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City Directory Information for Earl Williams, Earl Strickler, Spike Wallace, and Roe Plimpton
City directories were the predecessors of telephone books. Fortunately for us, many listings included a person's occupation and employer. Some of these directories are available online from the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL); all others were provided by Robb Stewart (RS).

This page includes information on four  people directly or indirectly involved with F. E. Olds and Son; there is simlar page with city directory information on Olds and the Olds family here.

Earl O. Williams is reputed to have been Frank Olds' first employee. He eventually built trombones under his own name (first in partnership with Spike Wallace, later on his own). Vintage Williams trombones remain highly desirable, both as collectible instruments and as players.

John Kipper "Spike" Wallace was the principal trombone with the old Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra and later bass trombonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Spike played several instruments and was the (upright) bass player with Paul Whiteman's orchestra during their engagement at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles in late 1919. As mentioned above, he was Earl Williams' partner in Williams & Wallace. In later years, Spike served several terms as president of Local 47 of the American Federation of Musicians.

Like Earl Williams, Earl Strickler's name is often mentioned in association with the early days of Olds trombones. Also like Williams, he went on to build trombones under his own name, through not in the same numbers. Strickler trombones bear some resemblance to Williams horns, particular in the tuning slide braces. "The other Earl" was apparently a highly-regarded brass technician in the Los Angeles area for many years; a recent issue of the The Horn Call (the journal of the International Horn Society) carried an article mentioning that he had done work for many of the studio horn players.

Roe Plimpton was a professional trombonist in the Los Angeles area; he also worked for Olds for many years as a mouthpiece maker. Robb Stewart has a large collection of Roe's tools, along with several of his notebooks. I have one "Roe Plimpton" mouthpiece; it's shown on this page.

1909LAPL
No listing. It should be noted that the absence of a listing is not conclusive evidence that a person was not living and/or doing business in Los Angeles.

1910RS (Business Section Only)
No listing.

1915LAPL
Plimpton Roe H musician r 2619 W 12th
Williams Earl O instrument mkr h 4122 Belinda
Williams and Plimpton have appeared; Earl is listed as an instrument maker but it isn't clear whether he is self-employed or working for Frank Olds.

1916RS(Business Section Only)
No listings.

1920RS(Business Section Only)
No listings.

1923LAPL
Plimpton Roe H musician h2508 Palm dr
Wallace John K musician h2001 N Bronson av
Williams Earl O band instrument repr 432 S Main rm 28 r4612 S Normandie
Spike Wallace has now appeared (though we know from other sources that he was in the Los Angeles area at least as far back as 1919). Earl Williams now has a business address listed, so it's clear he is working for himself. Note that both Plimpton and Williams have changes residences since 1915.

1924RS(Business Section Only)
Strickler Earl 232 S Hill rm 107 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers and Makers)
Williams Earl 432 S Main rm 28
(Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers and Makers)
Earl Strickler has now appeared; since both Earls are listed under "Repairers and Makers" (rather the "Repairers"), it's possible one or both was making trombones at this time.

1926
LAPL
Plimpton Roe H musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl band instrument repr 132 S Spring r11116 Romeo
Wallace Jno K musician h1037 S Bronson
Williams Earl O band instrument repr 432 S Main R 28 h438 E 30th
Strickler Earl 132 S Spring (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Williams Earl 432 S Main R 28 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
All four of our players are now on stage.Plimpton, Wallace, and Williams have all changed residences - though Wallace has only move a few blocks down the same street.

1927LAPL
Plimpton Roe H musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl (L A Band Instrument Co) h11116 Romeo
Wallace Jno K musician h6507 Maryland
Williams Earl mus instr repr 432 S Main R 28 h438 E 30th
Williams Earl 432 S Main R 28 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Earl Strickler is apparently now employed by the L A Band Instrument Company, though I can find no listing for same in the business section of the directory. Spike Wallace has relocated yet again.

1929LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Mary J) musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl (Lela) band instruments
914 S Flower r11116 Romeo
Wallace John K (Edith) (Williams & Wallace) h6507 Maryland dr
Williams Earl (Marcella) (Williams & Wallace) h438 E 30th
Williams & Wallace (Earl Williams J K Wallace) trombone mkrs 432 S Main R 51
Strickler Earl (band) 914 S Flower (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Manufacturers)
Williams & Wallace 432 S Main R 51 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Wallace & Williams has appeared, though curiously under "Repairers". With the partnership, Williams has moved into a different unit at the same address. Earl Strickler is back out on his own. 1929 also marks a change in the directory itself - the name of each man's wife is included in the listing.

1932LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Bernadine) musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl (Lela) band instruments
631 W 9th R204  h11116 Romeo
Wallace John K (Edith H) (Williams & Wallace) h6507 Maryland dr
Williams Earl (Williams & Wallace) r438 E 30th
Williams & Wallace (Earl Williams J K Wallace) trombones 432 S Main R51
Strickler Earl 631 W 9th R204 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Dealers)
Williams & Wallace 432 S Main R51 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Manufacturers)
Strickler has relocated his shop and is now listed under "Dealers"; Williams & Wallace is now listed under "Manufacturers", and Roe Plimpton seems to have a new wife.

1936LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Bernadine) musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl band instrument repr 
417 E Pico R506 r11116 Van Buren pl
Wallace John K (Edith H) musician h1540 S Gramercy pl
Williams Earl O (Marcella M) trombone mfr 432 S Main R51 h438 E 30th
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Williams E O 432 S Main R51 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Manufacturers)
Williams & Wallace is gone, with Williams listed by himself at the same location. Strickler has once again relocated his shop; his home address has also changed, but - given that the street number is exactly the same - I suspect the city may have changed the name of the street. The Wallaces have a new home address.

1938LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Bernadine) musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl (Lela M) musical instrument repr 
417 E Pico R506 h11116 Van Buren pl
Wallace John K (Edith) musician h1540 S Gramercy pl
Williams Earl O (Marcella)
musical instrument repr 432 S Main R51 h1221 S St Andrews pl
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Williams E O 432 S Main R51 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Williams is now listed under "Repairers". The "" has been dropeed from the Plimptons' address, though that may just be a typo. The Williams have relocated.

1939LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Bernadine) musician h230 E 41st pl
Strickler Earl (Lela M) musical instrument repr 
417 E Pico R506 h11116 Van Buren pl
Wallace John C (Edith H) musician h1488 Reeves
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico blvd R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Earl Williams is nowhere to be found, though that may be an omission in the directory. The Plimptons and the Wallaces have both relocated, and there is an error in Spike's middle initial.

1940RS(Business Section Only)
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico blvd R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
No listing for Earl Williams.

1941RS(Business Section Only)
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico blvd R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Again, no listing for Earl Williams.

1942LAPL
Plimpton Roe H (Berdinda) musician h844 Sanborn av
Strickler Earl (Lela M) band instrument repr 
417 E Pico blvd R506 h11116 Van Buren pl
Williams Earl O (Marcella)
musical instr repr 2580 Venice blvd r1221 S St Andrews pl
Strickler Earl 417 E Pico R506 (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Williams Earl 2580 W Venice blvd (Business Section listing under Musical Instrument Repairers)
Earl Williams has reappeared with a new business address, but the same home address as in 1938 (this bears more investigation). Spike Wallace does not appear - once again, possibly an omission. The Plimptons are back at the Sanborn Avenue address; Roe's wife's name is different, but I think that's probably an error in the directory.