Earliest Super Olds Trumpets
I had been planning a page featuring an early Super Olds trumpet that was made in 1939, but just recently an earlier example came along that was made in 1937. It is the third oldest Super Olds trumpet listed in The Olds Register and was likely made within the first year that Olds produced this model. This was just two years after the introduction of the first versions of the Super Olds trombones, and probably very close to the time that the newly redesigned Super trombone was introduced. The first two photos show the earlier of these trumpets and the third and fourth photos are of the two trumpets side by side. At first glance, they might appear the same, but there are a surprising number of details that were changed from the earlier production. The most visible differences are the wider "tone ring" on the earlier bell and the second valve slides that slope different directions, the earlier towards the bell as seen on Besson trumpets. Not visible in these photos are different diagonal braces between the bells and mouthpipes, which on the earlier trumpet are very much like those used on Special model trumpets made after 1948 and the prototype Mendez model trumpet. Look a little closer and you'll see that the later trumpet has a stop rod mechanism on the third slide and the first slide outside tubing and ferrules are different lengths. I've found three additional differences that aren't easily seen. The bells were made on two different mandrels, the earlier is smaller through most of the taper, but flares larger through the last five inches to the rim. This is much like the large bore Martin Imperial and Committee model bells in character. Also, the bore is slightly larger in the earliest Super trumpets, at .462" compared to .460" in the later Supers and most other trumpets made by Olds. Interestingly, this is the same large bore size used by Bach and seemingly used only for a very short time by Olds. Another difference was very surprising to me: the mouthpipe on the earlier Super has a seam, being made from sheet metal rather than a seamless tube. Besson and Benge trumpets had seamed mouthpipes until the 1950s and I haven't seen this in any other Olds trumpet. This is something that I'll have to start looking for, but a quick look through all my older Olds trumpets finds them all to be seamless. The last image to the left is a page from a circa 1938 Olds catalog that shows a Super Olds trumpet with theearlier style second valve slide, braces and wide tone ring.
These trumpets are both 18 3/4" from bell rim to bell curve, but at 19 7/8" to the end of the receiver, the earlier is 1/4" longer. The diameter of both bell rims is 4 3/4". The color difference in the bells is due to the darkened lacquer on the later trumpet. Neither of these have original finish.