Saxophone Forum


by bonsai87
(2 posts)
5 years ago

HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

Hello,

I am a passionate saxophoniste and now I inherited a Tenor Saxophone.

It looks very very old, the box it came with is also quite vintage and all the pads etc. appear aged.

The wording on the Saxophone says

"Ludwig Standard"

"St. Louis MO"

The serial number is "R6571"

Now I dont know if this saxophone is of great value or not because some of the keys are not airtight anymore and the reconditioning would be quite extensive I guess. Even though, it has a fantastic full warm deep sound.

 

I usually play a Selmer Saxophone which I am totally happy with. I consider selling the Ludwig Tenorsax and have no idea whether that is a good thing to do or not.

 

Any advise or help is highly appreciated! Thank you!

 

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by bonsai87
    (2 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

    any further information also appreciated beind sent to bonsai87@yahoo.de

     

    Reply To Post


    1. by Saxquest
      (399 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

      This is actually a very cool saxophone from a local historical perspective. But sadly, its not worth a whole lot. Its most likely a Conn or Buescher stencil from the 1920's.

      Let me start by giving you a bit of history about Ludwig in St. Louis. Since I'm from St. Louis and I'm a saxophone historian, I can speak with a bit of authority on the subject. Established in 1876 by Alex Ludwig, Ludwig Music House started out slowly, but became a huge deal in St. Louis for band & orchestra instruments after the turn of the century. They were located in north St. Louis city at 514 Walnut just west and south of the famous Eads Bridge (the first bridge to span the Mississippi River).

      By the 1910's they were the place to go in St. Louis. All of the Vaudeville musicians knew of the place and it began to obtain a national presence. Alex and his wife, both great musicians in their own right, retired shortly after the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 and the business was sold to Charles Grohe, who was a business partner with Alex. This turned out to be a very good move for the company as Grohe was extremely well respected in the St. Louis musical scene and was one of those kind of guys who "everyone liked". The business blossomed under his leadership and road the wave of the "jazz age" into the early 1920's. At this time they were stencilling saxophones from both Conn and Buescher. This continued thru the 1940's at which time the J. F. Hunleth Music Store (established in 1901)  located in downtown St. Louis began to compete in a big way for the local band and orchestral musician.

      Your saxophone was most likely produced in the 1920's or 1930' when Ludwig was at its height for saxophone and other band instrument distribution. The word "standard", in reference to band instruments, at that time, generally meant a lower price option. For example the Martin Standard was introduced as a lower price point saxophone to the Martin Imperial in 1934. Ludwig used the word standard to imply that this was a company instrument targeted for the amateur player or the musician on a budget. They also carried Conn and Buescher so this instrument would have filled a slightly lower price point gap for them. If you could post a few photos here that would be most interesting.

      In 1939 Ludwig Music House began to introduce pianos which its existing company (Ludwig Aeolian Piano Superstore) is now known for exclusively. The intorduction of pianos was probably a long over-due venture initiated as a way of diversifying in response to Hunleth Music Store taking over as the hub for band & orchestral instruments in St. Louis at that time. The introduction of piano sales was accopanied by the opening of a second store at Grand and Gravois, which is actually located about about a mile south of my house and on they way between my house and my shop (Saxquest - about a mile east on Cherokee Street). In the 1940's Grand and Gravois was a high traffic location and the largest bus and transfer point in St. Louis. It would have been an exciting time to live in the city of St. Louis!!!

      In 1970, Ludwig Music House absorbed the Aeolian Company of Missouri and changed its name to Ludwig Aeolian. They moved to their current location in Earth City Missouri in 1989 and again changed names to the Ludwig Aeolian Piano Superstore in 2006. You would never know of the early history if you walked into the store today. The store is a mega piano store with colored pianos displayed in glass windows visible from Interstate 70 as you drive by. Today, the store looks as modern as ever and has nothing to do with band instruments. But, none-the-less, this is the history of your saxophone. ENJOY!!!

      Cheers,

           Mark Overton

           saxquest.com

           saxophone.org

       

      Reply To Post


      1. by badenia
        (9 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

        While a few years late, I though I would add a possible update to this as I have been studying the Windsor line for some time now:

        Pictures would have been very helpful on this one.

        The R serial number and the potential timing of the sax would indicate that it is a Windsor stencil. Windsor was a line of the Elkhart Band Instrument Co, subsidiary of Buescher introduced in 1937. The trademark is registered with the USPTO.

        The R serials represents the older models and so far the highest I have recorded are in the high 25000's. So far it is looking like the Windsor serials may have integrated into the main Buescher line in the 370,000's or about 1960/61. Therefore this sax was likely produced between 1937 and 1960.

        To try to narrow a bit further, It looks like the R serials were used for about 18 years, This assumes Windsor was shut down during WWII (1942-1945) and not affected by the Korean War. It also assumes a restart in 1948 with the Elkhart BIC restart.

        Thus a straight line production estimate is about 1400 instruments per year. That would put this sax in the 4th or 5th year or 1940/41.

        Kurt

        Reply To Post


        1. by badenia
          (9 posts)

          3 weeks ago

          Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

          As I continue my research on the Elkhart Band Instrument Co, it is looking more like the R serials were used from 1937 - mid 1942 when ther industry was shutdown for WWII production.

          In 1948, Elkhart BIC restarted production, but the Windsor line was not brought back. However, it is looking like the Windsor line returned in that late 1950's about the time Charles Greenleaf bought contol of the Buescher organization.

          This is what the serial registry is indicating at this time. I am hoping to find documentaion to confirm.

          Kurt

           

          Reply To Post


        2. by GFC
          (623 posts)

          3 weeks ago

          Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

          EBIC was absorbed by Buescher in 1937.  

          Carl D.. Greenleaf retired in 1949.  Could that have been Leland B. Greenleaf, who became Conn's President in 1958?  I'm curious as to the relationship between Buescher and Conn.  Was that an actual acquisition or something else?

          Reply To Post


        3. by badenia
          (9 posts)

          3 weeks ago

          Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

          EBIC was not absorbed by Buescher in 1937. EBIC was essentially always a part of Buescher.

          Here's a Time line based on government filings, annual reports, trade articles, etc with most focus on Elkhart BIC:

          1) 1915 - A groupd lead by CD Greenleaf buys CG Conn and establishes new name CG Conn Ltd.

          2) 1916 - A group lead by CD Greenelaf & AH Beardsley buys control of Buescher

          3) 1917 - Conn trademarks the name Pan American and starts using its models for stencils.

          4) In July 1919 Pan American is incorprated as a separate subsidiary of CG Conn Ltd. Greenelaf & Beardsly are dominant incorporators. Conn investors and managers are others

          5) In Sep 1919 Elkhart Band Instrument Co is incorprated as a subsidiary of Buescher. Greenleaf and Beardsly are dominant incorporators. Buescher management are others.

          5) 1919 - Buescher announces coming plant expansion at Jackson St - expects to double and buys property next door.

          6) Nov 1919 Pan American opens its own separate plant. It's the old Angdile plant.

          7) 1922 - Elkhart BIC begins production of saxophones only. Company is on Main St

          8) 1922 - Buescher expansion actually only a 50% increase.

          8) 1923 - Elkhart BIC moves to Plum St

          9) 1927 - Elkhart BIC announces it will begin adding other band instruments to line up, no longer just producing saxophones.

          10) 1927 - Buescher opens additional space completing doubling of original Jackson St plant creating Buescher Block.

          11) 1928 - Elkhart BIC moves to Jackson St, address indicates it occupies latest expansion of Buecher Plan.

          12) 1929 - FA Buescher "retires" for company thet bears his name.

          13) 1949 CD Greenleaf becoms Chairman of the Board, Paul Gazlay become President of CG Conn Ltd. At this time the company President was in control of operations

          14) 1958 - Leeland Greenleaf becomes President of CG Conn Ltd, PM Gazlay becomes Chairman of the Board.

          15) 1958 - Charles Greenleaf sells CG Conn Ltd stock to by contol of Buescher.

          Based on what I have found, it looks like the Greenleaf family comtroled CG Conn Ltd and its subsidiaries from 1915 through 1969. However, I have found Beardsleys on the board of directors. Conn Ltd became a public Company by WWII, but I have yet to identify specifically when.

          Also Based on what I have found both the Beardsley family and Greenleaf family had control of Buescher. However, it looks like Beardsley was mostly dominant in the operations contol of the company, even though after the FA Buescher retirementt others show up in the trades as President. As mentioned above in 1958 Charles Greenleaf finally buys control of Buescher, but names himself Vice President. Buescher looks to have always been private.

          Kurt

           

          Reply To Post


        4. by GFC
          (623 posts)

          3 weeks ago

          Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

          Wow, that's a trove of information that you have clearly done a lot of work to acquire!  Moody's Investment Analysis reported on stock dividends for C. G. Conn Ltd. as early as 1919.  If C. G. Conn Ltd. was not originally incorporated as a publicly traded company, it very soon became one.  

          http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1412&context=grtheses

          Reply To Post


        5. by Saxquest
          (399 posts)

          3 weeks ago

          Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

          Hi Kurt-
               Good stuff here. I have a slew of info on this in the Saxquest archives. I'd be happy to dig out when I have a chance. I know there is a 1932 EBIC catalog and a binder of internal memos between Buescher and EBIC that date to 1940. I'll try to get that stuff posted up in the publications section of this site soon. 

          Thanks,
               Mark Overton
               www.saxquest.com 

          Reply To Post