So for you saxophone nerds out there, this is definitely the coolest find of the year so far for the Saxquest museum. First a little back story as to why this is so cool......
Up through the 1970's both Buescher and Conn maintained an "archived samples room". This is where they kept what the "old timers" from the factory called the Master Models. Master Models were the first approved samples of new models before they went into production. The idea was that as mandrels wore out they could go back to the samples room for a perfect spec'ed example to remake a new mandrel from. Also, if old parts were ever needed the samples room was used to retool for production. The samples room also archived prototypes and experimental models that were manufactured in the development of all new models of of instruments. All of the instruments in these rooms were logged and well documented. These sample models were considered extremely valuable to the company. It was also quite literally a museum of the manufacture's history, as nothing was thrown away. To the right is seen the only know surviving photo that I know of showing the "samples room" at Buescher in the 1937. Sadly, after the Buescher and Conn companies were acquired and assimilated in the 1960's and 1970's, these samples rooms were considered "wasted space" and everything was trashed. While nearly everything was lost, a few pieces were saved by crafty employees would raided the dumpsters behind the factories at night.
OK, so for the find........here at Saxquest, we just acquired the original sample model bell for the Buescher 400 tenor saxophone. Its complete with tone holes, posts and the tone enhancer ring. Its marked as sample model in both wax pencil and stamping. The bell is stamped:
Ed Todt was the general superintendent at Buescher during development of the Buescher 400 line of instruments. He started at Buescher in 1916 and was quickly promoted to foreman in 1917. He continued his assent in the company and was named general manager of Buescher in 1929. He was well loved by management and employees alike. When he passed away unexpectedly in 1944 the entire Buescher factory was in morning.