Pan American Serial Number dating Study

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    Default Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Hi Y'all!

    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.

    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Nice work, Kurt.

    I wish to contribute my list to yours:

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...=1#post2068781

    Reply#7 has my list.

    I also said I was gonna send you another one. I have a stencil Supertone Bandmaster with serial 5833, a Pan Am split-bell tenor with no front F or Eb Fork. No prefix before the number. It is a Conn-made horn, not Martin.
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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Thanks JayePDX. I'll check out your list and add. I think have also seen Bueschers (Elkhart BIC), or maybe they were Martins, under the Supertone Bandmaster name with similar serial numbers. Since I am not specifically studying those brands, I could easily mistake them. Because of the serial number similarity, I am wondering what may have happening with Sears and the Elkhart manufacturers at that time, although it could be coincidence.

    I am assuming this one (5833) has the 1915 Hardy patent stamp and the T type as opposed to the Mercedes type key guard? if so, it's actually out of the Cavalier lineand is based on the 96M. Based on the others I have recorded, I am assuming this one is also silver?

    On a side note, today I met the local Conn-Selmer representative. I hope to have a dialog with him soon.

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    JayePDX,

    I have some questions on the list:
    1) 54040 I have as a Geo M Bundy 46M tenor. I have a 54050 bandmaster 42M. Could yours be thactually the 54050? I actually took the serial numbers of the pictures found.
    2) On the examples with partial numbers, do you in fact have the complete numbers? It is better to record complete than partials. I have seen you request on a 50XXX on another thread.

    Thanks for guiding me to your list. Interestingly enough,I had received some of the same numbers from Stocker.

    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Something, I forgot to mention earlier when I was posting results to date:

    In the sax serial number listing there is currently a large space between serials 79068 and 100706. This has been stable since April. Using 1000s as a basis most other gaps fill as more examples are found and every 1000 increment from 1000 to 65000 has several examples, some consecutive. However, I also note few examples between serials 65000 and 79000. I have a thought on this, but would like some comments from interested or knowledgeable forum members.

    thanks,
    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Badenia, you already have my horn listed, I think, from JayePDX's thread (mentioned above). For other readers, here are pics of my Pan American alto which you identified as a 64M model from the 1930's, serial number 46676, with some close-ups of its interesting micro-tuner neck.
    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/album.php?albumid=884

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by badenia View Post

    I am assuming this one (5833) has the 1915 Hardy patent stamp and the T type as opposed to the Mercedes type key guard? if so, it's actually out of the Cavalier lineand is based on the 96M. Based on the others I have recorded, I am assuming this one is also silver?
    Yes it has that stamp, no it is lacquer ...but it is a relacquer, although I would doubt someone stripped silverplate to lacquer it.
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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Thread stickied.
    Mike S.
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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Nice...It would be nice to have it up on a site devoted to P-A with a link from the Conn Loyalist.

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Cool that this was made a sticky, thanks 'Axe. Hope it serves as a good reference.

    Badenia, maybe you should combine your list and my list into a single one and post it here ? Just so folks need not jump around from thread to thread (?)
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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Badenia, thanks for undertaking a really worth-while project, and thanks Jaye for your contributions. Would you be interested in my Stratford curved soprano, serial #P19899? I've always assumed it's a Conn stencil, but reading your post above, am I right to say that this is actually a product of the Pan-American factory? I can send or post photos, if wanted.

    Regards and all the best,
    Kenneth
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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    I have a herd of PA's that will keep you busy

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitDave View Post
    Badenia, you already have my horn listed, I think, from JayePDX's thread (mentioned above). For other readers, here are pics of my Pan American alto which you identified as a 64M model from the 1930's, serial number 46676, with some close-ups of its interesting micro-tuner neck.
    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/album.php?albumid=884
    Thanks I do have and great pictures!

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    Yes it has that stamp, no it is lacquer ...but it is a relacquer, although I would doubt someone stripped silverplate to lacquer it.
    Thanks! listing on that one completed.

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Nice...It would be nice to have it up on a site devoted to P-A with a link from the Conn Loyalist.
    Bruce,

    I am thinking the Conn Loyalist site (maybe horn-u-copia since he has Couturier on there) would be the best place to post the results of this study once completed. Does that make sense?

    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Frazier View Post
    I have a herd of PA's that will keep you busy

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    Doc,

    How do I add them to the survey? Do you have any documentation that would help dating? At the moment as described at the beginning, I have some data points, but need to conform dates. 1920 as start, 1931 as I have catalog and documentation to show new line are pretty solid. 1950 is likely, but I should have better proof. I would like something that tells me when the 58M/60M actually launched. There's alot of talk and speculation on it. Icould be correct, but then again . . .

    My brass survey has held since posting in March and increasing by 20%. I had reasonably good documentation to establish the dates. I am nearing a point where I can look at determining the product rates of the various instruments.

    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
    Badenia, thanks for undertaking a really worth-while project, and thanks Jaye for your contributions. Would you be interested in my Stratford curved soprano, serial #P19899? I've always assumed it's a Conn stencil, but reading your post above, am I right to say that this is actually a product of the Pan-American factory? I can send or post photos, if wanted.

    Regards and all the best,
    Kenneth
    Kenneth,
    Thanks! yes pictures would help of the bell stencil and the serial number area. Also answers to these questions:
    1) Is it Bb or C
    2) Straight or curved?
    3) Silver or brass colored (may be answered by pictures)

    best regards,
    Kurt

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    Kurt, I will get to work on that for you.

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study

    After answering all the responses, I would like to add the following to my study results:

    Because so many want to call their Pan Americans and the Pan American stencils Conns, there is "Connfusion" out there on the models. I am going to address the 58M alto and 60M tenor here. After spending some time studying the designs and reading a post by JayPDX, I can arrive at the following:
    1) It is plausible that all Conn, Pan American and Cavalier saxes by instrument type (alto, tenor, etc) are made from the same size tapered tube. Someone really needs to do the measurements of saxes from 1920 - 1930 (48M/52M), 1931 to 1945 (64M/66M) and 1945 to 1957 (58M/60M), and their Conn and Cavalier equivalents to really understand this. The end dates for the 64M/66M and the start for the 58M/60M are best guesses at the moment.
    2) Reading some literature, the sax lines at various times and among the various models used different alloys. Mostly what I read about are the keys, but its possible bodies and bells could be different too. This is the case with the brass lines.
    3) With in a contemporary type of saxes (i.e. alto), keys are a critical difference in determining models. The material used, the plating and the configuration all play a part in the separation of models.
    4) The literature indicated the design and placement of the keys affect playability. I am not sure how sound is affected.
    5) Pan American always only produced one model of each sax type at a time. A C soprano sax is a different type from a Bb soprano, much like a C melody "tenor" sax is a different type from a Bb tenor.
    6) While many want to call the Pan American 58M alto a 6M Conn tenor. It is not. The main visual difference is the keys and the placement of the MOP buttons. In fact the 58M alto became the 14M alto and is the predecessor to it. This is consistent with the brass lines where the 58A Cornet and 58B trumpet became the the 14A Conn Cornet and the 14B Conn trumpet. The 14M is also lighter then the 6M
    7) The same is true for the tenor. Many want to call the Pan American 60M tenor a 10M Conn tenor. It is actually a 16M Tenor and the predecessor to it. The 16M is lighter than the 10M.
    8) Since I am not specifically studying the Conn lines, I am not sure when the 14M and 16M launched or if there was a Conn brand equivalent before 14M/16M's. With in the brass line the late 1940s/early 1950s Connquest horns were similar to the Pan American 58A/B's, at least visually. Could the same be true of the sax line? This will be my next step.
    9) Additionally, a further step is to look at the specifics of the model design comparisons before the 58M/60M. Based on readings in forums and threads like this one, I am expecting key design/alignment differences and missing keys, even if the basic bodies are similar. Also, beside rolled Vs straight tone holes, why did Conn models stay with the Haynes patent designation, while Pan American's went to the Hardy designation?

    So bottom line is the Pan Am 58M is not the same as the 6M and the 60M Pan Am is not the same as the 10M.

    Kurt
    Last edited by badenia; 06-16-2014 at 08:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Pan American Serial Number dating Study


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