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Offering #1911e


Selmer U.S. Padless Alto Saxophone, Original Carrying Case, One Owner

Used instrument in near excellent condition.  Serial Number 27020
A truly rare collectors item!  With OEM Tonex tone rings, not rubber replacements.

This saxophone boasts many firsts.
  • First Selmer U.S. Padless production sax not sold directly by Selmer to a musician.
  • First production model Selmer U.S. Padless sax to be shipped to a musical instrument dealer.
  • First Selmer branded instrument sold by Hunleth Music Company, Saint Louis, Missouri.
  • First Selmer U.S. Padless sax not sold or given in a promotion to a celebrity musician.
  • First production run consisted of only 336 Selmer U.S. Padless Alto Saxophones.

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About the Selmer U.S. Padless Saxophone Inventor:      Go Back

In 1892 the German born Sander family arrived in America with their son Eugene.  In 1907, at the age of seventeen, Eugene began his career in the production of musical instruments.  In less than two decades, as a musical instrument technician at H. & A. Selmer, Mr. Sander earned the title of foreman of the saxophone department.  This gave him the opportunity to research, design, and develop a padless saxophone.  In 1938 he finalized this amazing instrument and applied for a U.S. Patent, which finally issued on December 30, 1940.  While waiting for patent approval, the gears were set in motion to have the component parts of the new padless horn tooled up for its manufacture.

About the Selmer U.S. Padless Demo Saxophones:      Go Back

Similar to the agreement Selmer had with Selmer Paris, they worked with Buescher Musical Instrument Company to produce the body and associated parts under the critical eye of Selmer's quality control inspectors.  Final assembly and engraving was completed by H. & A. Selmer, who also designed and installed the Tonex tone booster rings.
In January 1941 twelve Selmer U.S. Padless Alto Saxophones were manufactured, tested, and used for Demo Purposes.  With full-production scheduled to begin near the end of the month.  These were engraved with the serial numbers 27000 to 27012.

The Selmer U.S. Padless Saxophone was hailed as the first major innovation in saxophone design in 100 years since its invention by Adolphe Sax.  Billed as having twice the volume, greater resonance, more brilliant tones, and well-defined articulation between the keys.

Musician Bus Bassey loved the instrument so much, he refused to wait for a production model and demanded Selmer sell him one of the demo models.  Serial number 27009 was delivered to Mr. Bassey at the Lockie Music Exchange in Los Angeles, California.  Making this horn the first Selmer U.S. Padless saxophone sold in the United States of America by H. & A. Selmer.  Selmer was responsible for all marketing and distribution.

About the Selmer U.S. Padless Production Saxophones - First Seven Direct from Selmer:      Go Back

Only seven Selmer U.S. Padless production saxophones were produced in January 1941.  The first four of these, serial numbers 27013 to 27016 were given to the Richard Himber Orchestra by Selmer for promotional purposes.  Himber, being a little superstitious did not want serial number 27013 so selected serial number 27014 for himself.

The next three Selmer U.S. Padless saxophones made were sold directly by Selmer to conductor Al Goodman's three saxophone musicians.  The sale took place in New York after The Fred Allen Texaco Star Theater show.

These three musicians are:
  • Murray Cohen who purchased serial number 27017,
  • Artie Manners who purchased serial number 27018, and
  • Andy Sannela who purchased serial number 27019.

About the Selmer U.S. Padless Production Saxophones - Shipped to Musical Instrument Dealers:      Go Back

In February of 1941, the first shipment of new Selmer U.S. Padless Alto Production Saxophones, bearing the serial numbers 27020 to 27029, were sent to Hunleth Music Company, 514-516 Locust Street, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Serial numbers 27030 to 27049 were shipped to Manny's Musical Instruments and Accessories, Inc. in New York.
               (Mandy Goldrick was a traveling saxophone salesman, who opened his music store in 1935.)
Serial numbers 27050 to 27065 went to Chicago Musical Instruments Company in Chicago, Illinois.
Being the total Selmer U.S. Padless Saxophones made and shipped by Selmer in February through early April 1941.

H. & A. Selmer produced a total of only 336 Alto saxophones in their first production run.
After producing 199 Tenor saxophones, they resumed manufacture of the Alto model saxophone.
Selmer only produced a little over 1800 more Alto and Tenor saxophone instruments before a Military Ordinance required they convert their facilities to WWII production, thus ending the two Selmer U.S. Padless models.

About Hunleth Music Company:      Go Back

Hunleth Music Company was founded in 1901 by Frank J. Hunleth who purchased the A. T. Walo Music Company at 9 South Broadway in Saint Louis, Missouri.  His sons Joseph F. and Alois J. took over management of the store in 1908.  The business continued to grow, and they moved into a massive building in 1915.  Their new store at 516 Locust Street boasted five floors of musical instruments, over a million sheet music scores, folding podiums, musicians supplies, and instrument repair.
Hunleth became a major Midwestern hub for the music trade, purchasing sheet music in such a large volume, publishers would show them new scores before deciding if they would be profitable enough to publish.  Hunleth remained in this location for forty years before moving again to 415 Broadway.  They also sold sound recordings and the machines to play them.

The instruments Hunleth originally sold were provided by King Musical Instruments. From around 1919 to 1935, Hunleth sold the King C Melody, King Alto, and King Eb Alto saxophones.
In 1936 they added the C. G. Conn line of instruments.  They dropped the King line of instruments after the passing of Henderson N. White in March of 1940.
After hearing rave reviews about a new horn from U.S. Selmer, Hunleth wanted to be the first to make them available.  H. & A. Selmer held true to their promise, and shipped Hunleth their first public production of U. S. Selmer Padless saxophones.

About the Selmer U.S. Padless Production Saxophones - Sold by a Music Dealer:      Go Back

Vincent Joseph Deutschmann of Des Peres, Missouri, a non-celebrity large orchestra owner and saxophone musician, purchased the first publicly sold Selmer U.S. Padless Saxophone, serial number 27020.  The celebratory first Selmer instrument sale by Hunleth Music Company was officiated personally by store owners Joseph F. and Alois J. Hunleth.  Hunleth did not disclose who purchased the other eight saxophones.  However, Mr. Deutschmann, through various orchestra members of his acquaintance, discovered a few owners of this first shipment to Hunleth.

These musicians are:
  • William Clausman purchased serial number 27022, and later sold it to Adam Tunno, found damaged in Clearwater, Florida.
  • Richard Rekart purchased serial number 27024, and after his death it was sold by his brother Art Rekart to a student.
  • Serial number 27027 was traced in later years, and in poor dented condition, to a music store in Peoria, Illinois.
  • Serial number 27028 was recently traced from a music store in Cedar Rapids, to a dealer in Waterloo, Iowa.
  • It is believed serial number 27021 was damaged and turned in as scrap during the WWII metals collection drives.
  • The owners of serial numbers 27023, 27025, and 27026 were never discovered.
  • Serial number 27029 was repaired and resold by a dealer in Nashville, Illinois to an unnamed client.

Hunleth also received a small shipment of Selmer U.S. Padless Tenor saxophones, the second of which was sold to Mr. Deutschmann.
After his death it passed on to his now deceased daughter, then resold by her husband.

Dad playing his Selmer U.S. Padless Saxophone - Nostalgia Ads     Go Back

Vincent Deutschmann Orchestra Newspaper Ad Image Deutschmann Brothers Orchestra Image Clarence Deutschmann Orchestra Image Vincent Deutschmann in Annual Music Review Image

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