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Author Topic: Holton Special (Chicago)  (Read 1182 times)
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leec

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« on: Oct 13, 2017, 06:05PM »

Any thoughts on this instrument?
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MrPillow
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2017, 06:26PM »

Which one? Special was a line that included small tenors down to basses, not a specific instrument.
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leec

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 13, 2017, 07:49PM »

Looks like a straight tenor.
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MrPillow
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2017, 08:14PM »

What's the bell diameter? Bore size? Is there a number inscribed on the slide receiver or cork barrel?
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leec

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2017, 05:19PM »

I don't have it as yet. tried to place a photo and looks like I need the help of a 10 year old! The picture in the ad is not great but from what I can see it looks pretty much unmolested.  All brass bell and slide except for some chrome around where you would hold the slide.  No counter weight and no bulges in the support arms (cross pieces) like some of the newer Collegiates have.
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MrPillow
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2017, 05:59PM »

The Special line from Chicago would be 1904-1917 date. It could be anywhere from a very small tenor, 0.450" bore with 6" bell, up to a bass with around 0.540" bore and 9" bell. Sounds like it has the standard low-end finish, raw brass with nickel-silver trim on the handslide.
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leec

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2017, 06:05PM »

It doesn't appear to be raw brass, polished and maybe lacquered.  Apparently the case has Elkhorn printed on it but the horn has Chicago stamped on it.  I have requested another look for serial numbers or any other markings.  The bell doesn't look particularly small
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leec

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« Reply #7 on: Nov 01, 2017, 07:25PM »

The seller has looked and can find no other numbers or words other than Holton Chicago.  Picking it up tomorrow and will report back.
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leec

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« Reply #8 on: Nov 02, 2017, 07:38PM »

The seller has looked and can find no other numbers or words other than Holton Chicago.  Picking it up tomorrow and will report back.
So picked it up today.  Soaking in the tub right now, but here is what I know for sure. 7" bell approx .500(although I'm never too sure where to measure) bore not dual.  Engraving is"Holton Special, made by Frank Holton&Co, Chicago. Now there is a stampwhere many horns have serial #s which says in part because I can't quite read it all " Union" above a shield and "Level" below.  Still trying to decipher the two short words in the shield.

Friction fit bell and no slide lock.  Cams with a nice period case marked Holton Elkhorn and a Frank Holton mouthpiece marked with Collegiate.Seems to be similar to a 12C all needing a good cleaning.  Inner slide tubes have lost some chrome? or nickel Hi
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MrPillow
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 02, 2017, 07:45PM »

Union Label on a Holton Special puts it at about 1912-1915. Sounds like the middle of the ground model, which is a size "3". The size might also be stamped on the cork barrel, along with a slide batch number and a patent on the cork barrel collar. Holton didn't begin chrome-plating slides until the 1930s so you're looking at nickel. The mouthpiece is from a later date - the Collegiate line was introduced a few decades later and was their student line. The Special in its day was a professional level instrument.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 02, 2017, 07:56PM »

For what it's worth, I have a Holton Collegiate mouthpiece that is also marked 12C.  I'd guess yours is a 12C size also.

The Union Label was used on Conn trombones in the same time period.  The Conn history by Margaret Downey Banks has a picture of the Union Label. 

There should be a Union Local either under the shield or in it.  I believe the Union was the Metal Polishers and Finishers.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 02, 2017, 08:18PM »

The rather cumbersome name was "Metal Polishers, Buffers, and Platers; Brass and Silver Workers Union." They were involved in a number of strikes at Holton, Conn, and various other brass instrument makers before finally disintegrating under their own organization.
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leec

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« Reply #12 on: Nov 03, 2017, 05:20AM »

Two more bits of info found on this horn.  On the slide furrel 404 and then a very faint " made in USA" Oh and the tuning slide is free, sadly has a nasty dent on it. The good news is thats really the only serious dent or damage.

Please remind me where I'm taking bore measurements.

Thanks for your input.
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leec

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« Reply #13 on: Nov 03, 2017, 10:53AM »

Correction, bore is.473 not .500.  It plays in a similar manner to my Olds TIS, of a similar vintage.  Cleaning up nicely, what I thought was wear on the inner tubes was just stain.


ARRRRG!!  The slide was just coming good when I accidentally dropped the outside slide and dented both tubes.  No wonder this horn is so light.  What a shame to make it thru 100+ years with great care only to be ham fisted by me!  So it will go off to Ron Parch in Toronto to be healed.
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2017, 12:04PM by leec » Logged
BillO
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 05, 2017, 06:30AM »

Ouch!  :(
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
leec

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« Reply #15 on: Nov 11, 2017, 07:42PM »

The dent in the tuning slide came out nicely with fill it with water and put it in the freezer trick.  Popped out very neatly, probably due to the thinness of the tubing.
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leec

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« Reply #16 on: Feb 08, 2018, 04:57PM »

Picked up the horn from the repair tech and have to say I'm disappointed.  Despite enclosing a letter outlining the work that I wanted done he went ahead and did much more than what was requested.  Not saying the work was poor but just not wanted on an old horn that is just really a curio.  So put that down to inexperience.

This horn is no where near the instrument that my small bore Olds with TIS, which is from about the same era.

The Holton Special is for sale if anyone is interested.
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BillO
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 08, 2018, 09:15PM »

I'm sorry to hear that Lee.  It's unlike Ron to go overboard.

Bring it in on Monday if you don't mind.  I'd like to have a toot on it and discuss it.

Sorry abut leaving you by yourself the other day.  I was otherwise ... employed ...

Have a good weekend - we'll see you on Monday.
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
leec

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« Reply #18 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:44PM »

Sorry Bill, didn't see this before our band last Monday.  I'll bring it to our next session

Lee
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