Our Instrument Collection
E-flat Cornet: D.C. Hall, Boston MA, ca. 1863
Nickel Silver plating. Bell front configuration with string linkage top action rotary valves. Valves are of the type made by Allen with pinched tubing entering and exiting each valve casing. One of the matched set of Eb cornets made by D. C. Hall owned by the band. Purchased from the Fiske Museum of Musical Instruments, Claremont College, Claremont, CA.
E-flat Cornet: D.C. Hall, Boston MA, ca. 1863
Identical in sound, plating, valve system bell position and size as other Eb cornet of same maker but with valve levers in a side action rather than top action. Both of these two Eb cornets are commonly referred to as flügelhorns based on the large throat of the bell. Purchased from unknown private collector in Los Angeles, CA.
B-flat Cornet (no photo): Quinby Bros., Boston MA, ca. 1876
Side action valve levers with string linkage. Instrument is bell front playing with nickel silverplating. This type of plating is commonly referred to as German Silver due to its dull finish and lack of polish. Instrument was also obtained from the collection of Mark Elrod as a founding instrument of the band.
B-flat Cornet: Boston Musical Instruments, ca. 1875
Side action valve levers with string linkage. Bell position is forward playing and plating is nickel silver. This particular maker was one of the largest in its day with instruments of all levels in price and purpose. Purchased from private collector Robb Stewart of Arcadia, CA.
E-flat Alto Horn: Boston Musical Insts., ca. 1875
Bell front with side action rotary valves using string linkages. Highly worn plating is of nickel silver over brass with extensive repairs made to the instrument over many years of use. This instrument was commonly referred to as a solo alto horn due to the bell position being forward rather than the more common bell up. Catalogs from this particular manufacturer suggest that this instrument may have been from their "student" line of horns. Obtained from the collection of Mark Elrod.
E-flat Alto Horn: U.S.J.T.L. Jerome Thibouville Lamy & Co., Reamur Paris, New York, ca. 1895
Circular instrument shape with bell in an upright position. Valves are piston Perinet style similar to today\'s modern valves and one of only two instruments in the band to employ piston valves. Plating is unpolished brass. This particular horn is the latest example in the band\'s collection though can not be discounted for newness due to the common shape of the instrument for its day. The confusion in the place of manufacture is due to the practice of importing European instruments for sale in the U.S. market. Obtained through unknown private collection.
B-flat Tenor Saxhorn: Unknown Manufacturer, ca. 1875
Upright bell tenor horn made of lacquered brass with piston valves. This horn employs an early typed of piston valve called a Berliner Pumpen valve, so named because of its short, fat and squat shape. It is believed by historians that this instrument is a copy of an instrument made by John F. Stratton. Also one of two horns in the band to have a water key and lyre holder which were new developments. Obtained from the private collection of Norman Bartold, Palmdale, CA.
B-flat Tenor Horn: Barr & Knalie, Pittsburgh, PA, ca. 1865
OTS (over the shoulder) tenor horn of lacquered brass with string linkage rotary valves. Valve levers in top action configuration. Whole bands of over the shoulder instruments were common during the War Between the States for the purpose of allowing the troops to hear the music while on the march. This instrument is one such example. OTS horns are highly valued by collectors. Purchased from the Mark Elrod collection.
B-flat Baritone Horn: Boston Musical Insts., ca. 1875
Side action rotary valves with string linkage. Made of lacquered brass in an upright bell configuration. One of the better playing instruments in the band even though this horn is recognized in the Boston Musical Instrument catalog as being a student model instrument. Obtained in trade from the collection of Mark Elrod.
B-flat Bass Horn (no photo): Boston Musical Insts., ca. 1870
Side action rotary valves with string linkage. Made of unlacquered brass in an upright bell configuration. Similar in shape to the B-flat Baritone Horn listed above but with a longer bell and slightly larger bore. Purchased through an antique dealer in Stonington, CT.
E-flat Bass Horn: E. Seltmann, Philadelphia, PA, ca late 1860s
Upright bass horn with top action rotary valves and string linkages. Well worn lacquered brass with nickel trim. Very little is known of this maker. Purchased from unknown private collection.
E-flat Bass OTS SaxHorn: Klemm & Bros., Philadelphia, PA, ca 1865
Made of unlacquered brass in OTS configuration. Although located in Philadelphia for much of the 1800s, the Klemm family originally were woodwind and string makers from Neukirchen, Austria. Later they imported many of their instruments from Europe. This horn does not reflect the mechanical lever actions that are often found on European brass instruments from this period, therefore it is believed to have been built in the U.S. Obtained in trade from Norman Bartold.
Rod Tension Side Drum (no photo): reproduction by Ken Peters, ca. 1993
Shell of drum was provided by George Potter & Co., Aldershot, G.B. All other hardware provided by Cooperman Fife and Drum, Centerbrook, CT. Artwork by Fred McDowell. Rod tension side drums were very rare during the war and largely came about around 1870. This type of drum is used in the modern Americus Band due to its higher pitched sound and dynamic abilities.
Rope Tension Side Drum (no photo): reproduction by Fred Benkovic, Wauwatosa, WI, ca 1981
Side drums from the Civil War were not as large as those from the American Revolution nor were they as deep. Tension was provided by ropes strung through the hoops and tightened by leather "ears" which pulled two adjoining ropes together stretching the calf-skin head tighter. Both side and bass drums were carried by a webbed cotton and leather sling around the neck.
Rope Tension Bass Drum (no photo): reproduction made by Richard Birkemeier, ca 1993
All parts made from modern materials and antiqued. Bass drums during this period were generally very large and barrel shaped rather than flat and narrow. Calf-skin heads were employed, making the drum extremely susceptible to changing weather conditions. Beaters were made of solid wood such as maple and walnut.
—Notes provided by Phil Keen, Photos by Richard Birkemeier