Peate's Utica N.Y.
Many thanks to Vicky S. for giving me the opportunity to review TWo of these fine vintage clarinets. And as she lives about 20 minutes from the old Peate’s Music House, she also has supplied wonderful pictures and even a scanned document. See her information below!
Serial #455, banded on the LH joint, nickel keys
Serial #561, wonderful condition and silver plated keys
Barrel: 455: 64.0mm 561: 64.6mm
Bore LH joint top: 455: 14.6mm 561: 14.8mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: 455: 14.6mm 561: 14.8mm
455: I used my Portnoi BP02 mouhpiece for this test, as it fit in the barrel better than my normal Chedeville Prime.
561: Used my Chedeville Prime.
455: For this test, I pulled 1.0mm at the barrel and 1.0mm at the center tenon.
Intonation summary: There are many professional models of this period that would not have such good intonation. These clarinets can be played in tune. The flatness in the mid register is not excessive except for the 455’s F. The flatness there allows the Chalumeau to be rather well in tune for both instruments. The upper register sharpness can be lipped down.
Key work quality: Lovely wide and comfortable rings. The 651 has silver plated keys. Both have great quality keys for this period. (Which is not as good as the more recent Noblet/Leblanc gold standard.)
This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone who wants a fine vintage clarinet.
Condition issues noted: The 455 was banded, but I cannot see where the crack was.
Information from Vicky, who works for the New York State School for the Deaf.
The store most certainly was in business in the '40s ~ and before. Peate's was located less than 20 miles from our home. I'll try and scoot down sometime and take a picture of the block and former storefront to give you an idea of the location. The local historical society will probably be able to help me out, as well.
My personal connection with Peate's Music House goes back to the mid-1970s. Our little Rome/Utica area was bustling at the time with a very active air force base (Griffiss) and lots of manufacturing industries (Rome Copper and Brass - you know, those copper-bottomed pots; Oneida Silver - the cutlery on every young woman's' hope chest wish list; et al . . . ), This region sported three very successful music stores: Swan's Music and Gary's Music in Rome and Peate's Music House in Utica. I was closely connected to all three as each played a role in our then-nascent music program at the New York State School for the Deaf. (Gary's continues on in that role to this day!)
Mr. Jim Swan owned and ran his Rome shop and store on South James Street and was always there and ready to assist at the drop of a baton with a quick instrument fix, a second-hand horn recommendation, and a pre-performance emergency reed supply. When five instruments were stolen from our classroom the night before our spring concert back around 1983, it was Mr. Swan who helped guide the Rome police to the local pawn shop where we recovered two. (Two more were behind the garage of one of the lithe and light-fingered lads who'd climbed through my classroom window, spearheading the heist; one, a flute, was never recovered.) Mr. Swan also offered us some emergency fill-in instruments to use until ours could be recovered.
Mr. Ed Killian of Peate's Music House visited NYSSD every two weeks. Though barely a thirty-second note of an account, we were a regular bi-weekly stop for Ed as he made the rounds amongst the many large school districts in our area. While we never really had much of a working budget, per se (kind of tough to justify funding a music program in a state school for deaf children), we did have believers in our program; Ed and the folks at Peate's were among them. The owner at the time, I believe, was Mr. Williams (also a Jim, I think). [N.B. You'll notice on an image of a letter below that the signature is that of a Harry Williams. Perhaps Mr. Williams' family started the business way back when . . .] He and, later, his son Dave ran this biggest of the area's music stores. Both men were performing musicians. Mr. Wiliams and his wife were very active in our Methodist Church in Rome and iived in a very pretty (red brick?) house on Lake Delta north of the city. I recall how sad it was when Peate's went out of business. Mr. William's had passed away (cancer, I believe); the area's economy was changing (Griffiss has fallen to a BRAC recommendation; Revere pots were being made in China; Oneida SIlver was soon to follow.) Everything - EVERYTHING - at Peate's was for sale ~ from the smallest single baritone part of a Sousa march to the display cases and the stair railings and door-knobs leading to never-before visited areas of the store and shop. It was so odd to walk through the inner sanctum of this majestic building and watch as this once vibrant music publishing, instrument restoring, musician producing empire was slowly picked over. Eventually, and with little fanfare, Peate's closed.
Older information from Jack Ian Mayer:
This information is courtesy of repair tech and clarinetpages member Jack Ian Mayer.
I just acquired a Thibouville in stencil clothing. The oval stamp is showing Peate's Utica NY. Lots of Made in France ID Your pictures have me convinced of the maker's ID. The matching digits are 403 with the lower “joint” showing a partial over struck 3 by 8.
Like several other American names on the list, Peate's, I feel certain, was the name of a local music store.