You have probably seen my posts and comments regarding my Pan American dating study in other threads. I decided, I needed to consolidate and start a new thread so those interested can participate, comment or just observe. For those interested in the Cavalier line, I will continue posting those results on the "Cavalier Production Dates?" thread
The results of the brass study are posted on the Conn Loyalist site and horn-u-copia site. Since posting the updated system,the brass sample has grown 20% and the results are still valid. I continue to gather the brass as the next step is to determine the production of the different instrument types.
I started gathering serial numbers for Pan American woodwinds back in January to prove they are under a system different than brass. By March, I was able to prove this owing to several duplicated numbers.
Currently the sample has grown to 873 examples with 693 saxes and 155 woodwinds. I am continuing together examples and documentation so I can use all the help I can get.
To establish a dating system, the sax count is statistically sufficient, but the documentation to support the dating of key changes in the line is relatively scarce.
Here's where I am so far:
1) Saxes and woodwinds may have different serial number systems. This comes from the known time periods of certain contemporary models not being congruent and the woodwinds not using a "P"or "W" prefix.
2) The lowest Sax number to date is P1001. This may be the start of the line as of 1919, when the Pan American factory opened. it happens to be a Selmer American stencil Bass. Pan American was incorporated in July 1919 and the factory officially opened in November. In the trades 1919 seems to also be the reference date for anniversaries.
3) There are stencils, commonly referred to as Conn stencils from the 1917-1918 time period. Since Pan American as a line was started in 1917 and these stencils have differences from the standard Conn line, I would classify them as Pan American stencils, not Conn. Wurlitzer and Bruno samples have been found. This would be consistent with the brass, with the exception that the brass did start from serial 1 and went to"P" with serials in the P13000 range.
4) All so called Conn stencils after 1919 are from the Pan American factory, line and share the Pan American serial numbers and features. I would call these Pan American stencils. After 1930,all so called Conn Stencils come from either the Pan American or Cavalier lines and share their respective serial numbers or features.
5) Pan American did have internal stencils made for the Continental Music Company or the various Conn stores. The names include America First, Liberty, Common-Wealth, Soloiste, International, Continental, Continental Colonial and Continental Clarion (Cavalier line).
6) Private label stencils are too numerous to list here, but include other manufacturers, distributors (jobbers) and retailers not owned or controlled by the Conn Ltd Organization.
7) Pan American saxes were stencils 45-47% of the time. The Cavaliers are running about 40%. The earlier years have the highest ratio of stencils for both lines.
8) Based on the examples I have seen Lafleur, was not a stencil when Conn models were included. All the ones I have seen carry the normal Conn bell stencil and serial number configuration. They seem to correspond with the contemporary Conn model and not the Pan American. Lafleur was simply a stamped designation for the British company importing the line.
9) Here are the major line changes and relative saxophone serial numbers as understood to date:
a) P1001 line starts, Haynes patent in serial number stamp. 1920
b) W8219 highest recorded "W" serial number and may be end of that configuration
c) P27598 First use of Hardy patent in serial number stamp Could be 1924-1925,need confirmation.
d) P32824 Highest "P" recorded, based on brass this could be 1929.
e) 32877 lowest non "P" recorded,also based on brass this could be 1929. However, this is a problem considering Stock market crash and next model start.
f) 46082 lowest new 1931 model recorded (first use of globe and eagle stencil) . Highest from previous 45983 models.
g) 53861 first use of "Pat App'd For" in serial number stamp. Indications of 1937.
h) 54040 - 42M introduced as Geo M Bundy (also includes 46M). Are these after the fall of France in WWII?
i) 55009 - 46M (Bandmaster Artist) highest number for both 42M and 46M
j) War conversion stated in Jun 1941, July 1942 civilian production stopped, only military allowed.
k) 57259 lowest 58M. Highest from previous models 56969 - Need confirmation of model start 58M or 60M.
l) 167283 Highest pre-consolidation serial recorded
m) There are some 50000 and 60000 serial saxes recorded.
n) Martin made Pan American Stencils.Serial numbers are martin and correspond to 1957. In the brass Blessing produced the 1957 models.
While I have possible dates for some of the model changes as mentioned above, I am looking for documentation to support them. If you have documentation, please share it so I can start to lock in the dating system.