Baritone Gregory Los Angeles 4A20 Sn:15684
Body material: Ebonite
Baritone Gregory Los Angeles 4A20 Sn:15684
Body material: Ebonite
Thanks CSZSG. This is the first baritone Los Angeles I've recorded.
Does your piece actually say "Ebonite" on it? If so, I'd really appreciate a picture of that. To the best of my knowledge, the trade name "Ebonite" (really just hard rubber) was never used with regard to any Gregory mouthpiece.
The introduction date is yet undetermined, but Rico and Gregory called the "Los Angeles" models like yours their "Diamond" series. These were not made of "Ebonite" or hard rubber, but of a resin infused with wood flour that was trade named "Resonite". Bundy actually advertised a bass clarinet made out of the stuff (Resonite) in their 1953 catalog!
Fellow forum member Mark Fleming and I have been collaborating on an M.C. Gregory/Gale production project for several months. We hope to unravel, and clarify for anyone interested, some myths, misconceptions, and revelations about this small mouthpiece maker from Hollywood, CA.
Sorry being so tardy with a response - I've been, and continue to be, very busy at the moment.
It's difficult to tell for certain, but I don't think it has/ever had any gold in the lettering. In the right light (!) I do see a gold tinge in the grooves of the letters, which is consistent across pretty much all of the lettering - but I really think that I'm just seeing the color of the reflected light. In a neutral light the lettering doesn't look golden to me.
I will try to take some photos for you in the next few days, just let me know your address. I can take phone camera pics or much higher quality dslr pics - but the dslr pics will be too big for most email servers unless I reduce and compress them (they'll still be better than the phone camera, though); if you want large photos, just let me know where I can upload them for you.
I probably acquired my mpc (2nd hand or more) in the early-to-mid '70's. so your dates seem feasible.Thanks neutrino.
Can you tell if it had/has gold lettering? I have a high serial number, what I call Series I (early) 5 18M that's a very nice player. Mine probably wasn't made very much before your low serial number Series II (late). How does yours play?
If you have some pictures of your piece that show the throat/chamber, tip floor rails, view of the throat from the shank, and front I could compare it to my 5A 18M. PM me if you do and I'll give you my email address.
I just found some "new" Gregory ads today that are helping to get an initial grasp on production dates. Subject to further revision, I'd guess your piece was made somewhere between 1959-1969.
Neutrino -That's consistent with my findings so far. The earliest I've been able to conclusively document the change to gold lettering is S/N 6504. My own earlier pieces from your serial number range don't have gold lettering. My pieces after that number range do have the gold lettering."I don't think it has ever had any gold in the lettering."
Sometimes, on the one's I've seen after #6504, it's nearly worn off, but it's always been clearly evident in a few letters or numbers.
In light of developing information, I'll revise my production date estimate for your mouthpiece to the 1950's.
I made some pictures of the mouthpiece. Unfortunately there’s a lot of scratch on it, and it’s a little worn, but it already came to me in this state.
The "Gregory Los Angeles" and "Rico Products, Ltd. Distributors" are barely readable.
Because i didn’t see another Gregory Los Angeles baritone mouthpiece yet, I curiously look forward to other owners, and their experiences about the material of the mouthpiece.
Best Regards, Zsolt
I just had two tenors in for a reface:
Gregory Master Hollywood 5-20M
Gregory Master Hollywood 5-18M #9496
The 20M had the larger chamber and the 5-20M stamped on the back. It had a blunt "wall" at the base of the window U.
The 18M had an undercut wall.
I own Gregory Master Hollywood 5 18M #9500. Just 4 digits from the one you refaced. I bought it from Spain.
We've found evidence that M.C. Gregory actually offered a chamber size of 22 on their clarinet and tenor models! Though I've yet to see one.
Zsolt - That's an interesting piece. It's definitely made of "Resonite" and the only baritone Diamond model I've yet to see.
Here's a couple of photos from my phone, in case they're of interest.
The more research Mark Fleming and I do, the less I think that there were "early" and "late" model Gregory Master's. The brass ferrules varied quite a bit over the series and the flush ones appear mixed in with other ferrule shapes both early on in the serial numbering and later. We have more detailed evidence (now hundreds of files and photos including articles of incorporation, marriage and death certificates, partnerships, advertisements, and employment histories), but it looks like the ferrules were machined from available stock without regard to "early" and "late". We're still collecting evidence and revising what we know.
We're also in touch with Gale, the namesake of Gale products, and are trying to chase down and correct a great deal of misinformation surrounding the M.C. Gregory story.
Paul a.k.a. bluto
I've got what looks like a Los Angeles resin piece but is marked "Hollywood" in the diamond and says RICO CORPORATION on it.
Alto, 4A 16, #6978
Does anyone have (or have you seen) an M.C. Gregory or a Gale mouthpiece box? I've never seen one and would really appreciate a pic.
Thanks Hot and Heavy. The later "resonite" Diamond Series pieces like yours changed the "Los Angeles" inside the diamond logo to "Hollywood". This seems to reflects a change in production from M.C. Gregory to Gale. I've narrowed down the serial number range, but not the date yet. No big deal
Another bump, but I'll provide some info on the M.C. Gregory saga. Paul and I have gone deep into the weeds on our research. For instance, here is a picture of Malcolm Culver Gregory's grandfather, Caleb Eliakin Culver 1811-1855.
Caleb Eliakin Culver.jpg
Caleb E. Culver was named after his great-grandfather Caleb Culver 1724-1776. Sorry, no picture. Neither the camera or the saxophone had been invented then.
Obviously, we need more recent information. Some of that information would be in published advertisements. We have M.C. Gregory Los Angeles mouthpieces promoted in Selmer U.S.A. catalogs of the 1930s and 40s. But we have not found "regular advertisement" of the pieces in magazines. The same with Gale mouthpieces. By "regular advertisements" I mean paid ads in monthly magazines, for instance. Other brands showed up in a variety of magazines, including Popular Mechanics. We have yet to find similar advertisements for Gregory and Gale. Not even old boxes.
We have found Gregory and Gale listed in trade directories. Having been in trade directories myself, I know that the publications will print whatever I send to them (e.g., FlemTone, maker of the best saxophone mouthpiece ever!) And the publication will continue to print that long after FlemTone is dissolved in bankruptcy. So trade directories are not of much use. Rico regularly promoted other items throughout the musical accessory industry. Ever seen a Gregory or Gale advertisement? A box? A patent?
Here's an update:
I've started an article detailing our findings about the M.C. Gregory/Gale history. It has been anything but predictable. We've found a lot of new information that gives insight to the special niche M.C. Gregory and Gale occupy in the history of mouthpiece making. Much of it corrects the record with facts. Some of it corroborates or clarifies the hazy existing internet lore. Serial numbers and logo changes can and have suggested clues to production eras. So, thanks to all for your help. As promised, I will post a complete listing of the serial numbers I've gathered along with our findings.
Just recently, however, in the middle of assembling a timeline of facts, Mark uncovered a piece of information from a living source that dramatically changes the narrative as we've understood it so far. It also poses as many questions as it answers. We're waiting a bit to see if we can fill in some of the new blanks that affect, in particular, the history of Gale mouthpieces. If nothing turns up in the next few weeks I'll go ahead and post the fact based history we've got so far.
I have a "Master" by Gregory Hollywood 5 18M tenor, #2418, ring flush with end of shank, and a "Master" by Gregory Hollywood 4 18M tenor, #9480 that's not handy at the moment and I don't recall where the ring is. I could dig it out if that's important.
I also have a clear plastic box which says Gale Hard Rubber Hollywood in gold letters on the top. Inside it is a clarinet mouthpiece marked "De Leon" which I am assuming is not the original content of the box.
Can you post some pictures of the Gale clear plastic box? To date we don't have any pictures of one. Thanks.
Here are a few
Alto Model A -no serial number -marked 5* and 18. I've never seen a star facing with a Gregory but it looks original
Tenor-Model A #4730 below table-4A/20
Master #206(on barrel)-5A/20M
Model B-#1955 below table-3A/20
Model A #2024 (on barrel) 4A/20
Master #196 (on barrel) 4A/20M
#1856 on barrel, no model or it faded #A/18
I'll give it a try.
Just saw a 4*18 Model A the other day. Not a 4A-18 or 4B, bit an actual stamp of a five point star. Never seen one like that before.