Untitled Document
     
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!
     

Pan American (Conn) saxophone serial number list

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
For years it has been hard to determine exactly when a Pan American saxophone was made. Although these saxes were made in a part of the Conn factory, the Pan Am serial numbers were different. Recently a guy on Sax on the Web named Kurt has been collecting information to compile a Pan American saxophone list. He's done a lot of work, and it looks he has enough data to be statistically significant. The list has been published on the Conn Loyalist page here:

http://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnSerialsPanAmWW.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
It's pretty amazing how little attention the makers of these instruments have paid to tracking this sort of thing over the years. The great Conn fire was accidental (apparently), but it has caused no end of problems over the years. More recently, the lack of response from Leblanc has puzzled folks for many more years.

I've had luck with Selmer USA in the past, but getting definitive answers on Selmer Paris stuff was limited to the stuff in the lists.

What about Yamaha? I've never looked for anything in the Yamaha line myself.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Well, for what it's worth, the main reason nobody paid much attention to Pan American serial numbers is because these were Conn's second-line horns, i.e. non-pro. It's kinda like asking how old a Bundy II is. It really doesn't matter: it's not a pro horn. However, I've personally received dozens, if not hundreds, of e-mails over the years asking how old Pan American horns are.

I'm a little interested in how this Pan American serial number chart works for other Conn stencils and stencils/Pan Americans that don't have "P" serial numbers.

Re: Conn fire, there were at least two, if not three. Two occurred before CG Conn became "CG Conn, LTD," so they predate the Pan American model by a few years. Off the top of my head, I'll say 1897 and 1910.

Leblanc has an interesting relationship with the people that own their instruments. As an example, I've been told -- by Leblanc -- that if you own one of their instruments and e-mail them asking for dating assistance, they'll be happy to provide it. However, there are at least a couple folks on this forum that owned relatively recent Leblanc instruments and Leblanc refused to give out any information.

Selmer Paris has always been hit or miss. I've seen examples of e-mails from them that I could verify with other sources. I've also seen e-mails written in badly broken English that were just flat out wrong. I also remember them denying they ever built curved soprano saxophones ... regardless of the fact that there was a curved soprano on their website. Selmer probably still maintains that there were no Mark VII horns produced in anything but alto and tenor.

Yamaha's serial numbers are allegedly non-sequential. DoctorSax.biz has some information on the Yamaha-made Vitos and that chart might extend to other Yamaha instruments (see our serial number research thread). If you're extra enterprising, you can go to Yamaha's website and look at a parts list. I'm told that if you do own a Yamaha, you can call them up and they'll provide info. FWIW, I can't remember anyone asking me how old their Yamaha was.
 
Hi, I'm a little late for the party, but I'm Kurt, the one doing the work on Pan American and its own second lines International and Cavalier. I am also working on the Elkhart Band Instrument Co, the Buescher subsidiary. And on a related study, ART Musical Instruments, which became Pedler & Son. besides registering serial numbers, I am actively engaged in history research.

I will be updating the brass and sax serial systems as continuing the registry and history research has moved some of the data points around. The previous versions were at a confidence level of 95% at 5%. I am moving towards 98% at 2%. There is a possibility I may be able to estimate production statistics and I may be able to provide a woodwind serial system too.

Here's a bit of History on Pan American:
1) On September 15, 1915, the first CG Conn Ltd brand instruments went to the market place. This signified the change from Col Conn ownership to the consortium headed by CD Greenleaf. The full name for the new company was CG Conn Ltd, Inc. CG Conn Ltd was the brand.
2) The Pan American brand was established in 1917, along with American First. The Pan American's under this brand were labeled "Pan American Model." From these instruments began the stencils. The brass had their own serial system, while the saxes were in the existing CG Conn system. So far I have not found any woodwinds from this time period. Based on visual comparison, brass and saxes appear to be modified versions of the pre-Conn Ltd models. These modofications constitute new models.
3) In July 1919, Pan American Band Instrument & Case Co was incorporated by CD Greenleaf and AH Beardsley, under the laws of the state of Indiana with a registration number implying activity from 1917.
4) In November 1919 the Pan American factory opened. With the opening began the production of Pan American named and numbered models and the famous "P" serials for brass and saxes. They also introduced "W" serials, integrated with the "P" serials and a separate "A" serial system for their International brass instruments. Woodwinds were added to the mix, but without a "P", "W" or "A" pefix, but starting with a serial akin to 0001. From these serial numbers and related models come all so called "Conn Stencils" actually making them Pan American stencils. Based on trade articles 1920 is the demarcation for Pan American as a company.
5) At the beginning Pan American was marketed with the CG Conn Ltd brand and separately. Pan American had their own patents, trademarks, catalogs, models and dealer structure. By the mid 1920's Pan American began to be marketed totally separately. All Conn Ltd, Inc family all instruments were marketed to schools, student, beginners, etc. The theme for all instruments was "Easy to Play." The difference was CG Conn brand featured professional player endorsements, while Pan American instruments featured quality at a moderate price.
6) It is interesting to note, that many of the stenciled Pan American's were marketed by the resellers as professional instruments.
7) Sometime before 1931, the International line was discontinued. I have yet to find documentation on a year.
8) In 1931, Pan American introduced the Cavalier line.
9) In August 1942, it looks like all CG Conn Ltd, Inc factories stopped production for WWII.
10) In January 1948, Pan American started production again. I have not found evidence of Cavalier being brought back. This is also the advent of the "Div CG Conn Ltd" labeling on instruments. It was at this post WWII time that subsidiaries became known as divisions. This was also the beginning of the Pan American 58 series models.
11) In 1950 the serial numbers for saxes and woodwinds were merged at about 100,000. The "P" and "W" had been dropped long before and the year varies somewhat by instrument group.
12) In 1955 all the CG Conn Ltd, Inc family of instruments serials were merged at 500,000. This paved the way for the 1000000 Conn serial number in 1962/63.
13) In 1956 the Pan American line was in process of closure.
14) In 1957 the last Pan American's are sold, with rebranded Martin saxes and rebranded Blessing trumpets and cornets. It looks like all the other instruments were already closed out by that time.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I'm sorry that I don't currently have the time to do some of your post more justice, badenia. I do have a couple quick comments.

The Pan American brand was established in 1917, along with American First. The Pan American's under this brand were labeled "Pan American Model." From these instruments began the stencils.
* While I'm fairly sure that I remember seeing stencils of Pan American saxes -- i.e. saxes with a 1917 patent, but not engraved "Pan American" -- there are an awful lot of stencils based on the Conn professional line, which, for saxophones, would generally be the New Wonder models.
* I don't recall, off the top of my head, if there were any Pan American-engraved saxophones that were based on the Conn professional line. I don't know if that's an exception for saxophones only or if that extends to all the instruments produced under the Pan American name.
* I'm fairly (say, 75%) sure that there are Conn saxophone stencils and/or Pan American saxophones with a serial number with an "E" prefix. And no, not "E" for "Eb instrument." :)
* I don't remember if the Cavalier saxophones I've played were Pan American stencils or Conn stencils. I can say that they were of extremely low quality.
* I've also mentioned elsewhere that I have seen Conn stencil saxophones that were engraved "CG Conn, Ltd." They were definitely New Wonder stencils, not Pan American horns.

Also, please document, document, document. If not with written references, take lotsa pics. For instance, the thing you mention about the first Pan Am saxophones being modifications of pre-Conn Ltd. models sounds a bit shaky to me. What kinds of modifications are we talking about? Hey, a brand new Selmer S80 Serie III is just a modification of A. Sax's original design, too.

Again, I wish I had more time to do more research. Sorry about that. Maybe in December.
 
Hi Pete. Thanks for the comments and the healthy skepticism. It was with that kind of skepticism that started me on my research journey. Let me start by saying I have about 12" of printed documents, several gig of electronic documents, including catalogs and brochures from 1924 to 1965, advertising from 1917 to 1955, US Patent Office documents (patents and trademarks), record of incorporation filings, trade journal articles from the 1870's to 1969, pictures etc. I also consult the catalogs on saxophone.org and saxquest,com. Currently, my Pan American registry includes 1457 brass, 387 woodwinds, and 1371 saxes currently; the Cavalier line has 505 brass, 378 clarinets and 179 saxes; the International is all brass and numbers at 30. I might add, the Buescher/Elkhart registry is approaching similar numbers. I have yet to stratify and count my ART/Pedler registry. My Conn registry is smaller at 912 instruments and is for the purpose of understanding the serial stamping, the transitional period and at what serial number did CG Conn engraving become CG Conn Ltd Engraving. I have a small collection of about 45 instruments (some are for playing and some are for research).

I will add that I only report what is fact, that is what is in the documents on file or from the registries. If I add opinion, I state it as such.

The problem with stencil conclusions drawn to this point, in my humble opinion, is people look to what is in common and not what is different. This is the same as what separates a Chevrolet from a Buick or a Cadillac, or a Ford from a Lincoln, or a GM Yukon, from a GM Yukon Denali, etc. Within a company there is always "family" resemblance. What separates the products are the unique features and specific design elements and the definitions used by the company itself. In my opinion, based on the way conclusions are drawn a Buescher sax could be a Conn sax stencil. After all they are both saxes with many similar design features? Historically, FA Buescher made the first US sax while in the employ of Col Conn and in 1916, a Greenleaf and Beardsley consortium bought the Buescher company.

So far, there has been little to no physical measurements taken or analysis of materials used. However, one of my contacts has measured Pan American tenor and alto saxes from the 1920s and compared them to the Conn's of the same period. The Pan Am's are slightly shorter and have a slightly smaller bore.

Visually the Pan Am's from each decade have different G# clusters, fewer number of keys, different number of MOP, some different shaped keys, etc from their contemporary Conn models.

In Conn's 1919 catalog, they state only a Conn is a Conn. In Pan American's 1924 catalog, they state they will put any name wanted on the instrument at no added charge.

Based on my registry, I have found no Pan American brand or line instruments, nor stencils with an "E" prefix. The Conn line had an E serial in 1965. This was long after they were involved in stenciling. For the Conn group stenciling for others looks to have ended with the closing of Pan American. Therefore, one could conclude that stenciling for the Conn group started at the inception of Pan American and closed with its demise. This does not include the Conn group using Conn brand stencils from others, like the Schreiber bassoon, or the using of the Cavalier name in 1957 on the German imported Conn Cavalier clarinet.

"Modifications" to an instrument often generates a different model. The Selmer series mentioned above is based on an individual's analysis and opinion and not on what the manufacturing company itself determined to be a new model. Based on visual comparison, the Pan Am model 58N clarinet is separated from the model 74N clarinet by a change in a couple of keys. I will check more detail once I get a 74N into my collection.

So far I have found 1 Pan American (P serial) model sax engraved "CG Conn Ltd" from 1925. Between 1917 and 1919, I have found 1 "Pan American Model" and 14 stencils for Wurlitzer, Bruno, Selmer NY, Montgomery Ward, Kohler & Chase, and Carl Fischer bearing the Conn serial system, but visually not matching up to the contemporary Conn's in detail. They look closer to the pre 1915 versions and even then with some change. While these 1917-1919 saxes could be labeled "Conn stencils", the definition of stencil widely accepted means no change to design, only engraving. Thus I have opined, they are Pan American stencils.

Cavalier models are neither Pan American or Conn stencils. They are a line of Pan American. They are unique models based on design elements from the 1930's and 1940's.

I have found not Conn family instruments with a 1917 patent. Conn Ltd sax instruments used the Haynes 1914 patent from serials in the 60,000's to 277000 at least. From the 278000's on the "Pat Appd for" stamp was used only until the H serials began. Pan American started with the 1914 Haynes stamp, but went to the Hardy 1915 stamp in the 32850 serials.

Best,
Kurt
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
First, I should mention that you can certainly use all the Conn pics in my "new" pic gallery. Link to 'em or download, I don't mind. They're not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. If there's something on Saxpics.com (reminder: I don't own that 'site any more, but I do have backups) that's broken or you'd like me to attempt to clarify, RSVP.

Hi Pete. Thanks for the comments and the healthy skepticism.
It's actually more of, "This is what I experienced, so you should also be ready for it." :D

Historically, FA Buescher made the first US sax while in the employ of Col Conn.
Yes, I know. I think I have #16 on Saxpics.com. It's essentially an A. Sax clone, IIRC.

Let me start by saying I have about 12" of printed documents, several gig of electronic documents, including catalogs and brochures from 1924 to 1965, advertising from 1917 to 1955, US Patent Office documents (patents and trademarks), record of incorporation filings, trade journal articles from the 1870's to 1969, pictures etc. I also consult the catalogs on saxophone.org and saxquest,com. Currently, my Pan American registry includes 1457 brass, 387 woodwinds, and 1371 saxes currently; the Cavalier line has 505 brass, 378 clarinets and 179 saxes; the International is all brass and numbers at 30. I might add, the Buescher/Elkhart registry is approaching similar numbers. I have yet to stratify and count my ART/Pedler registry. My Conn registry is smaller at 912 instruments and is for the purpose of understanding the serial stamping, the transitional period and at what serial number did CG Conn engraving become CG Conn Ltd Engraving. I have a small collection of about 45 instruments (some are for playing and some are for research).
This post is useless without pics. Or links to pics. Or links to appropriate pages in a catalog you've seen posted online. :)

The problem with stencil conclusions drawn to this point, in my humble opinion, is people look to what is in common and not what is different. This is the same as what separates a Chevrolet from a Buick or a Cadillac, or a Ford from a Lincoln, or a GM Yukon, from a GM Yukon Denali, etc. Within a company there is always "family" resemblance. What separates the products are the unique features and specific design elements and the definitions used by the company itself. In my opinion, based on the way conclusions are drawn a Buescher sax could be a Conn sax stencil. After all they are both saxes with many similar design features?
Oooh. Slippery slope. Let me make it hard. Is a Vito VSP baritone sax a completely different horn because it says "Vito VSP" on the bell or is it really a Yanagisawa 901 with different engraving? We can do cars, too: is a 1993 Mercury Sable a different car than a 1993 Ford Taurus because it's got a different front clip? This is actually an incredibly difficult argument because everyone can be sort-of right. OK, the manufacturer says that a Taurus and Sable are different, even though they share 99% of the same parts. However, if I was going to buy one -- all other things being the same -- why wouldn't I go for the one that's $500 cheaper? Or, getting back to the sax world, why wouldn't I buy a brand new Vito VSP bari if it's $500 cheaper than a Yanagisawa 901? If I needed parts, would I insist that my spark plugs said, "Made for Mercury Sable" on the side?

(I've owned a Taurus and a Sable, at different times.)

I'm not denying that Pan Am saxophones with something other than the Haynes patent/date on the horn are different from the Conn pro horns. I agree that they are. They're supposed to be. I'm also not saying that a Conn horn, stamped with the 1914 Haynes patent/date, but not engraved "Conn, Ltd." is a New Wonder model. It's a stencil: it's always going to be missing rolled tone holes. However, it's difficult to argue that each horn made by Conn that looked like a New Wonder, sans rolled tone holes, is a model unto itself. I'd call that bad for business because you're going to have to spend something on advertising, engraving, and/or tooling. But, maybe they should be thought of that way. Hey, I've said that Selmer NY horns made by Conn are generally considered pretty high quality by the folks that own them.

Also, you really, really shouldn't use Buescher in the stencil argument. I can fairly easily find a Buescher True Tone and a True Tone stencil that will look 100% the same -- I know, because I've had folks send me pics in the past. The only difference is supposed to have been in quality control and using older tooling.

However, one of my contacts has measured Pan American tenor and alto saxes from the 1920s and compared them to the Conn's of the same period. The Pan Am's are slightly shorter and have a slightly smaller bore.
I'm assuming you're referring to Pan Ams with the Haynes patent/date stamped, yes? How far apart is the serial number range that's being looked at? Conn changed a LOT of stuff over very brief periods of time, especially in the 1920s. Make sure you check the amount and size of tone holes, too.

Cavalier models are neither Pan American or Conn stencils. They are a line of Pan American. They are unique models based on design elements from the 1930's and 1940's.
All you'd need to do is show an ad from Pan Am saying something like, "A new line of instruments from Pan American, the Cavalier!" You don't specifically say that you've seen something like that. I would then like to compare it to other Conn horns and see what the similarities and differences are.

============

Really, the only reason I care at all is because I guarantee that I'll start seeing eBay ads saying something like, "Pan American was another professional line manufactured by Conn!" I don't think that's good for the buying public, especially because that's not true. Pan Am was Conn's second line. Well, I also care because I don't want to have to go back and start collecting bunches of Pan Am pictures. :)

I think I've mentioned that I've owned a Pan American metal clarinet. I thought it was a very decent instrument. However, it's not something I'd recommend for a modern beginner. I also dislike ALL the Conn (or "Conn affiliated") saxophones I've played from the New Wonder period and earlier. And all Cavaliers. I know a lot of folks like them, though.

I really can't speak about Conn's other instruments, like trumpets, and stuff. I can certainly believe that Conn shifted marketing focus after 1929, for instance, and there probably are an awful lot more brass winds to look at than sax models. I give you mad props for trying to look at all the horns Conn had. If you find out more about the New Invention saxophones and/or any interesting prototype saxophones, I'll be very happy to see them.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
I also dislike ALL the Conn (or "Conn affiliated") saxophones I've played from the New Wonder period and earlier... I know a lot of folks like them, though.
Yup Pete, I have a Pan Am curvy that I would put up against any modern soprano in tuning and sound. I just had it overhauled last December, and have started using it in the Big Band I work it. It is keyed to high F, and is pretty much minty... Speaking of your dislikes, you're also not a fan of my other favorite horns: my 1950 Zeph, and my The Martin bari--despite the fact that you encouraged me to buy the latter. ;) All of these horns have relegated my Mark VIs to "back-up" status. (My VI alto has been a back-up for more than 10 years now, ever since I bought a 10M in a pawnshop.)

Just playing devil's advocate here my friend. As much as I love my Mark VI's there is something to be said for that vintage, American sound... And this coming from a German.... :emoji_flushed:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I actually liked the tone of the Martin "Committee III" tenor that I had, but it played badly out of tune. I also thought the ergonomics weren't that great. I do remember mentioning to you that if your bari played well in tune, you should buy it. It did, so you did :).

The Zephyr is similar. I also don't like the ergonomics, it's a bit challenging to play in tune, and I think it's a little overpowering. Definitely for me, at least. Hey, I played mostly classical and small ensemble. You play rock and jazz.

IIRC, I owned a late Conn New Wonder tenor, bare brass and overhauled. For stencils, I had a 1920ish alto and a 1925ish C melody (tenor-style neck). I also *think* I had a stencil curved soprano in there, too. I did play a late New Wonder baritone for a couple years, off and on. I borrowed a late New Wonder bass from Fredonia State (NY) on several occasions. I also played around with a 1925ish stencil C soprano and a similar straight Bb soprano. In the case of the C instruments, I used C mouthpieces that came with the instruments. For the Eb and Bb instruments, excepting the Bb soprano, I used mainly Sigurd Rascher mouthpieces and sometimes some other random mouthpiece I had lying around. (The Conn mouthpiece that was with the bass was shattered, but the Rascher bari mouthpiece I had was slightly larger than the Conn bass mouthpiece, IIRC.) I also played a couple Conn Cavalier altos, just because I had the opportunity to do so.

The horn that made me actually like Conn was a 30M, which made it's way into Paul Lindemeyer's hands slightly after I tried it, IIRC (7-10+ years ago, at least). Tone was fantastic. A bit hard to control and I like the egos of modern horns better, but if I played jazz or rock more, it'd be on my short list. Heck, if I was a tenor player -- I mainly played bari -- I might just try harder to make the 30M work for me in every situation. I also seem to remember that I told the dealer that had the horn that I hated all the Conns I ever played. Tone wise, I'd prefer it to a Mark VI.

This, of course, also makes me want to try a pre-WWII Conn 12M, just for kicks. Too bad that Conn didn't make a 30M baritone equivalent.

My problem with the Conns I played, excepting that 30M, was that they were extremely resistant. I felt I had to work way too hard playing them. As to why I owned Conns, if I didn't like them that much, it's because I either had to pay very little for them or they were just given to me. The bari was owned by a friend of mine and I only played it before I had a better horn from my high school -- and I then purchased a series of much better baritones. Or, of course, when my horn was in the shop.

Whenever I talk about these really old vintage horns, I always do want to underscore that I do not recommend these horns for beginners. (See? It's underscored.) If you're a pro, play whatever you like. If you're a beginner, buy a used Yamaha and/or check out this article.
 
Hi Pete,

Thought I'd continue the discussion.

1) As to the size of my files, it is important and not to be discounted. It is not important that I post them as almost all are readily available on the internet. If one searches the International Arcade Museum copies of the Music Trade review and Presto, much of my documentation comes from those trade publications. Additionally, internet searches for advertising will reveal much from Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Boys Life, various newspapers, etc. Most of the catalogs and brochures were also obtained through the internet searches. Since I don't have a website there is no real place for me to post what I own and the rest do have copyright restrictions on usage, but can be found individually. I'll add some examples to this if I can.
2) One cannot relate products of today with those produced during the Pan Am period, 1919-1957. While there may be some parallels, the companies involved are not the same and the management philosophies are different. Additionally, you made my case, it's the 1% or so that makes the difference. Plus consider the serial numbers. All so called Conn stencils from 1920 until 1955/56 carried the Pan American serial system. Also, you are correct Buescher did produce stencils using the "True-Tone" models until FA Buescher's "retirement" in 1928, but so did the subsidiary Elkhart Band Instrument Co and EBIC continued after that. Elkhart then was the stencil producer (using serial numbers) until its demise with the sale of the Buescher company, by the younger Greenleaf son, to Bundy Band Instrument Co, subsidiary of Selmer in 1963. So starting in 1963 is Buescher the stencil or is Bundy? So far I have found is no documentation of the older tooling story.
3) See the attachments for the Cavalier as a line of Pan American.
4) Whether one likes an instrument or not depends on one's own opinions as much as what the product is. Inferior products don't sell to a large degree. Currently my collection is about 1/2 Conn brand and about 1/2 Pan American products. A couple of the Cavalier and International instruments don't really measure up. Based on the serial registry for these models, they did not last in the market place either. See the attachments for a bit of how Pan American was positioned. it was quality at moderate prices. Cavalier was the lowest priced quality American brand.

Here are some examples of what I have on file regarding history:

View attachment US patent Office Gazette-Nov 1917 - Pan American.pdfView attachment The Music Trades - Pan Am new factory - 1919.pdfView attachment Record Search - Pan American Band - Est 7-30-1919.pdfView attachment PRESTO-1931-2256-15 - Cavalier Launch.pdfView attachment MTR-1921-72-20-100 - Conn with Subsidiary Pan Am at Convention (pt2).pdfView attachment MTR-1921-72-20-99 - Conn with Subsidiary Pan Am at Convention (pt1).pdfView attachment Cavalier Trademark - March 1931.pdfView attachment Cavalier brochure 1938.pdf

Here are some example ads:

View attachment Pan American Ad - Zyloid Clarinet - Popular Mechanics 1928.pdfView attachment Pan American Ad - address 704 Pan American Bldg - Popular Science Jul 1929.pdfView attachment Pan American Ad - Band Instr - Popular Mechanics 1928.pdfView attachment Pan American Ad - Clarinet - Popular Mechanics 1926.pdfView attachment Pan American Ad - Clarinet - Popular Mechanics 1928.pdf

Best to you! Happy Thanksgiving!
Kurt
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
1) As to the size of my files, it is important and not to be discounted. It is not important that I post them as almost all are readily available on the internet. If one searches the International Arcade Museum copies of the Music Trade review and Presto, much of my documentation comes from those trade publications. Additionally, internet searches for advertising will reveal much from Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Boys Life, various newspapers, etc. Most of the catalogs and brochures were also obtained through the internet searches. Since I don't have a website there is no real place for me to post what I own and the rest do have copyright restrictions on usage, but can be found individually. I'll add some examples to this if I can.

Wikipedia article on US copyright fair use. "Research" is in the first paragraph. Even if you don't copy 'n' paste something, you can always use a standard
citation, such as, (1931, March. Presto Times, p. 15. Retrieved from http://url.com on 2015-11-28). You could also contact the folks that run the website you want to use as a source -- and note that the folks on the Music Box Society International website are copyrighting their "enhanced content," not the Presto magazines -- and ask if you can copy something.

Just insisting something is true isn't very helpful. You have to prove it or show where you got it from.

If you're looking for website space, I don't mind hosting. I've got unlimited space. Well, until they realize that I'm using about 20gb of space ....

2) One cannot relate products of today with those produced during the Pan Am period, 1919-1957. While there may be some parallels, the companies involved are not the same and the management philosophies are different. Additionally, you made my case, it's the 1% or so that makes the difference.
If you think that was the point I was making, I'm sorry. It wasn't. The point was along the lines of, "While these two instruments [the Yanagisawa 901 and Vito VSP was the example I used] are called two different things and have two different model names, they're the same horn." The reason why I'm trying to make a point of this is because someone will insist that (still using my example) that a Yanagisawa 901 is better and worth more than the Vito VSP. Why? Give a concrete reason and support it. If you want to say, "These are different models because they have different model names/numbers," make sure you mention that AND mention, "... But there doesn't appear to be any differences in keywork, bore dimensions, etc."

Also, you are correct Buescher did produce stencils using the "True-Tone" models until FA Buescher's "retirement" in 1928

Nope. Let me quote from my old website:

FA Buescher left Conn in 1894 to establish the Buescher Manufacturing Co. This was later restructured as the Buescher Band Instrument Co in 1904. In 1916, FA Buescher sold a major share of his company to six businessmen including Andrew Hubble Beardsley. FA Buescher remained president until 1919 when Beardsley assumed that title. FA Buescher was vice-president and general manager of the company until 21 January 1929, when he resigned these positions, but was retained as a consultant engineer.

In 1926/7 the Buescher Band Instrument Company was joined with the Elkhart Band Instrument Company (some claim that Buescher was bought by the Elkhart Band Instrument Company), a company founded two years previously by Beardsley with Conn's Carl Greenleaf as secretary-treasurer. When Beardsley died in 1936, the Buescher company began using the Elkhart Band Instrument trademark on a line of instruments until 1958.


FA Buescher then founded Art Musical Instruments in 1932 -- they didn't produce their own saxophones, but used Martin stencils.


FA Buescher died in 1937 and was succeded by Harry Pedler, the VP at the time, at Art Musical Instruments. Slightly after this, Art Musical Instruments had a name change to "Harry Pedler and Sons" -- and still stenciled Martin instruments.

The Harry Pedler brassworks were bought by Selmer USA in 1958. (1)

Selmer USA purchased Buescher around 1963. I realize I don't have a source for this, other than serial number charts (appx. 381xxx). I used to have the exact date, somewhere ....

Again, if you want to talk Buescher, I really think you need to open a different thread and post some research. Don't just insist something's true. Hey, I list about a half-dozen references for my above quote.


See the attachments for the Cavalier as a line of Pan American.

That was really all you needed to post to refute me. As far as the construction, look, etc., that's a different story. I'll readily admit that I don't have any ammo on this other than, "The horns I tried were junk." I'd have to research and look at a bunch of horns. Non-professional saxophone models weren't what I did most of my research on.

4) Whether one likes an instrument or not depends on one's own opinions as much as what the product is. Inferior products don't sell to a large degree. Currently my collection is about 1/2 Conn brand and about 1/2 Pan American products. A couple of the Cavalier and International instruments don't really measure up. Based on the serial registry for these models, they did not last in the market place either.

I'm not sure if you're arguing for or against that Cavalier was junk. I *think* you're arguing "for." Then you call 'em "quality."

I think I have a bit of responsibility to say something like, "All the Conn New Wonder and New Wonder Stencil saxophones I've played were terrible." I also think I have a responsibility to say, "All the Yamaha saxophones and clarinets I've played were extremely high quality." I want there to be more folks that play and I want to keep them playing. Kinda, "Benefit from my experience!" I think this particularly goes for saxophones and brass winds because it's really easy for newbies to say, "It's really shiny and pretty. It must be good."
 
Hi Pete. Thanks for the comments and the healthy skepticism. It was with that kind of skepticism that started me on my research journey. Let me start by saying I have about 12" of printed documents, several gig of electronic documents, including catalogs and brochures from 1924 to 1965, advertising from 1917 to 1955, US Patent Office documents (patents and trademarks), record of incorporation filings, trade journal articles from the 1870's to 1969, pictures etc. I also consult the catalogs on saxophone.org and saxquest,com. Currently, my Pan American registry includes 1457 brass, 387 woodwinds, and 1371 saxes currently; the Cavalier line has 505 brass, 378 clarinets and 179 saxes; the International is all brass and numbers at 30. I might add, the Buescher/Elkhart registry is approaching similar numbers. I have yet to stratify and count my ART/Pedler registry. My Conn registry is smaller at 912 instruments and is for the purpose of understanding the serial stamping, the transitional period and at what serial number did CG Conn engraving become CG Conn Ltd Engraving. I have a small collection of about 45 instruments (some are for playing and some are for research).

I will add that I only report what is fact, that is what is in the documents on file or from the registries. If I add opinion, I state it as such.

The problem with stencil conclusions drawn to this point, in my humble opinion, is people look to what is in common and not what is different. This is the same as what separates a Chevrolet from a Buick or a Cadillac, or a Ford from a Lincoln, or a GM Yukon, from a GM Yukon Denali, etc. Within a company there is always "family" resemblance. What separates the products are the unique features and specific design elements and the definitions used by the company itself. In my opinion, based on the way conclusions are drawn a Buescher sax could be a Conn sax stencil. After all they are both saxes with many similar design features? Historically, FA Buescher made the first US sax while in the employ of Col Conn and in 1916, a Greenleaf and Beardsley consortium bought the Buescher company.

So far, there has been little to no physical measurements taken or analysis of materials used. However, one of my contacts has measured Pan American tenor and alto saxes from the 1920s and compared them to the Conn's of the same period. The Pan Am's are slightly shorter and have a slightly smaller bore.

Visually the Pan Am's from each decade have different G# clusters, fewer number of keys, different number of MOP, some different shaped keys, etc from their contemporary Conn models.

In Conn's 1919 catalog, they state only a Conn is a Conn. In Pan American's 1924 catalog, they state they will put any name wanted on the instrument at no added charge.

Based on my registry, I have found no Pan American brand or line instruments, nor stencils with an "E" prefix. The Conn line had an E serial in 1965. This was long after they were involved in stenciling. For the Conn group stenciling for others looks to have ended with the closing of Pan American. Therefore, one could conclude that stenciling for the Conn group started at the inception of Pan American and closed with its demise. This does not include the Conn group using Conn brand stencils from others, like the Schreiber bassoon, or the using of the Cavalier name in 1957 on the German imported Conn Cavalier clarinet.

"Modifications" to an instrument often generates a different model. The Selmer series mentioned above is based on an individual's analysis and opinion and not on what the manufacturing company itself determined to be a new model. Based on visual comparison, the Pan Am model 58N clarinet is separated from the model 74N clarinet by a change in a couple of keys. I will check more detail once I get a 74N into my collection.

So far I have found 1 Pan American (P serial) model sax engraved "CG Conn Ltd" from 1925. Between 1917 and 1919, I have found 1 "Pan American Model" and 14 stencils for Wurlitzer, Bruno, Selmer NY, Montgomery Ward, Kohler & Chase, and Carl Fischer bearing the Conn serial system, but visually not matching up to the contemporary Conn's in detail. They look closer to the pre 1915 versions and even then with some change. While these 1917-1919 saxes could be labeled "Conn stencils", the definition of stencil widely accepted means no change to design, only engraving. Thus I have opined, they are Pan American stencils.

Cavalier models are neither Pan American or Conn stencils. They are a line of Pan American. They are unique models based on design elements from the 1930's and 1940's.

I have found not Conn family instruments with a 1917 patent. Conn Ltd sax instruments used the Haynes 1914 patent from serials in the 60,000's to 277000 at least. From the 278000's on the "Pat Appd for" stamp was used only until the H serials began. Pan American started with the 1914 Haynes stamp, but went to the Hardy 1915 stamp in the 32850 serials.

Best,
Kurt
Hi Kurt,

Just wanted you to know that my Pan American has the 1915 stamp with a serial #30015. I believe it to be a 1926 48 M. I will post some pics later.

Jerry
 
Top Bottom