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Author Topic: Pruefer Clarinet  (Read 515 times)

Offline brigaltman

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Pruefer Clarinet
« on: July 16, 2022, 12:53:29 PM »
Recently a good friend (age 92) closed his music store and gifted me with his father's Pruefer clarinet. His dad played in the Calumet & Hecla band from about 1915 - mid 1930s. I have found a couple of pictures of the band with Sousa conducting and with Herbert L. Clarke as the featured soloist. The clarinet has 7 rings but not an articulated G#/C#. Also, it has the wrap around register key with the tone hole on the front rather than rear of the instrument. It's a low pitch Bb clarinet and plays great. I believe the serial number is 4866. I'd love any information about the instrument an the company that made it.
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Offline brigaltman

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Re: Pruefer Clarinet
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2022, 01:01:02 PM »
One additional note - this instrument is market "Providence, R. I."
SW Michigan Clarinets

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Pruefer Clarinet
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 08:39:56 AM »
You have a treasure!  Here is ...

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRUEFER CLARINETS

The work of Gustav F. Pruefer (1861-1951)

The following quote is from the Newsletter of the American Musical Instrument Society, Vol. XVII, No. 3, October 1988, sourced 6-2-18 from https://amis.org/publications/newsletter/1981/17.3-1987.pdf Spelling corrected.

“As an instrument maker, as well as a player, Pruefer, self-taught, was notably successful. The Pruefer Company in Providence, Rhode Island, was known particularly for its mass-produced, Boehm-system clarinets. Pruefer's musical and industrial reputation was quite the same as that of William Mueller-generous, but driven and keenly competitive. The two men were business associates during the World War I era. The portrait was taken in Markneukir-chen at a time when Pruefer worked in the Moennig shop.”

CHRONOLOGY  Source: The Clarinet Board online, plus my own research (Windy Dankoff)

1906 Gustav “Gus” Pruefer started his first clarinet company. He was born in USA to a German immigrant family that manufactured jewelry (still in jewelry business in Providence, RI.)
1914 Pruefer merged with Penzel and Mueller to form Penzel, Mueller and Pruefer
1920 Penzel died and Pruefer left the company
1920 Gus Pruefer traveled to Markneukirchen Germany to help Hans Moennig modernize his factory
1921 Gus restarted Pruefer Mfg. Co. Providence, RI with Hans Moennig on board.
US Patent issued 1931 for a complex metal liner for wood clarinets, allowing for expansion of the wood (Pat. #1801690). It looks impractical, but it shows the inventive side of Gus Pruefer.
1942 ad showed Pruefer ebonite clarinet with nickel-silver lining in upper joint, not yet named “Silver Throat”
1942 Pruefer sold the company to an apprentice (Ref: Newsletter Of The American Musical Instrument Society, June 1988)
1955 ad showed the instrument with the trade name “Silver Throat”
1960’s degraded to smaller bore in lower joint, nickel-plated keys, and eventually a plastic body.
1976 Factory in Providence, RI burned down … RIP!

Search "Pruefer Silver Throat" on this list for extensive discussions of those post-1940 models
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline brigaltman

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Re: Pruefer Clarinet
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2022, 02:19:55 PM »
Thanks,
You're right. It's a treasure both as a gift from a friend and a great player. It plays much freer than my primary instruments (Leblanc LLs).
Mike
SW Michigan Clarinets

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Pruefer Clarinet
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2022, 04:32:52 PM »
I find that the optimum mouthpiece is very important to obtain a free-blowing instrument. What kind of MP are you using / or what did it come with?
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline brigaltman

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Re: Pruefer Clarinet
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2022, 09:56:21 PM »
I use an older Woodwind G7. The sound is quite bright and I doubt I'll ever use it. I'd hate to part with it, but it should be used.

Mike
SW Michigan Clarinets