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Wm Frank Trumpets - Shhh.



 
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 4:54 pm    Post subject: Wm Frank Trumpets - Shhh. Reply with quote

Shhh.

So, I have acquired a Wm. Frank Chicago trumpet. It doesn't say Standard or Artist on it, but it looks pretty much like either one. It has a couple of tiny dings, but most of the lacquer remains.

It's said these are fairly undervalued. Valves have the big springs on the top, kind of like Olds springs. Valve section is smooth and feels very solid. I just need to get some new springs and I'll be in business, all for $86 or so.

Design of the horn is kind of on the lightweight side, I think. I don't know enough to say whether this is similar in design to any other F. Besson copy or not. It's definitely different in design from a Conn 22B or such; it's more like a Bach, but not a Bach.

I like it. Any other opinions or reviews on these?

I also have a Wm Frank Barrington Ill. "Biltmore" and this is a great horn. It needs some work. The bell is bent a bit. The valve section seems really solid and I love the design of how the valve caps come down and rest on the center section. Very easy blowing, and easy loud upper register for me on this. This is my second in line main horn now. It's really surprising how if you remove the first valve slide, and cover the one tube and blow, there's no air leakage!

I fell in love with the Frank horns and sold two Olds Specials.

I'll have to start a website, the Frank Loyalist.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you made it a bio about Wm Frank and also a database of his horns you could call it www.Frank_n_Horns.com
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ohiotpt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Need a forum section for Frank Discussions.
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
if you made it a bio about Wm Frank and also a database of his horns you could call it www.Frank_n_Horns.com


Hahaha that would be great!
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohiotpt wrote:
Need a forum section for Frank Discussions.


I like that idea. Sure, Olds horns are popular, but have you tried a Frank?

: )
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interfx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, William Frank (Chicago) also most likely made bells for Vincent Bach for his Aida trumpets in 1925, as per the shop card.
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

interfx wrote:
Also, William Frank (Chicago) also most likely made bells for Vincent Bach for his Aida trumpets in 1925, as per the shop card.


Aha. All I knew was that Schilke eventually bought the equipment. So they're adjacent to Schilke and Bach in the industry, but virtually unknown. I certainly like the trumpets I have, though.

Thanks for this.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wm. Frank was a major manufacturer between 1909 and about 1938, when the company bankrupted.
I have a thread here:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=157264&highlight=calicchio++1931
This documents the connection between D. Calicchio's using Frank's valve section for his early trumpets.

Frank made thousands of instruments for the U.S. military.

It would be good to have a thread for discussion; Frank's manufacture was extensive in its day.
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2022 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
Wm. Frank was a major manufacturer between 1909 and about 1938, when the company bankrupted.
I have a thread here:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=157264&highlight=calicchio++1931
This documents the connection between D. Calicchio's using Frank's valve section for his early trumpets.

Frank made thousands of instruments for the U.S. military.

It would be good to have a thread for discussion; Frank's manufacture was extensive in its day.


I find the instruments to be professional in quality and tone, and I know it's a bit of an off the radar, which is nice, because I got two professional trumpets for about $80 each. The Barrington horn is heavier in the valve section and air-tight and very open and dark. I love it.

The earlier one is maybe a bit like a Strad? Minus some features.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think either trumpet history or the Hornucopia Web sites have some Frank history. The company resumed production in Barrington, IL at some point in the 1940's.
I purchased a Frank trumpet from a seller on ebay for about $100 years ago- it's a very unusual configuration and plays well. Large bore w/a small bell and an open wrap. Sort of a precursor to Conn's Connstellation, except that the bell diameter is small. Never seen the like before or since.
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bnbechtel
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
I think either trumpet history or the Hornucopia Web sites have some Frank history. The company resumed production in Barrington, IL at some point in the 1940's.
I purchased a Frank trumpet from a seller on ebay for about $100 years ago- it's a very unusual configuration and plays well. Large bore w/a small bell and an open wrap. Sort of a precursor to Conn's Connstellation, except that the bell diameter is small. Never seen the like before or since.


Oh, that sounds unique. I've got these two, and both are pretty standard in design. The top is Chicago, the bottom is Barrington. The Chicago one looks and plays like a trumpet suited for ensemble, the Barrington horn is darker and feels more like jazz or solo work to me.

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jrpbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 11:51 am    Post subject: Frank Trumpets Reply with quote

I was surprised to read these praises of William Frank trumpets as my experience with them has not been great. My first cornet was a Frank American Prep, which was definitely a student instrument from the build quality. I later owned Biltmore and Classic model trumpets made in Barrington which looked nice but suffered from poor quality control and valve plating that was peeling off. The Classic was one of the highest serial numbers I have seen for Frank and may have been going out the door when they were closing the plant as the tuning was not even close. I had to shorten the slides in order to get it close to playing right and the third slide was not assembled parallel to the tuning slide.

I just purchased a 1920s Classic model with a forward facing 2nd slide like the French Besson and a 0.468" bore. Once I get it playing again I will see if I ever buy one again. I see others have had better luck so perhaps one has to get lucky with this maker.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Frank ran the shop at Holton prior to his own company. Between 1908 and 1911, Holton made dramatic annual revisions to their trumpet design, ultimately becoming the first company in this hemisphere to produce a true orchestral trumpet in 1911 - a market they dominated then for almost a decade before moving on to the Revelation line and leaving that market to Conn, which began catching up after Carl Greenleaf took over there. It is entirely possible that Frank was the instigator of those changes - though not provable.

Frank made bells for Vincent Bach in the early years - bell blanks Bach then spun down to his mandrels - but bought his valves from Blessing. Ultimately, the Frank company passed to Blessing as the largest creditor following Frank's death. They then sold the assets years later, which were bought by what became Schilke Music Products.
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obedmeister
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 4:52 pm    Post subject: Loved all the Willam Frank horns I’ve tried. Reply with quote

Thank You for all the postings about the WF horns. You are right, Schilke bought the equipment, ( as told to me by a Schilke old time employee). I just think that William Frank horns haven’t gotten their due respect in trumpet history. I’ be had several and I had a Barrington WM Frank Biltmore. What a wonderful horn that was! Amazing and significant part of trumpet history.
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Man Of Constant Sorrow
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have several Frank horns (trumpets and cornets ... no trombones).

At least one of each model. Also, a few stencils ... one, in particular, looks like New Old Stock (NOS), with no name etched/stamped in the center of the "laurel leaf/garland" (or, whatever that engraving style is called). Just a blank field.

As alluded by above posts, quality control varied ... likely, became virtually non-existent toward the end of the production era.

However; the early horns are excellent ... and, yes - difficult to compare to any other horns.

I like 'em
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jrpbrass
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2023 3:50 pm    Post subject: Frank Classic Trumpet Reply with quote

Well, I finally found a Frank trumpet that I love playing. Just finished restoring a Classic model #7901 today and it sounds really nice. 4.5" bell and 0.468" bore from c.1926. I will probably keep this one in the collection. A little valve wear but not too bad considering this has unplated copper valves. Should have some photos posted at my website In a few days.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2023 4:42 pm    Post subject: Barrington Frank factory Reply with quote

For those interested, I finally located the Frank Barrington factory site using a 1950 Sanborn map. They were at 228 James St, which is now 234. I have updated my website history with the map and photos.
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