Welcome to the NOTECANNONS section of the MM FORUM. This is the forum for www.notecannons.com - a website hosted by Colin McCubbin that is dedicated to history of National, Dobro, Supro, and all things Dopyera related.
The "shoulder/chin rest things" are meant to go between your knees. It's played uptight more like a cello than a violin. The bridge pin is attached to a diaphragm inside the body at the base of the horn usually made from a disc of mica. The more expensive violin type Stros tended to use spun alluminium diapragms - sound familiar?
Colin - I strongly recomend you have a look at the Facebook page link I put up above for the Phonofiddle, Stroviols and Stroh Violin Appreciation Society. There's some fantastic info and pictures on there, including a research thesis on the history of Augustus Stroh's Phonographic Violin by Alison Rabinovici.
Post by Colin McCubbin on Feb 25, 2014 20:55:44 GMT
While Stroh patented his cone shaped resonator in Britain (3393, dated 1901), he did not do so in the USA, (he had however registered his earlier patent 9814, dated 1899 in the USA) . So, when John Dopyera later applied for a patent in the UK (Apparently GB294806, 1928-08-02) I am told he mentioned the earlier Stroh patent.
Here in Stroh's patent dated 1901 we have a perfect description of the point at which a traditional flat mica resonator morphed into a cone shape, even down to a corrugation(s) at the edge to allow it to flex.
I have been trying to find a copy of the Dopyera GB294806 patent, but the GB patent office site only contains current patents as far as I can see.
Can anyone help with a copy? UPDATE: I now have a copy, please see later post for information.
And, I finally located a copy of the Strand Magazine vol XX111 (Jan 1902) article on The Stroh Violin, which I copy below.
Post by Colin McCubbin on Feb 27, 2014 16:30:59 GMT
Someone recently told me that it was 'impolite' to call these instruments "Jap Fiddles" I guess that to some folk it might possibly be so, but here from the 1931 Rose Morris Catalogue is where I learned the term.
It took a while but finally I stumbled upon this advice: Before 1916 British patent numbers returned to one at the beginning of each year. The number format used for them on Espacenet® is GByyyynnnnn where yyyy is the full four-digit year and nnnnn is the five-digit number. If the number has less than five digits you need to add zeroes at the beginning to make it five digits, so that for instance patent number 154 of 1905 is recorded on Espacenet® as GB190500154. In 1916 a continuous number series began, starting with GB100001. If you have a patent number with five digits or less and no year is given there is unfortunately no easy way on Espacenet to retrieve all patents with that number. You will have to try searching by applicant and/or subject, or if you have the patience try each year in turn in the format above.
Trying this I now have successfully downloaded copies of both of Stroh's Patents and John Dopyera's GB one mentioned 2 post above. Once tidied up (they are in pdf format so I will make each page a .png image) I will post them here and under the patents page at notecannons.
I just found this old film clip on youtube, unfortunately it doesn't give any info on the musicians or the date but a great little band and nice tune! Part way through he switches from a Stroh to a conventional violin so you can hear how they compare back to back.
I just noticed the credits at the start of the film! Stoll, Flynn & Company The JAZZMANIA QUINTETTE featuring Georgie Stoll & Edy the Flynn
Sold... Or, rather, bought! Heading to notecannons HQ as we speak. Can't wait to get a good look at the cone/resonator in one of these at last. Mahalo Snakehips for the heads up ;-)
Drove over the border and picked it up today. I noticed the box wasn't exactly substantial or 'rectangular' and opened it up before going through customs. The big horn is, er , crushed to put it politely, although the body, small horn, resonator cone etc are intact. Had to decide whether to send it back, (major hassle), or suck it up and bring it home. I paid customs duties and brought it home.
The horn is very thin ali, I'm wondering how to attempt to 're-circulise' it (is there such a word?) Expanding a balloon inside it comes to mind, or taking it off and to a car restorer, but if anyone has a thought I'd appreciate it! Apart from that the instrument looks like the ebay pics, very clean..
BTW I've been talking recently with an elderly luthier in California, who, although he has no documented proof told me that the Dopyeras were agents for Stroviols, and had Stroviols instruments in their shop. More confirmation that JD had seen, and based his cone on Augustus Stroh's design.
Take it to a good Brass instrument repair man, they have all sorts of tools for just that purpose, mandrels, dent balls, burnishers etc! I have a friend who builds and repairs brass instruments and I've seen him resurrect some pretty beat up trumpets etc. to good as new condition!