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Just acquired a Holton alto. Lots of good information to work with here. So here’s my question just to qualify everything I’ve read. It’s an alto with no pearls. Low pitch. Silver plate,Chicago under the name on the Bell....and SN# 5xxx. Looking at the way the last digit is struck on the serial number I’m willing to bet it was put there sometime in the 30s to off the piece is a more modern unit. What I’m looking at I assume would be under serial number 600 or 1917 made in Chicago. 5xx
Anyone have some light to put on this?
 

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Thanks Bruce.
Serial #5xxx would make it a late 1922 Elkhart build. 5xx and the Chicago engraving would be correct for 1917 and no Pearls. From information I gathered on this thread mid 1918 and SN#1200 is end of line for Chicago built horns. The Reason I’m reaching out is to qualify that you cannot have a 5xxx number and Chicago made horn? I’m betting the last digit was added later in life.
 

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Thank you gentlemen. Will read up on the information you provided later in the day. For the moment here’s something to work with #5456 Metal keys and Chicago under their name. The six appears to be double struck compared to the 545. There is no letter above the serial number like a melody C would have. Below the serial number is L.P. Just like that not spelled out low pitch.
On the upper register, above the B key there is a key (hi F?) running vertically in the shape of a palm key.
It measures 22 inches like an alto should. From the patina on the neck and the design matching the horn I would say it is original and alto configuration. Sadly there is no number struck on it.
I have pictures. I’m also new to the form and having a senior moment. Can’t figure out how to post them. Also my delayed reply is related to not knowing how to have replies sent to my email or username. I keep having to dig through the form activity list to follow up. All this and I bought my first horn less than a year ago at a yard sale. Yes I have vigorously been learning and your help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Referring to LaPorte's post #732 in the registry thread, your #5456 is the earliest recorded 5xxx serial number. My #1362 is the highest recorded 1xxx serial number, and there are no (known) 2xxx-4xxx serial numbers. Therefore, yours having metal key touches is certainly plausible. It would thus indicate that Holton began using pearl key touches somewhere between #s 5456 and 5565. I would not be particularly concerned about the last digit being double struck - things like that happened. I have a Kohlert where the last digit is a 5 struck over a 4. My #5565 has Bb marked above the serial number; I do not recall if #1362 does or not - I have a vague recollection that it might not - but it's not readily accessible so I'd have to dig it out of storage (it's a project horn) to check when I have the time. The neck not having a serial number stamped on it is normal, as is the L.P. stamp under the serial number. The metal teardrop front high F key is a feature of the early Holtons that is noteworthy for the fact that most other saxes made at that time did not have a front high F. My feeling is you do have a 1920 Chicago Holton, and a quite interesting find.
To follow up on the thread, go to the Holton subforum under "(Saxophone) Makes and Models" - threads with new posts are at the top of the first page right under the "stickys".
Thanks for the reply, I'm now plugged into the thread. Haven't used much PC since the mid 90s. So I'm a technically challenged old fart. I love my iMac! Along with 100-year-old saxophone LOL. Looking for a place to load pictures for all to see. Key layout is almost exact to the one listed on eBay. Keeping in mind that's a tenor. Also the engraving on the bell is a match.
Yes I do agree that's a low # on LaPorte's list. I hope this adds some historical input to the archive and motivates him to update the list. Archiving is a slow and patience process often frustrating. I have also seen a brief of information from Felix. It may have been correct at the time but other information has been gathered sense that list was put together obviously. Anyone have suggestion as to where to read some good historical information that's reasonably accurate? Like is this model one-proGo ya ya??
FYI, A light cleaning of tone holes and pads a little oiling, was able to play it.... well let's say make some noise LOL ? more leaks than the Titanic and pads older than your great grandmother. Was fun just to give it a go ???
 

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The Holton subforum here on SOTW is the best place for such information that I know of. Start with the registry thread. It's long, but full of good information.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have been digging on that thread. That's how I accessed the information from Felix that is inaccurate/ out dated. Although there's a cash of great information too. All part of the vintage/collecting side of all things Sax. What is it ?
??? Has anyone been able to view the pictures I posted? Had some challenges getting pictures to post, two still not up.
Figured out how to attach pictures here?
 

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Just to clarify, the vast majority of LaPorte's information remains accurate - it's just the serial number list that could use a minor update or two based on horns that have turned up since the list was published. I have seen the pictures, but I'm not clear on what you are asking - what model is it? If so, it's what has been called a Revelation Ia in the registry thread, which is the first model of sax Holton made.
Thanks for the reply much appreciated! Good to know that Mr. LaPorte's information remains accurate. That's wonderful that everyone here is participating and trying to submit something of worth if not debate for historical record. We're still learning about the pyramids and they've only been around a couple thousand years. New information will come, it's all part of the process.... i'm still reading the 850 + post on the Holton serial number registry thread.... i'm not lazy that's just a lot of reading. Researching the blogs is an art in itself. The camaraderie and the help from the community is really cool here.
I'm thrilled to know my alto is called a "Revelation". (Ia?) sorry I wasn't exactly clear on how I presented the question."what is it" i'll admit I did a pretty poor job on that one. Initially I came to this thread because it was about the model number to the model type.
If the members gathering the serial number information would like me to post it on other thread please let me know.
Sincerely, ?
 

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Mr. Soybean
Understanding the relationships between everyone I will not make a redundant post on registry thread.
Felix a.k.a. Mr. LaPorte has some noteworthy accomplishments to the research history of Holton. Thank you both for making this a interesting ongoing historical research project. And not to leave anyone out I appreciate the communities input as well.
For my own sanity and a little clarity the picture I'm attaching is the registry you are referring to on the serial numbers. This is what saxopender mentioning needs updating.
Product Font Screenshot Parallel Rectangle
 

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Ok gentlemen, I'm still lost for answers on a couple of things.
The serial number question. #545 or #5456 any thoughts upon review of pictures on the "6". Original?
1917 or 1920 ? Maybe a clue in pictures on fabrication of the horn.
Any information I can add to help answer the question? I didn't see much on the other threads to help sort this out we haven't already covered.

Grey Automotive tire Font Gas Wood
Handwriting Grey Wood Signature Font
 

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I'm no Holton expert but in my opinion that 6 is original. It is exactly the same type face as the other numbers. It looks like it was a mis-strike and the second time they really struck it good and hard to stand out from the mis-strike.
Thanks for the response. Yes I do understand that it's the same type face. I've worked in the printing industry for almost 40 years. As a hobbyist vintage watch restoration. Never seen a craftsman ever make a mistake on a number. I also sideline restoring vintage motorcycles. Needless to say a year doesn't go by without some funny numbers on frames or engines appearing. And is the main reason I question the striking of the number six on this horn. I'm asking the keepers of Holton to take a good look. I'm not exactly convinced the factory would've made such a rookie mistake. The number is not struck at the same level and is struck twice and trying to cover the other indicating a possible rookie mistake.
It's always bothered me not knowing exactly what it is I own.
 

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Pictures are from my horn #545(6?) and saxophone.org #1404. Type font looks the same,placement is off.
Very close overall if not exact match Chicago alto. I'm still reviewing.
Notes mention as pre 1918 for the #1404 and date of manufacture 1923-24?? On site.
Still not convinced on Revelation as model name. Inconsistent information...
Sourced From Rucadulu in post #1 https://www.saxophone.org/museum/saxophones/specimen/1316/viewAll
 

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@ Saxophender,
Thanks for the reply, always nice to have extra pair of eyes looking. Can't believe I missed that link to the loyalist..more to read?.
So much history and I'm still studying this thread below too. Searching SOTW has been challenging for me.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ade-by-Frank-Holton-The-early-years-1928-1938

On the #'s, yes factory could have done this. You have qualified that has happened. Thank you! I have also known #'s to have been altered in hard times to make products appear newer....in 1930 a extra 6 could feed you well on that extra $5. I was thinking used not at factory. Looked at the pics in post #574. Had not reached that far in reading thread. Good to see,but no pic of sn#?.
RE; Revelation name. Outside the form it's amazing how much inconsistent or lacking the information is. Many have not updated for years. I'm still standing with LaPorte. Just disappointed on others.
Here is one example of date and use of name. Ok say I'm the nubie....multiple sourced information website. Seems reasonable. Given all I have to work with is sn# what would be your call ? I'm one to consider everybody Honorable.
https://www.saxophone.org/museum/saxophones/manufacturer/54

Ps review post #9 in this thread for me. Think , model name,dates and Chicago... yea I'm confused ?
I'm thinking my horn is from Chicago and 1917 from LaPorte's post in Holton Saxophone Serial number registry #578. The sn# fits
 

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@ Saxophender. Yes, I do agree LaPorte has supported his findings where others have not. I have read over everything? (SOTW) now at least once. Including the Loyalist site.And you know other sites as well. History is always a ongoing experience.

Question, is the loyalist accurate?
The name use “Revelation “ pre 1923 still not clear anywhere...🤔 you have reference?
“No sax made 1918-1919”. Can’t find LaPorte’s source. Loyalist has history timeline @ April 1918 moving into Elkhart factory,sourced from news paper. That transition era 1917-1918 keeps messing with my head. How can it be 1920 and Chicago? NOS?

Heres another...Lyon & Healey American professional, Mel C, brass finish,no high F,no pearls, 63xxx. Worth investigating to buy?

Thanks for your support 🐷
 

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Mr. LaPorte has thoroughly researched the history of Holton and provided us with documentary evidence of his conclusions. To the extent information on other websites, not supported by such research or evidence, conflicts with LaPorte's findings, I will put my money on LaPorte's findings. While saxophone.org has some useful information, I would not count on it being completely accurate. I haven't spent a lot of time on that site, so I don't know where they get their information.
The dates in post 9 in this thread may not be exactly correct.
I think your sax is from 1920, based on LaPorte's serial number list. Please note the following quote from LaPorte in post 578 of the registry thread:

"Ca. the first two years (1918/1919) no saxophones were
produced in Elkhorn. Tooling remained in Chicago.
Many people employed were needed in Elkhorn to do new jobs.

While the factory in Elkhorn was prepared for civil
purposes only (probably early in 1920) the production of
saxophones continued initially in Chicago later in Elkhorn."

In reading the registry thread, keep in my mind it is an ongoing process - with conclusions being revised as new information is discovered. Until you have read, and digested, the whole thing, as well as other pertinent threads in the Holton subforum, it is probably too early for you to reach any firm conclusions. I have read through all this stuff several times, and have not found any demonstrably reliable information on other sites to contradict the info found here. It is good that you are doing reasearch and questioning what you find. Having already done that myself, I have agreed with others here that LaPorte's information is the most accurate available.
Still reading. still learning. Took your advice. And a couple weeks off the thread.
I can't Believe how much effort has been put in to the information that has been documented. Largely from the way the threads work it makes it extremely challenging to retain the information accurately and make sense. Your comment about my sax being made in 1920 I think is spot on. Information is making more sense now. It just takes a couple times of reading all of it to stick.
I personally went into the music trade magazine archives of 100 years ago and started digging to see if I could find something. I can't imagine how many hours Felix spent looking over those articles not to mention English is not his native language. It's obvious the man is very passionate. I have no doubt that Felix is the formost authority on these makers.
Back to studying ?
 

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Hi All -

New to the Forum, but had to join because there's obviously a great deal of knowledge here. I'm in my early thirties and have owned a Holton Bari Sax since I was in high school, so 15 or so years. I've been reading through the threads and it seems my bari is a bit nonconforming to the model number/serial number convention documented by the posters here.

My sax reads "Frank Holton, Elkhorn Wis" on the bell. The serial number appears to be 2766X (best guess is 27660), with LP centered under its arch. No discernable model number anywhere. I've attached some (fairly poor) photos and will take some better ones when I get a non-rainy day.

My questions are - what model do you all think this is? Am I misinterpreting the serial number convention? The numbering says from some lists that it should be a 1916 or 17 build, but that would be Chicago, no?

Last thing of note - This thing does in fact play, and it plays wonderfully. Perhaps it's the fact we've grown up together (well, granted, it has a few years on me), and I have put money into it over the years to keep it playing, but it does have surprisingly great intonation, especially on the high notes. I'm considering getting a significantly more modern bari (out of want for a low A), but I'm quite torn as to keeping this or selling for a "down payment". You all seem to be Holton lovers - what would you do?

I can't wait to hear your insights - in advance, thank you!
Dear Guest, I have no idea how this posting showed up today 4-24-18? If you have not traded the horn. I recommend keeping it. Not very common and quite a nice instrument. I highly doubt that your instrument was made in Chicago as I have experienced similar issues with the dating. This attached link from Felix as being the most accurate and dependable serial number list. Which I also have found to be true. Use no others!
http://vintage.saxontheweb.net/Holton.html

Read and study this thread for more information on this subject.
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?70892-Holton-Saxophone-Serial-number-registry
 
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