C.F. Schmidt
Double Horn in F and B♭


C.F. Schmidt
Carl Fischer New York
Sole Agent of U.S.A. and Canada
Made in Germany
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
F, B♭
3 rotary, 1 Périnet piston

Bell Flare:

Bell Throat:

Bell Diameter:

Base Metal:

The firm of Ed. Kruspe in Erfurt, Germany developed the first double horn in F and B♭ in 1897 with tandem rotors for the change valve, which many sources incorrectly state was a "compensating" horn. Three years later C.F. Schmidt in Berlin came out with the its double horn incorporating a piston for the change valve. In a letter to Osbourne McConathy dated July 3, 1956, Anton Horner described his role in the development of the Schmidt double horn in 1900:
To go a little farther with the development of the double horn, I must tell you that in 1900 I was engaged to go to the Paris Exposition, and to tour Europe with Sousa's Band... So even in Berlin, my reputation had spread, and Schmidt, the horn maker, who was first in Weimar, and now had his factory in Berlin, came to talk to me. He had invented a new B valve for a double horn, but could not decide what kind of mouthpiece tube was best for his new instrument. He asked me to come to his factory to help him decide. I went to his place, and after long trials of several mouthpiece tubes, I approved of one which he used on his first instruments in F an B. His B valve was a piston, like on a cornet, which I found very awkward to operate with the thumb.
Of course Horner is best known for his involvement with Ed. Kruspe and the development of the "Modelle Horner" a few years later, which he played for the rest of his career and advocated for his students. Despite Horner's preference for the Kruspe horn, the Schmidt model became very popular in the first half of the twentieth century among professionals, amateurs, and students. It was copied by numerous manufacturers including Conn, Alexander, and Carl Geyer, often incorporating parts imported from Schmidt.
Carl Fischer was officially the sole authorized importer to the U.S. and Canada representing Schmidt, however many horns were imported directly from Germany. or as parts to be assembled here to avoid tariffs. During the course of its history the Schmidt workshop moved between Berlin and Weimar several times. The location and the wording of the label provide clues to the date of the horn. Carl Fischer assigned serial numbers to the instruments they sold which when combined with the label information provide a key to the date of the horn. Unfortunately no list of Fischer serial numbers has been preserved but an empirical table has been constructed. The date of this particular instrument is confirmed by the son of the original owner to 1934.
Josef Franzl (1882 - 1955) was an important hornist in the U.S. in the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Czechoslovakia and studied horn with Anton Janousek at the Prague Conservatory. Before emigrating to the United States he appeared as a soloist in Czechoslovakia and Paris. According to his obituary he made his debut in the United States with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In 1905 he toured as solo horn with Frederick Neil Innes' famous Concert Band. He was for many years a soloist with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch, the New York Chamber Music Society, the Kneisel Quartet, the Mannes Trio, the Georges Barrère Ensemble of Wind Instruments and the Columbia Broadcasting System Concert Orchestra. He also played during summers with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and performed in the orchestra for operas produced at the New York City Center.
Mr. Franzl taught at the Julliard Graduate School, Institute of Musical Arts, the National Orchestra Association, and for eleven years was head of the horn department of the Dalcroze School of Music in Manhatten.
In the photo at left Franzl is holding a C.F. Schmidt double horn, although he is also known to have played a single horn in B♭. The photo is dated July 5, 1909 and dedicated on the back "To my very dear friend and esteemed colleague". It was found in Germany among other papers and memorabilia belonging to Prof. Josef Suttner (1881 - 1974) who was a close friend of Franzl.
John Barrows (1913 - 1974) attended the Eastman School of Music, San Diego State Teachers College, and Yale University. His teachers included Richard Donovan and David Smith. In 1938, after his studies at Yale, he joined the Minneapolis Symphony, playing there for four years. During the Second World War he served in the Army Air Forces Band. Following the war he settled in New York, playing with the City Opera and the City Ballet. He also appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Casals Festival Orchestra and from time to time worked with popular artists of the day including Woody Herman, Miles Davis, and Billie Holiday.
In 1952 he was a co-founder of the New York Woodwind Quintet, with whom he made several recordings. He also recorded the sonatas of Alec Wilder which were written for him, and the Brahms Horn Trio with Jac Gorodetzky and Arthur Balsam.
Mr. Barrows taught at Yale University, New York University, and from 1961 until his death in 1974 at the University of Wisconsin.
The caption on the photo at the right states "Posed for educational purposes by members of the Voice of Firestone Orchestra, Howard Barlow, conductor. Distributed by Keyboard Jr. Magazines".
Robert Schulze (1896 - 1971) was fourth horn in the New York Philharmonic from 1916 until after 1947. His full name was Hermann Robert Guenther Schulze but in the U.S. he preferred to use Robert Herman Schulze. He was born in Wiesbaden, Nassau, Germany on April 28, 1896, the son of Gustav and Martha Schulze and the younger brother of Adolph Schulze. Both his father and brother were musicians, the latter also a horn player in the N.Y. Philharmonic. He arrived in New York at the age of 15, accompanied by his father on May 18, 1911 on the ship Pennsylvania. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on November 16, 1925. His students at Juilliard included Norman Greenberg, Marvin Howe, and Ellen Stone. Other students include Louis Stout and Gunther Schuller who calls him "one of the two major teachers in New York." Robert Schulze died in Celle, Germany on May 24, 1971 at the age of seventy-five.

Dale Clevenger
describes his history with C.F. Schmidt horns in his own words:

"I have owned a total of three. My first one was made just after WWII, I am guessing about 1955. I sold it when I bought my present one in 1959 from a lady, with whom I played when I was a Jr. and Sr. in High School. She was 3rd horn and I was 4th horn in the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. Her name was Imogene Sloan, from Muleshoe, Texas. She had played extra in the Dallas Symphony with my teacher, Forrest Standley, then Solo horn in Dallas. That entire section played C.F. Schmidt horns.  I think it was the late 40's and early 50's. Then Standley became solo horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in about 1947. He was in the orchestra for about ten years. His wife, Pat Standley, was 2nd horn then until about 1963; she also played a Schmidt.  I have owned Ms. Sloan's horn since 1959 and played it here in Chicago for many years. When Steve Lewis started making horns in about 1975, as his horns got better and better and more and more consistant he made me one in 1981, which I have played ever since. Behind a screen no one can recognize the difference of the tones between my Schmidt, my Geyer (origionally made for Joe Singer, who sold it to me after he retired from the NY Philharmonic) and my Lewis horn. I even have a CF Schmidt bell on my Paxman, making it sound so similar no one can hear any difference."

"My two C.F. Schmidts are a double made in about 1912 in Weimar and a single Bb made in Berlin about 1921. Neither label has a serial number, but I know the workmanship of Mr. Schmidt (Geyer taught me) and that he died, in 1921. So, I have a pretty good idea of the dates of these horns even without the serial numbers. It was Geyer's and is Lewis' strong intention to make instruments which sound like or very similar to the Schmidt. I think they both have succeeded and can prove it by my sound....but behind a screen, only. Otherwise there will always be predudice for or against one or the other." -Dale Clevenger

(photo and clipping dated December 13, 1981)


Special thanks to Mr. Dale Clevenger for providing information about his C.F. Schmidt horns.

"A Letter from Anton Horner" (submitted by Mason Jones), The Horn Call, v.XXIII, no.2, p.91ff, International Horn Society, April, 1993

Humphries, John. The Early Horn, A Practical Guide Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0521632102 hardback 0521635594 paperback

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

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