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Saxophone/York Alto Sax Make and Value


Hi. How can I find out the year my sax was made and the value of it? It's a York alto saxophone serial number LA1028526. It has black rollers and a pearl inlay. It's in great playing condition with few if any scratches, dents, or dings.

Herllo Karla, I need to see photos...The company was J.W.York and sons, Grand Rapids Michigan. Your serial number is was too long for the old models that were made by York, (some were Conn stencils, earlier horns). from the web...
In 1887 the company was renamed "York & Son" in recognition of JW York’s infant son, Charles E. (SW)

"By 1890 York was operating a repair plant and making a few small instruments. (cornets and trombones). New models were added until 1898 when the company was making a complete line of cup mouthpiece brass instruments."(S45)

In 1894 York hired workmen from Courtois and Besson (S21), so they were obviously involved in brass manufacture of some sort. Three instruments have come to light bearing the "York & Son" name as makers, as well as two "DeMaer" cornets marked with "York & Son" as agents. Langwill has no mention of any "DeMaer", either in Paris, nor anywhere else (NLI). It was my assumption then, that these may have been, in fact, of early York construction, although a "DeMaer" Cornet has surfaced which does not bear the York name.

In 1897 Alfred J. "Bill" Johnson becomes company foreman (SW, MK).

In 1898 the company is renamed "York & Sons" in recognition of JW York’s second son, Frank W. (SW). The oldest "York & Sons" instrument that I am aware of is a "Weldon Model" cornet bearing serial number 1168. It then seems reasonable that IF the company was already serializing their products, they must have restarted very close to 1898. They could not have started this run any earlier due to the name change. The numbering seems consistent beyond this point, so I have chosen to begin this list with the "York & Sons" marked horns. This sequence continues until the plant is closed.

The company, with experienced personnel, is well positioned to have an established run rate as it enters the twentieth century, not only having the main office and factory in Grand Rapid, Michigan, but also a branch office in Chicago (YMJ). In fact, the 1898 edition of York’s Musical Journal contains references to York having built and sold Eb soprano and Bb cornets, band and orchestra horns, baritone and slide trombones, Eb and BBb bass. Soloist Steve Crean "agrees to select and test all Cornets made by us". It also describes hiring a Mr. W. A. Goble as head of a testing department and being responsible for testing each BBb bass, Eb bass, baritone, and slide trombone .

In 1903 the "Professional" model cornet was announced and put into production (1). The earliest such cornet on my information base is numbered 7672.

There is also cornet numbered 8497, which engraved as being presented on Christmas, 1903, so it was undoubtedly made before that date.

The oldest instrument having the High/Low Pitch change loop engraved "pat July 12, 1910" on my information base is a euphonium numbered 24356. They would not know of the actual status change of the patent (and therefore marked "pending") until July 12, 1910, so that any horn so marked should have not been made before the July date.

York advertised that "1912 was largest volume year in the 30-year history of the company, but 1913 will be larger" (2)

In 1913 came the announcement of the Al-Tru cornet (3), the oldest of which I am aware is numbered 36738.

Since most of the 100xx series "Couturier Wizard" cornets are not marked with Couturier’s patent (Sep 23, 1913) , I have placed them in 1913. The normally numbered "Couturier Wizard" cornets I have placed in 1914.

In 1926 the company name changed to York Band Instrument Company (S24), and the first such engraved instrument that I have recorded is numbered 87787, which now corresponds to the 1926 date.

York was awarded two saxophone patents concerning tone holes in the later part of the 1920s: 1690862 and 1673195. York alto saxophone 92259 is reported to have unusual tones holes, and the marking "pat. apld. for". These patents were applied for in 1925 and 1926. and granted Nov 6, 1928, and Jun 12, 1928, respectively.

Instrument 91818 was made in 1928 and was dated though contact by Dr. Swain with the original owner.

"Bill" Johnson's Airflow design patent for trumpets and cornets was filed Nov 24, 1939, and issued Apr 2, 1940. The earliest such horn that I have recorded is cornet 120319, which is constructed to this design including a reverse-rolled rim, but is not marked "Airflow". The latest horn marked "Airflow" is trumpet 124155, which now corresponds to 1940. In December, 1940 York was sold to Carl Fischer Musical Instruments. (SW) but Bill did not transfer his design patent along with the company (6) the result of which I can only assume is the cause of conventional cornets being engraved with the "Airflow" name in the 1950s.

In 1950 serial numbers were in the 150,000 range (S10).

In 1957, a cornet and a trumpet, both with the number 207xxx, were chosen by the original owner at the plant from current production, per the 2nd owner. In 1970, York is sold to Tolchin Instrument Company (S24). In 1971, Tolchin Instrument Company closed the factory. (SW)
End web content...
Your serial number is in the millions!!!  LA1028526 I found no info about a serial that large starting with LA.
Grant Koeller
Grant Koeller


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Grant R. Koeller


I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.


Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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