Tenor Normaphone Restoration

This one is just for fun.  Instruments of this sort seem to be strictly for novelty.  Not that you can't make real music on them, but all of the saxophone shaped brass instruments that I have had in my shop have not been very acoustically refined.  This tenor Normaphone is a valve trombone in saxophone clothing.  I restored it for Rick Schwartz of Cornet Compendium fame (an excellent compilation of information on cornets, their players and cornet music).  It was in good condition over all, with typical dents and bends, but also missing the entire mouthpipe.  I could have done decent job of making a new mouthpipe assembly based on photographs, but I was able to borrow a complete instrument from the Fiske Museum in Claremont, California (now in the MIM in Scottsdale).  This made the job much easier.

There's no need to do much research into Normaphones, Jazzophones (similar instruments with two bells) and the like.   That's been done and well presented on the website of the Nederlander Kwintet Goed Koper of Den Haag.  This website is in English and I encourage you to visit there and learn more.   These sorts of instruments reached their ultimate popularity during the Saxophone craze of the 1920s.  They all seem to be made in Germany during those years and it seems to me that a part of the story is related to the collapse of the monetary system domestically, while most of the western world was experiencing good times financially.  German makers were trying hard to produce items that could be exported to other parts of the world, especially the US where the saxophone craze was strongest.  The rarity of these instruments indicate that they never caught on anything like actual saxophones, but several German makers did find sales for decent numbers of them.  The last two images below are from the mail order catalog of Saxon musical merchandiser Max Adler.  Printed in four languages, it is clearly aimed at an international market.  This is not dated, but my guess would be about 1925.  He offers not only members of the Normapone family, but also Jazzophones and related instruments.  A reprint of this catalog was published in LAROGOT, the publication of Association des Collectionneurs d'Instruments de Musique à Vent, headed by musical instrument historian Bruno Kampmann.