c. 1939 Olds Feather Weight
Bore: .485”/.500” (12.3 mm/12.7 mm)
Bell: 7” (177.8 mm)
The wide tone
looked awesome, but it was also pretty darn heavy.
Olds quickly introduced a solution to that issue in the form of the
Feather Weight (sometimes called the "Super Feather Weight"). At the
least, they thinned the
handslide brace, reduced the bell
diameter by ½” (12.7 mm), and shortened up the inner slide stockings
(I've heard of Feather Weights with round inners, but this one's are
suspect they may have thinned the metal out in some places, too. The
Featherweight outer slide weighs just 6
ounces (170 g); by comparison, a “normal” Super outer slide from the
same era weighs in at 8 ounces (226 g) and a King “Jiggs” 2B outer
slide weighs 182 ounces (6.4 g) . Two ounces doesn’t sound like a big
difference, but I expect it would be noticeable at the end of a
four-hour dance gig.
Olds apparently did not resume production of the Featherweight after
WWII, electing to lighten up the handslide brace on the regular Super
instead. For that reason, they are uncommon, if not downright rare.
This horn has a serial number of 117xx (bell and slide), dating it from
around 1939; in fact, it's very close to this early narrow tone
.. The matierals are identical to the contemporary
Super Olds; a "bronze" bell (actually red brass) with a nickel silver
tone ring, with the rest of the instrument being entirely nickel
silver. As with Supers of this vintage, the engraving was done by hand.
Normal on left,