Prototype Mendez Model Olds Trumpet
This is the prototype Olds Mendez model trumpet, serial number 79,490, built in 1952. I believe that it is the same trumpet pictured on the album cover for “The Singing Trumpet” and used for that recording in the same year. It at first appears to be a production Mendez Trumpet (distinctive mouthpiece receiver, finger buttons, trigger etc), but a closer look reveals that the braces between the bell and mouthpipe and the finger hook are from the Standard model trumpet. The baluster braces are also from this model.
Starting in 1950 or before, there were many publicity photos taken of Rafael Mendez and his two sons holding Olds Super and Super Recording model trumpets. The Mendez Trumpet was put into production in 1952 and he played multiple examples of that model for the rest of his life. Further evidence showing that this is the only known prototype is shown in Eric Hamlin's "The Olds Register". The production of Olds Mendez Trumpets started with the approximate serial number 86,000 later in 1952 (earliest known is 86,004 was recently acquired by Dan Schultz).
Rafael Mendez gave this prototype trumpet to his friend, Dean Ames in the late 1970s. When Dean's health was failing, he sold it to his good friend, Len Burns who eventually passed it on to me.
The over all length is 19 1/2" (18 3/4" from bell rim to edge of curve), the bell rim diameter is 4 3/4" and the bore measures .460".