Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory
Single Horn in F

by  the
Musical Instrument
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
F (very high pitch, A = ca. 455)
3 rotary
1.070 cm,
Bell Flare:

Bell Throat:

Bell Diameter:
29.3 cm.
Base Metal:
(clck on photos for larger view)

This is a later model of the single horn made by the Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory. The earlier  design is attributed to E.G. Wright and dates from the period of Graves and Wright, and Wright, Gilmore & Co.  before the company was reformed in 1869. This horn is different in two significant ways. First the bore, measured at the inside diameter of the second valve tuning slide, is considerably smaller at 1.070 cm. vs. 1.235 cm. on the earlier horn. Second, it is pitched nearly a semi-tone higher at A =  ca. 455. Another unusual characteristic for a horn made in this period is that it is made entirely of brass, with the sole exception of the hand guard which is nickel-silver. This horn shares with its predecessor the extremely long, slow-tapered leadpipe that follows the entire circumference of the body of the horn from mouthpiece to first valve.

The Boston Musical Instruments Manufactory was founded in 1869 as an amalgamation of the partners and workers of Graves & Co. and Elbridge G. Wright & Co.  (Catalogs claim the company was founded in 1841, the year Wright began operation in Boston.) From the early 1850s Wright had abandoned the double piston Vienna valve, incorporating instead the string-operated rotary valve as found on these horns, so this horn design predates the founding of Boston Musical Instruments Manufactory. Soon after the merger with Graves, however, Wright withdrew and joined Hall and Quinby.

The company offered a full range of voices of trumpets (including the well-known “Boston Three Star Trumpet”), cornets, trombones, upright horns, and tubas for military bands as well as fine orchestral horns. Instruments could be ordered in copper, brass or German silver and either left or right-handed. Two earlier horns in this collection are both based on the original model by E.G. Wright. They  represent both options of base metal and chirality: one is brass and left-handed while the other is nickel-silver and right handed. Serial numbers were introduced in 1880 and the newer model horn in this collection is dated to 1893 by its serial number.  In the twentieth century double horns in the C.F Schmidt design with piston thumb valve were added to the catalog.


Waterhouse, William, The New Langwill Index of Wind Instrument Makers and Inventors, pub.Tony Bingham, London 1993

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