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Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby Gongadin » Mon May 14, 2018 10:26 am

I have a 1929 sousaphone, but its valve section wrap does not look like valve sections from that manufacturer's 1929 sousaphones pictured in its catalog.
I have another sousaphone by the same manufacturer, from 1915. The 1929 sousaphone's valve section wrap looks much like the 1915 sousaphone's wrap. I cannot see any sign of repair or modification - I firmly believe that the valve section is original to the instrument. All serial numbers match and point towards a 1929 manufacture date.
Since the instruments of those eras were basically handmade, could the 1929 instrument have the old type of wrap due to an older employee working on it? Perhaps that was the way he's always done valve section wraps? Or would it be more likely that the recipient of the horn custom-ordered the old style of wrap?
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Re: Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby KingBassTrombone » Mon May 14, 2018 2:07 pm

The serial number could be an anomaly, or it could be the product of a generation gap. I have a little H.N.White Altonium in F whose serial number dates it to 1948, but the entire horn looks completely different than the Altonium in the 1948 catalog. My alto is wrapped like a 1st-generation, the way they were pre-WWII. Unless they used remaining pre-war parts to continue production while they worked on developing the 2nd-generation (which is what appears in the catalog), it doesn't make a lot of sense. I also have an H.N.White Trombonium with a similar anomaly, but it dates itself to 1933... which is 5 years before the Trombonium made its first debut, as far as I know.

That's what I'm thinking may have happened- the manufacturer might've put the new design in a catalog before it entered production. By the time that the catalogs were mailed out and they started receiving orders, production of the new design would have commenced, and the buyers would receive the design they looked at in the catalog. The remaining new-old-stock might've been sold at a discount, the same way cars tend to. That's the only way I think this could happen, but I'm not going to say that I'm correct (anyone, feel free to step in and prove me wrong).
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Re: Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby iiipopes » Tue May 15, 2018 10:28 am

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Re: Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby windshieldbug » Tue May 15, 2018 10:46 am

I word suggest that perhaps valve assemblies were stamped with serial numbers first, before lapping the valves in.
The valve assemblies go into stock, then when you need to build a horn you grab valves of the right diameter, then assign that serial number to the order...

The two serial numbers on British horns (like early Distins) suggests that not only did they have a separate department for building valves, but also for bells!
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Re: Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby Gongadin » Tue May 15, 2018 11:02 am

windshieldbug wrote:I word suggest that perhaps valve assemblies were stamped with serial numbers first, before lapping the valves in.
The valve assemblies go into stock, then when you need to build a horn you grab valves of the right diameter, then assign that serial number to the order...

The two serial numbers on British horns (like early Distins) suggests that not only did they have a separate department for building valves, but also for bells!

That's an interesting theory, but if the valve section was stamped first and then put into stock, the serial number would probably correspond to the old-style wrap era, and not the more modern style wrap year (1929).
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Re: Valve Section Wraps From Different Eras?

Postby windshieldbug » Tue May 15, 2018 3:24 pm

Gongadin wrote:
windshieldbug wrote:I word suggest that perhaps valve assemblies were stamped with serial numbers first, before lapping the valves in.
The valve assemblies go into stock, then when you need to build a horn you grab valves of the right diameter, then assign that serial number to the order...

The two serial numbers on British horns (like early Distins) suggests that not only did they have a separate department for building valves, but also for bells!

That's an interesting theory, but if the valve section was stamped first and then put into stock, the serial number would probably correspond to the old-style wrap era, and not the more modern style wrap year (1929).


Depends on the stocking technique. That would be true for First In First Out, but not for First In Last Out or Random In Random Out.

And remember, valve sets of a certain diameter could be used in several different horn types...
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