[/list]
    « Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:54:48 AM by Sy.Flightdeck »

    Offline 350 Rocket

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    Re: Harry Bettoney - The Cundy-Bettoney Co.
    « Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 06:33:45 PM »
    (Did BMIC originally manufacture the Boston "Wonder" clarinet? The silver one I own says "Pat. Pending" below the mouthpiece -  ser. no. 4-83  under the lower register keyword and  "Boston Wonder" identified on the bell as TRADE MARK reg'd U.S. Pat. Off.)
    Bettoney trademarked the "Boston Wonder" name in 1927, with a claim of first use at the beginning of that year. The Music Trades Review also indicates that the metal Boston Wonder was introduced in 1927, so no, BMIC didn't build the clarinets originally.
    Posted to the original The Clarinet Pages forum from my Power Macintosh 6100/60 using Netscape Navigator™

    Offline Silversorcerer

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    Re: Harry Bettoney - The Cundy-Bettoney Co.
    « Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:31:16 PM »
    That’s the best summary of the early history of this company that I have seen! Well done. This is one of my favorite USA makers. Are you up for starting a serial list? I don’t think there is a reliable one on the web.
    - Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum