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Strickler Trombone
Bore: .485"-.495" (12.3 mm-12.6 mm)
7" (190.5 mm)

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 quantity. Strickler trombones bear a notable resemblance to Williams horns, particular in the tuning slide braces and the water key design, possibly indicating a common source for parts. He first appears in the Los Angeles City Directory in 1924 and is listed at various times under "Musical Instrument Makers and Repairers" (1924), "Musical Instrument Repairers" (1926, 1936-1942 ), Musical Instrument Manufacturers" (1929) , and "Musical Instrument Dealers" (1932). In 1927, he is listed as being employed at the LA Band Instrument Company.

Earl's expertise extended beyond trombones. Sinclair Rogers Lott, longtime principal hornist with the LA Phil, played much of his career on a Kruspe Horner that Strickler rebuilt and sold to him in the late 1940's. I've also heard that Jim Decker, another LA horn legend, played on a Strickler-modified Alexander double with a Conn 8D bell, and he was reportedly an early influence on trumpet mouthpiece guru Carroll Purviance.

Rudy Garcia of Bones West was kind enough to send me a link to a YouTube clip of The Lawrence Welk Show from 1956. The trombone soloists are Pete Lofthouse on bass (playing what looks like a King 1480 Symphony) and Barney Liddell on tenor, playing what is clearly a Strickler. Take a look. There's also a photo out on the net of Jack Teagarden (with Louis Armstrong) holding a Strickler.

This particular horn's serial number is in the low 100's, but information about Strickler is so sparse that there's no indication of when it might have been made. The fact that it has neither a tenon nut nor a slide lock would tend to indicate that it was produced before the WWII, but that's the best I can do. The bore increases rapidly through the neckpipe, tuning slide, and bell tail - reminiscent of the Olds and Williams TIS horns. One odd feature is the main bell brace - on the other Strickler trombones I've seen pictures of, the bell brace curves toward the flare; this one curves back toward the tail. Whether it was originally built that way or was modified at some later time, I can't say.

Overall View
Bell Engraving
End Crook
Bell Braces