In November 2010 I discovered on American eBay a metal Albert clarinet, a "Hoosier" model which was one of the last metal Albert clarinets made by PEDLER (Around 1940 this American woodwind company of Elkhart/Indiana stopped making Albert system clarinets but continued making metal clarinets in the Boehm system till the late 1950s). The 72-year-old "Hoosier" (with a 21,000 serial number) was offered in the USA on a worldwide eBay auction for a very reasonable buy-it-now-price but I was a tenth of a second too slow when pressing the B(uy)I(t)N(ow)-button so the clarinet won someone somewhere. Some months later I learnt that it went to Germany (only 50 miles north of Stuttgart, unbelievable!) and that the buyer, a German doctor and a hobby clarinetist of a typically German brass & woodwind band, wasn’t happy with this metal clarinet although it is in the German system (called Albert system in the USA). The main reason for his dislike were, as I guessed, the big finger holes of the instrument (typical of any PEDLER metal Albert clarinet) and so I offered him one of my BETTONEY "Boston Wonder" metal Albert clarinets which have finger holes of smaller diameters. In the evening of September 23rd, 2011 after an hour's drive with my RENAULT "Clio" we did the instrument exchange and he was very happy about it and I too, as I really like the big finger holes of a PEDLER metal Albert clarinet and, of course, its sound.
As I have a collection of the whole range of PEDLER metal Albert clarinets from the very first to the very last ones made between 1930 - 1940 with serial numbers between 3,000 - 23,000 (my PEDLER metal Albert & Boehm clarinet collection also includes the model lines from the most expensive to the cheapest model: "Professional" - "Student" - "Premiere" - "Hoosier) I can tell you that there is no difference in the sound quality of the different models as the metal of their bodies is always of the same German silver alloy and the bore of the body/tube and positions & bore of the tone holes on the different models are identical to each other. Only the very first models with serial numbers around 3,000 have a slightly brighter sound because of their thinner walled bodies. But all my other PEDLER metal Albert clarinets have the full and singing tone George Lewis had on his PEDLER metal Albert clarinet (7,000 serial number) we can hear when listening to his famous Climax/American Music recordings he made for Bill Russell in New Orleans in 1943/44.
The "Hoosier" - a similar PEDLER metal Albert clarinet, stencilized "The Elkhart" (I also own such a model), was played by Chris Blount in the last few months before he untimely died in December 1998 - is the lightest in weight of my PEDLER metal Albert clarinets because it has no reinforced posts, no rim between the bell & body and because the barrel and thumb rest are lightweight ones but it still weighs 10,000 gr(ains). It was a nice "Indian Summer" day when I was on the way to pick up my "new" metal Albert clarinet, which was made in Elkhart/Indiana in 1939. By the way, "Hoosier" is, as Bill Russell once told me in New Orleans, the nickname of ordinary people of the US State of Indiana and I think this was the reason for the PEDLER company to use this name for their cheapest priced line of simple (non-professional) instruments.
Let me say thank you for mailing me the nice photo of the three metal clarinet players during the Bude jazz festival of 1999: Gordon Hunt (right) with his BETTONEY metal Boehm, you (left) with your Silver-KING metal Boehm and me with my PEDLER "Premiere" metal Albert clarinet. The banjo player in the background is Malcolm Hurrel.
Eberhard Kraut, Stuttgart/Leonberg
October 15th, 2011
Find below a page from an old musical instruments catalogue ans an advert of 1930.