Antique Musical Instruments/Carl Fischer Trombone
QUESTION: Hello! My husband and I purchased a trombone from a salvage store that has no serial numbers but is engraved "Carl Fischer Inc. of Metro(can't read the rest)Boston". The only other markings I have found are on the valves and and read "Bohemia" or possibly "Bohemian". Everything I can find states that Carl Fischer Inc. was based out of New York, not Boston. There are no locks on the slide, which my husband thought to be an indication of age as modern made trombones all have locks to keep the slide from falling off. Are you able to provide any information? This trombone is missing the mouthpiece, so we need to figure out where to buy a compatible mouthpiece for the instrument.
ANSWER: That is an interesting one. Carl Fischer was in New York. I can only presume that he must have had a satellite store in Boston. I've not seen any others with that marking. Fischer was a dealer, not a maker - at least until 1940 when the company bought out York. So, he purchased instruments for stenciling and sale from a variety of sources. In all likelihood, the shank of the instrument is smaller than mouthpieces on the market today, so you will probably need to look for a vintage mouthpiece to replacing the missing one. The other issue is that the horn may be pitched to "high pitch" which means that it will not play in tune with modern bands. Makers added slide locks to horns at varying ages. Conn had them on trombones quite early, but some makers didn't have them until the 1930s.
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QUESTION: Thank you for responding so quickly. I've attached photos in case it may help to provide more information. I have others but the site only allows two photos.
ANSWER: Thank you, but I don't see any more clues as to its history
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It occurred to me to check with the Massachusetts' Corporations Division because Carl Fischer should have registered to do business in Massachusetts. I found that Carl Fisher, Inc. was incorporated (or registered to do business) in Massachusetts on February 15, 1924. The name of the business was changed to Carl Fischer, Inc. of Boston on October 8, 1930 and then changed to Carl Fischer of Boston, Inc. on September 20, 1974. From that information, this trombone was made sometime between October 8, 1930 and September 20, 1974. Unfortunately, the entity dissolved in 2007 so I am not sure I will have any success in finding more information or a Carl Fischer mouthpiece that fits the instrument. Thank you for your time.
Thank you for adding to my knowledge. That was a good lead.
If you want to submit more pictures of the top of the hand slide and where the bell section and slide sections connect, I may be able to narrow that date range some. If the logo wasn't engraved exactly as the name read, I wonder if the dates from 1924 may still be in play?
The issue with the mouthpiece isn't so much finding a vintage Fischer, but rather simply a vintage mouthpiece. The reason is that the shank on vintage mouthpieces is smaller than on newer ones. However, since at this point we don't know how old the horn is, you may want to try a modern mouthpiece to see how far it inserts into the horn, and if it has the right taper. It should insert about an inch or so, and fit snug and not wiggle.