Beaufort Frank Holton HR

Many thanks to Harold Edwards for giving me the opportunity to review this antique hard rubber Albert system clarinet.

According to Wikipedia, Frank Holton was the founder of the Holton Instrument Company in Chicago in 1898. Starting in 1918 they moved their operations to Elkhorn, Indiana. In 2008 they were bought out and production moved to Elkhart, Indiana. Holton was known more for brass instruments.

Even from early days, Holton seems to have outsourced clarinet making. From the markings and keys, I think date for this one could have been around 1912 to 1920. It is possible that they ordered this stencil from Couesnon, but if so, I would doubt that it would have such a wide bore so early. Later on in the company history, I seem to remember that Holton had instruments made in Germany, so that could be where this was made.

[19Jan2018] Windsong on the forum has found information that this is a Pedler stencil, not German made. This is supposed to be identical to a Pedler instrument. Windsong states: Harry Pedler is known to have stenciled La Premiere Francaise, some Manhattan clarinets, and the Holton you reviewed.

Serial #none

Barrel: 66.5 mm

Bore LH joint top: 15.9 mm (huge!)

Bore LH joint at bottom: 15.0 mm

Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.

For this test, I pulled 1.8 mm at the barrel and 1.4 mm at the center tenon.

Intonation summary: This is quite good, amazingly good— especially for a large bore clarinet. The last three notes are problems on any clarinet. So this would have been exceptionally good at the time this was made.

Key work quality: Nothing was bent. These keys are better than some.

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone wanting to play an Albert System clarinet.

Condition issues noted: The C#/G# key had a spring that was too long, and there is the possibility that it came from another clarinet.