W. Fischer, Worcester Mass.
Maker: W. Fischer
Hallmark: W. Fischer/Worchester/Mass.
Place of Manufacture: United States(?)
Approximate Date: 1870-1890
Material: Dark wood body, metal rings
Keys: Unplated nickel(?)
Keywork: Early simple system
Serial Number: ---
Here we have a W. Fischer, Worcester Mass. Eb clarinet.
This clarinet appears to be made of grenadilla or a similar wood. The key system is what I call the "Early Simple System", due to the fact that it has simple system features, but has NO rings. (To be considered a Simple system, a clarinet would require 2 or more rings). The style of the right hand pinky keys also marks it as an earlier system.
Due to this key style, I would date this clarinet to between 1870 and 1890. Any earlier and it would have less keys, any later and it would be a Simple system.
Fun features of this clarinet:
W. Fischer. This name does bear some resemblance to Carl Fischer (located in New York). Whether any relationship existed between the two is currently unknown.
Logo. The logo looks like the "Penzel Eagle", the eagle logo that most earlier Penzel Muellers sported. Again, any relationship here is purely conjectural.
Pitch. This is the most interesting part of the whole clarinet. It is well known that during this time period, most clarinets were what we today refer to as "High Pitch" (with A>440). HOWEVER, when compared to a Bundy Eb clarinet, they appear to be the same length. The Bundy is slightly longer overall, but the tone holes are all in the same location. This is a very unusual feature of a clarinet of this vintage. The clarinet is currently in non playing condition so I cannot verify the true pitch of the instrument at this time.