Antique Musical Instruments/Date of Trombone

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Question
I have a Silver trombone with a design but only information is "made in Elkhart".   There are numbers on the slide R16739.  Can you possibly tell me what kind it is and when it was made.  It is in good shape and I still play it.

Thank you

Answer
It is not going to be possible to determine the date of manufacture from the serial number.  There were several makers in Elkhart; including Blessing, Buescher, Conn, Gronert, and Pedler.  Of those, Buescher, Conn  used a R prefix on some of their serial numbers.  But Conn didn't use the R until 1972, so I think we can eliminate it.  Buescher used it on their Windsor line.  I have also seen a CF Boston horn with an R serial and made in Elkhart, but it was probably also a Buescher stencil.  The main serial number list for Buescher does not contain the R series.  Many of the manufactueres sold product from their student lines as stencils for other dealers. I suspect that was what was intended with your horn but it never actually got the name of the dealer stenciled on it.

To date this horn, it is probably going to be necessary to make an estimate from details of its construction rather than from the number.  

Antique Musical Instruments

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Kenton Scott

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Please note: My area is BRASS instruments, not other wind, string or percussion instruments. I will provide information on antique, obscure and out of production BRASS instruments. 1) Please don't ask for evaluations, I'll not provide them on this site. 2) I am often asked very similar questions, so I'd invite you to first check on Horn-u-Copia.net. Much of the information I have garnered about this topic, I have posted on this WEB site.

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I perform in several historical bands, have informally researched the area, repair brass instruments, and operate a Forum dedicated to the topic at http://horn-u-copia.net

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B.S. Ed, M.S.

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