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R. B. Olds Engraved Super Trombone
Bore: .485"-.500" (12.3 mm-12.7 mm)
Bell: 7" (190.5 mm)

I acquired this horn in a three-way transaction involving David Browne (at that time the owner of ABI Music) and Robb Stewart (Robb got an Olds Symphony Model trumpet and Dave got paid). It's an excellent example of the "third variation" of the Super tenor. The slidehas duo-octagonal inner tubes, nickel silver outers and end crook (no ferrules), friction-fit with no slide lock. The bell is bronze (red brass), with a narrow, hand-engraved nickel silver tone ring; the rest of the bell section is nickel silver. All of the braces are the one-piece streamlined style (Olds actually patented the brace design). The serial number (117xx) places the horn in the very late 1930's or early 1940's. It appears to have seen very little use (based on slide wear and the condition of the inside of the inner slide tubes), but has been refinished at some point (thankfully by someone who knew what they were doing).

The horn came with what appear to be the original case and mouthpiece, both in exceptionally good condition. The case was made by Bulwin Manufacturing (at that time located in Los Angeles), a long-time supplier to Olds and is the same style as the cases shown in the 1941 Olds catalog. I suspect that it originally had a "skirt" (a section of plush fabric that would be draped over the horn while in the case), but there is none now. The mouthpiece is in the classic Olds style, marked "Olds" and "Los Angeles" on the underside of the rim and "8S" on the side of the cup (I suppose it would be "S8", but in looking at the Olds catalogs from the era, it appears that the size should be read with the mouthpiece rim to the left). There is a No. 8 mouthpiece listed in some catalogs, but no 8S, but another 8S did recently surface on eBay.

Just the condition and completeness would make this an interesting horn, but threre's more. In addition to the regular engraving on the tone ring, the name "R. B. Olds" has been added. It's in a style similar to the rest of the engraving, but it doesn't appear to have been done at the same time or by the same hand. So - why is Reginald Olds' name engraved on this horn? There's never been any indication that he played trombone (he played flute and piccolo in the Navy during WWI and in school). Was it a presentation or commemorative piece (it does roughly date from Reg's tenth year at the head of the company)? A prototype? An engraving sample? Just something the guys in shop did for the heck of it? Or did some enterprising person add the name at some later date?

Overall View
"Super Olds"
"Made by..."
"R. B. Olds"
Bell Braces and
Tning Slide

Slide Brace and
Cork Barrels
End Bow
End View
Case - Exterior
Case - Interior
Bulwin Badge
Olds Badge
Side View