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It's a bear!

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Frequently Ask Questions

What's with the name "It's a bear!"?
The slogan and the trombone-playing bear both appear in the 1927 Olds catalog. Although "It's a bear!" seems to have been dropped after only a short time, the bear itself remained in use until at least the late 1930's.

Where did you find that cool bear logo?
It's from the label on the bottom of an Olds Allfibre mute. I'd guess that it's from the late 1920's (prior to the introduction of Olds trumpets and cornets). Given that Marion Vale Olds (Reg Olds' wife) had been the art editor of the campus humor magazine (Wampus) while at the University of Southern California, I like to think that the little guy is her work. He shows up in catalogs, engraved on bells, and even in 3-D as a trombone counterweight.

Do you play all of these horns?
I try to give each of them a little exercise from time to time.

You mention a lot of different documents that are other peoples' sites; why don't you have a copy here?
I try to avoid using other content from other peoples' sites; that way, I never have to worry about someone asking me to take it down.

How accurate are the dates mentioned on this site?
That depends. Some are very accurate, others are rough estimates, and a lot fall somewhere in between. I try to always make it clear when a date isn't entirely certain.

Do you buy horns?
Yes. I'm always looking to add to my collection, but horn needs to be something very special for me to be interested in it. I also buy Olds-related documents (catalogs, price lists, advertisments, and the like).

Do you sell horns?
Nope. I'm a collector, not a dealer, so I seldom have anything to sell. If the occasion ever does arise, I'll probably consign the horn with Ferguson Music or BrassArk and post a link here.

What's my horn worth?
Sorry, I'm not qualified to do appraisals. The best I can offer is to suggest that you check the completed listings on eBay.

Do you do anything other than trombones?
I have some interest in pre-WWII Olds French horns (my wife is a horn player).
I pretty much leave the rest alone.

Do you do any other makes?
Yes; since they're closely related to Olds, I'm also interested in Williams (including Williams & Wallace) and Earl Strickler. I don't really collect those makes; Williams horns tend to be very expensive and Strickler horns are extremely rare.