Looking For Some Armstrong Alto Flute Info

Discussion in 'Alto flute' started by Helen, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    A friend of mine (pro player from Vancouver) is selling off some gear & called me tonight for some help. He asked me to track down some info on a couple of instruments he has, that he doesn't have much history on (other than his personal knowledge of having owned & used them professionally for years). He was hoping I might be able help him out. Well this has turned out to be anything but straight forward...

    As this thread's title mentions, the instrument in question is an Armstrong alto flute. Seems straight forward enough, except for the serial number. It doesn't have a prefix like it's supposed to have according to the Selmer-Conn website.
    The flute is made in Elkhart, and is serial #: L85XX.

    Anyone got any guesses for me? Suggestions where I might try to look for information? Links to websites? I feel like I've chased my tail all over the 'Net looking for something that just doesn't exist, but clearly does, since we have photographic evidence of it. We're trying to determine year of manufacturing.

    If your curiosity is peaked about the second instrument, I'll give you a hint, it ain't no flute...It's a King bari sax...Just as seemingly mysterious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
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  2. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Hey Helen, I've owned and played a few Armstrong alto flutes. I usually pegged the age by the case type. I'm guessing from the look that it's from the late 60's.
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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  4. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    The serial number chart linky has the same info that Conn-Selmer website has, and I found it totally confusing there as well. I don't understand if they mean that all letters in the alphabet, except those in brackets, where made in 1965. In that case, then they didn't make anything until 1970 again? Or do they mean that these instruments were produced between 1965-1969?

    None of it made any sense to me what-so-ever. I guess because Conn-Selmer has eaten up ever thing in its path, and ended up with so many different company's serial number listings, it's not exactly a high priority to make them user friendly...Especially for a pain-medicated space cadat like me. :confused:
     
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I just go by what's closest :).

    Fairly seriously, tho, if you're really interested in finding out, Selmer WILL talk to you -- well, e-mail you. They're pretty good about that, but their information isn't always accurate. However, if you stick to the one simple question of, "What doe this serial number correspond to?" they'll get it moderately right.
     
  6. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    Speaking of pain-medicated space cadets...

    Thank you Merlin for the tip on the case design as a way of dating the instrument. It proved helpful.

    ...I can't believe I didn't write this yesterday. I read your post & was sure I had responded, but clearly hadn't. My apologies. I do appreciate your input. :oops:
     

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