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Any information out there on a Hamilton Trumpet?



 
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KAJR
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject: Any information out there on a Hamilton Trumpet? Reply with quote

A friend just picked up a Hamilton trumpet (not a stand, an actual trumpet with the name Hamilton on it) for a song at an antique store. I have not seen it yet, but he called and asked me after the fact if it was a good brand and if I had any idea how old it is. I have never seen anything on Hamilton trumpets, and cannot seem to come up with anything online.

I will see it and try to get some more details, but does anyone out there have any ideas about this horn, or info you could direct me to?

Thanks,
Keith
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stingaree
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Hamilton Supreme trumpet that used to belong to Punch Miller and I got it after he died in 1971. I played it for years until it needed a valve job and had that done and also re-lacquered and engraved. It is a good playing horn,large bore with big throated bell and has the 3rd slide tuning ring under the 3rd valve slide like a Besson. This is the only trumpet I've ever seen made by Hamilton although I did see a Hamilton cornet once. It is well made but I don't know about the history of the company or if it is the same company who make the stands. I'd like to learn more about Hamilton too, but where do you look? But it is a good horn.
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KAJR
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following up on this original post, I had the opportunity to clean and study this trumpet last night.

It appears to be an older trumpet, I would guess 1920's or 30's. It is lacquered, but a few parts (including the upper part of the valve block) are silver.

The tuning slide brace is one of the most unique features, It is is the shape of an italized capital H (I guess for Hamilton).

It has some nice engraving on the bell, clearly says Hamilton, serial number on the valve block is 54xxx.

One of the main things though lead me to believe this is an older horn, the third valve (tuning slide) ring is attached to the bottom of the third slide, so you need to hold this horn in an unusual (perhaps) split finger grip with your left hand.

Also the mouthpiece reciever is a slightly smaller diameter than current standard. The original mouthpiece from my 1929 Buescher 234 fits perfectly. If I try to use the my modern Bach mouthpieces, the shank does not insert all the way (about 1/4"-3/8" less insertion than on a modern horn).

The horn is in nice condition except for some bell damage that should be easy to repair.

The sound is fair, the horn is a little stuffy, but overall seemingly a decent instrument.

If anyone out there has anymore info on Hamilton trumpets, I would love to hear about it.

I am pursuing the process of figuring out how to post pictures on the web, once I do, I will try to get some pics of this trumpet on this post.

Thanks,
Keith
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stingaree
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine is 59,xxx and also has the 'H'. It does not look to be as old as the 20's or 30's. I would think late 40's or 50's. I still can't find anymore info so I hope someone has something on these horns.
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KAJR
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a standard mouthpiece fit right with your horn?

I was only guessing the age based on the mouthpiece shank size and the ring below the third valve slide, but I very well may be wrong.

Thanks,
Keith
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stingaree
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, when Punch was playing it I gave him a Bach mpc and he loved it and it sounded good. Someone said that the reason for the ring being on the bottom is so you don't touch the bell and disturb the vibrations. Seems to be true so I try not to touch the bell on this horn and also an old Conn 58B that has the same ring.
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KAJR
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense about the not touching the bell, I have read a couple of other threads that delved into that subject.

This horn seems to be a bit of a bear to hold. Do you use a split finger grip, or hold it entirely on the bottom of the valve block? If you do it split finger, do you split between the ring and middle finger or...? I tried the split finger way, it was tiring and hard to move the ring.

Thanks,
Keith
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stingaree
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I split between the middle and ring finger but I agree it is tiring to do this. The bell thing is much more noticable on my Conn and I do the split with that and it is a little easier and I'm just trying to get used to it because I can really hear the difference with the Conn and not so much with the Hamilton. The old pre-war Bessons had the same ring set-up so I wonder if it was for the same reason.
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mffan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Horn-u-copia there is no thread for a Hamilton co, but they do have a trade name entry for Hamilton, with info that the woodwind and brasswinds were retailed by Grossman music co, was an import and a student model, giving circa dates of 1921-48. Sources clarinet Bboard and New Langwill index. I have no idea where Grossman Music company was. That's all I can find on it.

I have a 40's getzen cornet that has the under third slide ring and a 30's Czech import with a smaller than modern receiver. I just pull out the tuning slide more and it works fine. I may get a modern reciever put on some day.
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Frank3701
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Joined: 09 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a Hamilton trumpet purchased in the early 1950s, serial number 59487. The lacquer is worn off in several places, and there are a couple dents in the bell, but otherwise is still a great horn.
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krax
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hamilton Supreme = Blessing Standard

Have had both, at the same time - there is no doubt. Fine playing horns, the Hamilton was actually a bit better, sweeter sound.
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