Eb Keyed Bugle Made by E.G. Wright for Graves & Co
This keyed bugle carcass was listed for sale on Ebay with a starting bid of $9.99 and I believe that the seller would have been happy with $25. I'm quite sure that the seller had no idea how much interest that there would be in this wreck, especially considering the expense required to restore it.
This is one of the rarest American made keyed bugles because of the fact that it was made by Wright for Graves in Boston, presumably at the time that Graves was closing down the operation in Winchester, NH and planning the new facility in Boston in 1850. Fortunately for those of us that put importance on preserving our cultural history, Steven Ward stepped up and committed to just that. Dent removal and soldering existing parts was fairly straightforward but the obvious big job was reproducing all the missing parts. This includes the ten keys, springs and screws, most of the tonehole chimneys and the tuning shank assembly.
This bugle is very similar to my E.G. Wright bugle, which made the job of copying parts a bit easier than it would have been using photographs and sketches only. There was some question as to whether or not the screw clamping device on the mouthpipe end was original, not having seen this on an American made bugle before. Fortunately, after removing this part there was a clear shadow line underneath, indicating that there had been a different reinforcing ferrule there in the past, so I reproduced that part as well.
For more information on Wright see Robert E. Eliason, Early American Brass Makers, The Brass Press, 1979