Posted by Rick Denney on April 11, 2002 at 23:58:30:
In Reply to: Carl Fischer's Artist BBb Tuba posted by Randy Mac Iver on April 11, 2002 at 16:13:33:
The problem with Carl Fischer is that they were strictly a marketing company when it came to instruments, at least for much of their history. Carl Fischer owned the rights to the York label from the late 40's until 1971, and they used "York Master" to identify their premium-grade instruments during that period. So, your tuba, it seems to me, must be older than that (no surprise there, I'm sure).
I made several attempts to get information out of Carl Fischer when researching my York Master, and found nobody at that company who remembers or is willing to admit that they remember any time when they sold actual instruments instead of just music. They can't even tell you who their suppliers were, let alone anything about serial numbers.
I think your best approach is to do what you are doing: Find an instrument from a genuine factory that is similar enough to establish identity, and go from there. But engraving patterns are not much help. Even the same factory's engraving would change over time with changes in personnel. Other details might be more illuminating, such as valve tube routing, valve piston diameter, brace rod and flange shape, and so on.
The bore you mention is gigantic for any piston tuba that I've ever heard of--did you measure on the inside of the inner tubing? Typical bore sizes for piston instruments of that vintage seem to range from .656 to .770 (for a Conn 2xJ).
You already know that pictures are really necessary to spark someone's memory.
Rick "offering clues and closing doors" Denney