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I have a Cavalier Alto in silver plate and a Cavalier Tenor in brass.

These horns use the Conn-style tapered pivot screws. No high-F and both are split-bell keys.

I am thinking that the Cavalier line must have been abandoned by 1929.
My 20s Pan AM alto has the locking screws, but none are present on the Cavaliers.

My Cavalier alto is serial 08xx and the tenor is 06xx. I'm sensing low production over a short period of time. Despite the simple engraving, both horns have MOP rollers and concave pearl touches.

Has anyone seen Cavalier saxes with same-side bell keys or serials over 5000?
I'm thinking Conn stencilled Pan Ams for third parties, but not Cavaliers.
Any Conn stencil I have seen has had the tell-tale "P" in the serial number, indicating Pan Am.

Feedback please!
 

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The latest Cavalier instruments I have found were late '30's...these being Cornets and Mellophones.

I do not know when the name brand Cavalier vanished from use. According to the Conn Loyalist site, they were marketed as being "Produced by the Pan American company". Now, in another thread we discuss that, in fact, the sax bodies of PanAms and Conns are the same, it is the keywork and inclusion or exclusion of RTH which make them different.

therefore, as Conn split-bells ceased to exist in the mid '30's or so...fair to say that your guestimate date on your horn is correct.

BTW...there are a lotta PanAms which do not have the "P" prefix in the serial....and a lotta Conn stencils also are absent the "P" prefix.

I cannot say I have ever seen a post-war Cavalier...at least not by stylistic identification. I think it is solid to say that they existed into 1938, as there are online examples. It might even be fair to hazard a guess that they lasted up until WWII....but no further.

I am fairly sure I have seen Cavalier saxes with same-side bellkeys on eFlay from time to time....

PanAms became Directors in '57...but I doubt Cavaliers lasted into the '50's....
 

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All of the Cavaliers I have seen follow the Conn/Pan-Am style. With opposing bell keys, I would stretch the date up to about 1935 as some Conn altos still were that way during the transitional period and most tenors were the opposed bell keys. Interesting as the Cavaliers I have played were left side keys. As to the serial numbers, I have no idea. The Pan-Americans were not really stencils as Conn sold them directly to the dealers. Cavalier, Sherwood, Continental Colonial and others may have existed well into the 1950s. The best way is to compare features with Conns of the day. Although the front F was absent from many stencils, it tended to appear on later horns possibly in the 40s and the rear Eb tended to disappear about then along with the G# trill.
So, I would put your horns to be 1920s-early 30s.
 

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Clipper,

If you still have these saxes, complete serial numbers would be helpful as well as pictures. I am doing a study on the Cavalier serial numbers in ab attempt to derive a dating sequence similar to those done for Conn and Pan American. The models for your instrumetns are 92M for the Alto and 96N for the Tenor. Cavalier was launched in 1931, so the low numbers you are indicating would definitely fall between 1930 and 1935. With lainch in 1931, I am assuming 1930 production for the ealiest models.
Thanks,
K
 

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Clipper,

If you still have these saxes, complete serial numbers would be helpful as well as pictures. I am doing a study on the Cavalier serial numbers in ab attempt to derive a dating sequence similar to those done for Conn and Pan American. The models for your instrumetns are 92M for the Alto and 96N for the Tenor. Cavalier was launched in 1931, so the low numbers you are indicating would definitely fall between 1930 and 1935. With lainch in 1931, I am assuming 1930 production for the ealiest models.
Thanks,
K
This thread here is an old thread so you may or may not get a response from Clipper, but I just wanna direct you to the PanAm serial list which myself and Stocker have combined to produce in THIS thread (if you have not found it already). Reply #7:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...-s-year-please&p=2068781&posted=1#post2068781

I would assume that Cavs used the PanAm sequence (?) but I really dunno.....

I am still gonna say that some Cav saxes had same-side bellkeys because I am 95% sure I saw a silverplate one on eFlay in the past 3-4 months. As the Transitional Chu-6M went to same side keys in the mid '30's, I would still hold that saying Cavs existed up until mid-late 30's is a fair and educated guess.
 

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I would assume that Cavs used the PanAm sequence (?) but I really dunno.....
Cavaliers had their own sequences - separate brass and woodwind, same as Conn and Pan-Am had.

I don't think the Cavalier saxophones persisted much past WWII, if at all. The highest serial I've seen for one is a bit over 10000, and Cavalier clarinets went at least to 65000. Plus, the switch from split to single-side bell keys happened around 9000 on the alto, and somewhere in close proximity to that on the tenor.

I saw a brochure for Continental (a Conn subsidiary, if I'm informed correctly) instruments from July 1938, which showed "Colonial" and "Clarion" lines of saxophones - the Colonial had the newer alto design but split bell keys on the tenor, while the Clarion had split bell keys on both. I'd venture to guess that the Colonial were Pan-Am stencils and the Clarion were Cavaliers, which might give some hints as to production dates. And it potentially could mean that the Cavalier altos didn't lose the split bell keys until after the war, but with how many of those metal clarinets there are, which we know couldn't've gone past 1955, I think the production window is rather narrow.

(As an aside, I had the opportunity to examine a Cavalier metal clarinet for sale a couple months ago, and it felt exceptionally cheap and flimsy. Not worth the $30 asking price [especially with an adjacent Silva-Bet for the same amount!])
 

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Hello again Stocker,
I hope we make a more direct contact to exchange learning experience. We agree on many issues regarding Cavalier. Cavalier was launced in March 1931 by annoucement in the trades with initial model line shown at the Chicago trade show that June. They were made by and marketed through the Pan American division of Conn. The most recent advertising for the line I have been able to find is 1947. There is a belief in the brass forums that Cavalier ceased in 1948. The advertising would seem to confirm that.
During it's time period, I believe that Cavalier and Pan American had separate models and serial numbers, even if the basic instrument was a modified or simplified Pan American. The only potential exception may be sousaphones. Additionally Cavalier had a very limited line.
Most Cavalier lines started their serial number systems with a leading "0". So far the main brasses seem to have ended the leading "0" around 20000. the trombones after 5000 but before 6000, the Clarinets around 15000 and the saxes around 5000. I have not found any Cavalier sousaphones with less than a 6 digit serial number and there have been none with leading "0".
Kurt
 

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I am contiuing to gather Cavalier brass and reed serial numbers alomg with Pan American brass. I have in Cavalier 204 Brass and maybe 108 reeds. I say maybe, because of what is next:
In the Pan American survey, I have 672 brass instruments with 22% stencil. So I am getting close to what I believe is a better ratio of 25%, considering Cavalier is at 30%
But here's the Pan rub - Blessing is the mid 1950's (at least 1957)seems to be involved with Pan Am. I have or seen 4 examples of 1957 Blessing valve block trumpets with Pan Am bells. The 75000+ serial numbers work with the Blessing system. Today, I found a Blessing Alto Sax with Pan Am design and a Pan Am serial number. I would enjoy any comments on this.
This is the time When Paul Gazlay assumed the reign of Conn. Keep in mind he was the long time head of Continental Music Co, the Conn Chicago dstributership, with multiple lines.
On a related side, I am seeing Pan Am 500000 and 600000 serial numbers. Based on the Allied Catalog, Conn may have forced all lines to the main brass numbers at 500001. Thoughts on this?
Thanks,
Kurt
 

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It seems pretty well accepted that Conn unified all their serials to the main Conn brass line in 1955 at 500001. It's also been assumed that this coincided with Pan-American being replaced by the Director models, although I have heard a small handful of reports of post-1955 serialed Pan Ams. Never seen one myself, but with oddities like that it's always possible the bell isn't original to the instrument. Especially in a situation where the Director and Pan-Am parts are mostly if not all interchangeable, plus being student instruments where originality isn't a concern, I wouldn't be surprised if mixing and matching Pan-Am and Director parts was standard practice in school inventories and rental fleets.

Blessing bought stencils from Conn for their saxophone line, even up into the 1970s. I've heard that Blessing valve blocks appeared in instruments from a number of different makers - I understand Bundy trumpets and cornets used Blessing valve blocks for many years.

Blessing valve blocks in Pan-Americans, though, seems unusual. At first I'd wonder if it was done to use up an excess supply of parts, but they could've just used Director valve blocks for that. Maybe Blessing took over the rights to Pan-American and either bought Conn's stock of bells or engraved their own? Still... seems odd, and a great length to go to.
 

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I agree with most of the above. PanAm ceased to be such, as far as saxes, when they switched the moniker to the Director series. I have owned PanAm and Director Altos which were within around 100 serial digits of each other; they were identical horns, early 14M's really. Whether this means both names were being used concurrently for a while longer, or whether I just happened to land two horns one on each side of the name change, I dunno.

Blessing had a number of companies make their saxes...besides Conn there was also Buescher and even J. Keilwerth for a time.

Highest PanAm sax serial number I have recorded is 165,9XX. I am guessing the PanAm sequence didn't last much beyond that for saxes...

Mind you, this has nothing to do with the Cavalier serials....
 

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It seems pretty well accepted that Conn unified all their serials to the main Conn brass line in 1955 at 500001. It's also been assumed that this coincided with Pan-American being replaced by the Director models, although I have heard a small handful of reports of post-1955 serialed Pan Ams. Never seen one myself, but with oddities like that it's always possible the bell isn't original to the instrument. Especially in a situation where the Director and Pan-Am parts are mostly if not all interchangeable, plus being student instruments where originality isn't a concern, I wouldn't be surprised if mixing and matching Pan-Am and Director parts was standard practice in school inventories and rental fleets.

Blessing bought stencils from Conn for their saxophone line, even up into the 1970s. I've heard that Blessing valve blocks appeared in instruments from a number of different makers - I understand Bundy trumpets and cornets used Blessing valve blocks for many years.

Blessing valve blocks in Pan-Americans, though, seems unusual. At first I'd wonder if it was done to use up an excess supply of parts, but they could've just used Director valve blocks for that. Maybe Blessing took over the rights to Pan-American and either bought Conn's stock of bells or engraved their own? Still... seems odd, and a great length to go to.
We are arriving at a potential new insight on Pan American. In the trumpetmaster.com forums identified are a Pan American Cornet and Trumpet with 600000+ serial numbers. This would seemingly put them as 1957 models. I recently have also found a Pan Am euphonium with 600000+ serial number Today I found an alto sax with 600000+ serial number. I have also found 2 trombones with a 500000+ serial number. Additionally I have found 5 1957 Blessing stencil trumpets carrying Pan American bells. While this is few in number, the indication is that Pan American did carry on as a line into 1957 with both in-house made and stenciled products. There is a certain sense or logic to this as Paul Gazlay (Continental Music Co) was the head of Conn Ltd at this time and was very familiar with stenciling under the Continental name and the sale of multiple lines.
I have written to Blessing to identify what they may have on this.

As to dating the saxes, has anyone started with the Allied list adjusted for 50,000 or 35, 000. I have new information that seems to indicate Pan American may have actually started in 1917 with the "America First" line. I have recorded a C Melody P4340C under the America First name.
I have stated collecting the serial numbers Pan Am saxes as a resource to separate stencils of Pan Am from Cavalier. Does anyone know an effective way to do this? So far it looks like Cavalier dropped the leading "0" at around 5000 and Pan Am continues the leading "P" to around 30,000.

Stocker has been in touch with me about combining Cavalier serial number lists. I am at 112 reeds and 206 brass at this time.
Kurt
 

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As to dating the saxes, has anyone started with the Allied list adjusted for 50,000 or 35, 000. I have new information that seems to indicate Pan American may have actually started in 1917 with the "America First" line. I have recorded a C Melody P4340C under the America First name.
I have stated collecting the serial numbers Pan Am saxes as a resource to separate stencils of Pan Am from Cavalier. Does anyone know an effective way to do this? So far it looks like Cavalier dropped the leading "0" at around 5000 and Pan Am continues the leading "P" to around 30,000.
Christine Derksen of The Conn Loyalist starts her Pan-Am brass serial chart in 1924. Margaret Downie Banks's Conn history pages (evidently no longer available) indicated that Conn trademarked Pan-American in 1918, if my memory serves.

However, our concern here is when the serial numbers started, not when the business unit itself started. For reference, the earliest Pan-American saxophone I've seen is a C-melody, serial number P3396, engraved "Pan-American Model made by the Pan-American Band Instrument and Case Co."

I spent some time a while back cataloging Wurlitzer saxophones I found to see what insights would turn up. One interesting thing I found was that while some of the Conn stencils had the Pan-Am "P" serials, others began with "W". I can only surmise that these came before they had the Pan-American line itself.

Fortunately, prior to contracting with Conn, they got their saxes from Buescher, who at that time put standard Buescher serials on their stencils. So I know that the switch from Buescher to Conn came sometime during 1921. I think that puts the start of the Pan-Am serials no earlier than 1922.

Pan-Am woodwinds dropped the "P" between 32800 and 33900. On brasswinds that happened somewhere in the mid-50000s which Ms. Derksen's list puts during 1928.
 

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For reference, I have a Pan-American flute I got from the original owner with the bill of sale
September 11, 1954, new flute #153971 $169.00 + $3.38 Arizona sales tax.
A warranty card is attached to the handle and has all the P-A info but on the face page it has both P-A and Cavalier labels so I guess the Cavs were a division of P-A.
 

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For reference, I have a Pan-American flute I got from the original owner with the bill of sale
September 11, 1954, new flute #153971 $169.00 + $3.38 Arizona sales tax.
A warranty card is attached to the handle and has all the P-A info but on the face page it has both P-A and Cavalier labels so I guess the Cavs were a division of P-A.
Bruce,
You are correct about Cavalier, it was a line of Pan American that was launched in March of 1931 and first shown at the Chicago trade show in June of that year. I wonder if reeds and wood winds were under the same serial number system. I have recorded a "licorice stick" clarinet with a serial number 151xxx that was indiated to be a 1950's instrument - no proof like yours offered. The difficulty with sales receipts thoough, is the potential length of time an instrument can be in dealer inventory. An extreme example is a friend of mine bought a 1980's Holton cornet in the early 2000's. It was brand new!! It was in the dealers warehouse all those years and forgotten.
It is accepted and looks to be true that the saxes were separate from reeds in both lines.
I am currently working with Stocker and hope to have some findings soon. In the mean time I will contiue to gather serial numbers. As the count grows trends are coming to light in both Cavalier and Pan American. Some of the key information is the start and dropping of different models.
Best regards,
Kevin
 

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The saga continues and the serial numbers gathered continues to grow. I am now convinced, that while the systems and models were separate, Pan American serial numbers can be a guide for dating Cavaliers. How does this happen? The Continental stencils of Cavalier and Pan American horns. The Continental stencil on brass instruments was up until 1933 an import line. This comes from my 1932/33 catalog. After that Continental changed to using Cavalier and Pan American Instruments under the the Continental name. While first launched without distinction, eventually Cavaliers were stenciled Cadet or Clarion, while Pan American's were stenciled Colonial. So if you have a Continental stencil instrument, please submit for this survey. The serial number and model are significant. I have sent this idea to Stocker along with a numerical relationship idea between the Pan Am Sax and Pan Am brass lines compared to Pan Am sax and Conn sax lines. If I have it correct, the door may be opening.
In the brasses a data point that is showing is in the Baritone line. Only one model seems to have been made the 96I. I have not been able to identify any changes to it over its life cycle. The serial numbers gathered seem to confirm the dating of 1942 for the end. There is a large relative space between the highest serial number obtained so far and the highest overall brass serial number. The launch was 1936 based on the brochures I have so far.
Remember these are as of yet preliminary indicators as the sample size is not sufficient to support conclusions.
I have sent to the Conn Loyalist and some others a very preliminary Cavalier dating system for comment. As indicated, I do not have a statistically valid sample yet, but want to get some opinions from some experts.
On an unrelated front, I have found that Elkhart Band Instruments was incorporated September 29, 1919. That's just 2 months after Pan American was incorporated. Additionally, the Elkhart Band Instrument name has appeared in the trades as early as November 1918 as part of the organizing of the National Musical Merchandise Association of the United States. The trademark of the Elk and the Heart was first used 9/13/1922, but was not registered until 8/5/1947.
Kurt
 

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It's been a while since my last update, but I continue to gather as many serial numbers as I can.
As of now I have 256 Cavalier brass, 163 Cavalier reed, 735 Pan American brass and 324 Pan American reeds.
I am currently doing some house cleaning on the Pan American sample. I hope to publish some findings this weekend.
 
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