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"Made in Germany"


Brian Snider
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13 minutes ago, Bob K said:

It seems like they went to great lengths then:

Die Geigen-Fabrik von John F. Stratton in Gohlis bei Leipzig.jpg

I bet that they copied this picture from a Mirecourt catalogue.:ph34r: 

To make it more convincing add some Pickelhauben, and no Frenchman would complain.

BTW, it makes absolutely no sense to invite some Prussian military in a factory located in the Kingdom of Saxony (even after 1871). Certain stupid fakes reveal themselves.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

That would be a little curious, since the engineer Wilhelm Thau developed his milling machine at the start of the 20thC, and established a public limited company to exploit the same on an industrial scale in 1906. Also I would dispute the existence of any violin-making factory in Leipzig, and would caution about believing any marketing blurb from some American dealers catalogues

The technology to carve duplicate violin parts, including scrolls, started with Thomas Blanchard in the 1820s and was active in places like Grand Rapids Michigan in the 1870s with companies like Berkey and Gay. A milling machine, per se, wouldn't be much help in violin production. Too slow. Around 1800 the stock for the M1795 musket took 14 man-hours to produce, but by our Civil War in the 1860s, the Springfield Armory was turning out 14 stocks per hour with Blanchard designed machinery for carving and inletting and other operations. It appears that Stratton started a factory in MK in 1868, and later in Leipzig in 1870. Sold them both to German firms, apparently, in the 1880s. 

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25 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I bet that they copied this picture from a Mirecourt catalogue.:ph34r: 

To make it more convincing add some Pickelhauben, and no Frenchman would complain.

BTW, it make absolutely no sense to invite some Prussian military in a factory located in the Kingdom of Saxony (even after 1871). Certain stupid fakes reveal themselves.

Or a Saxon Postman....

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20 minutes ago, Michael Richwine said:

The technology to carve duplicate violin parts, including scrolls, started with Thomas Blanchard in the 1820s and was active in places like Grand Rapids Michigan in the 1870s with companies like Berkey and Gay. A milling machine, per se, wouldn't be much help in violin production. Too slow. Around 1800 the stock for the M1795 musket took 14 man-hours to produce, but by our Civil War in the 1860s, the Springfield Armory was turning out 14 stocks per hour with Blanchard designed machinery for carving and inletting and other operations. It appears that Stratton started a factory in MK in 1868, and later in Leipzig in 1870. Sold them both to German firms, apparently, in the 1880s. 

In 19th C Europe it was fashionable to call oneself “Fabrikant”, or ones business Fabrik (Factory), just as all sorts of charlatans call themselves “innovative” or “smart” today, however thick they are. In actual fact these people were as a general rule just “Verleger” with some homeworkers who they patronised.

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To give a bit context, the years after the establishment of the new German Empire in 1871 were called "Gründerzeit" (period of the founders), because there were lots of money available which they pressed out of France (and gave them reason for revenge after 1918), followed by a big crash in 1873 with a depression. 

Considering this, it could be well that some entrepreneurs tried to establish a big facory for violins in Leipzig during this years, but were unable to get ready with such plans due to the economical circumstances. Maybe they produced some, but stopped this very soon.

The illustration could be seen as a sort of draft or "animation" what they had in mind, but not as reality. It's really odd, that they pictured soldiers in uniforms which might be usual some decades later, but the actual Saxon soldiers around this date would have looked like in this picture:

30815626278.jpg

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

To give a bit context, the years after the establishment of the new German Empire in 1871 were called "Gründerzeit" (period of the founders), because there were lots of money available which they pressed out of France (and gave them reason for revenge after 1918), followed by a big crash in 1873 with a depression.

Or Maybe Stratton set up his factory just before the crash and the picture shows a royal visit to the new factory? 

Apparently, Preußen Waffenrock was adopted in Sachsen (Saxony) in 1849, but I got that from the internet so it's probably all part of the deep fake violin factory conspiricy. :ph34r:

Stratton factory.jpg

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14 hours ago, Blank face said:

I bet that they copied this picture from a Mirecourt catalogue.:ph34r: 

To make it more convincing add some Pickelhauben, and no Frenchman would complain.

BTW, it makes absolutely no sense to invite some Prussian military in a factory located in the Kingdom of Saxony (even after 1871). Certain stupid fakes reveal themselves.

More likely fire officials quite understandably inspecting the plant.  I expect that you are aware of this, and are just being argumentative.  :P  Besides the military, many police and fire units all over Germany adopted spiked helmets, because they thought that looked cool.  The guys below are from Leipzig, BTW.  I replaced the museum photo with this, as being more apropos. :)

Leipzig-firemen.thumb.jpg.87d76c0dd7b86ea12f556e09ada50c59.jpg

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Bob K said:

Or Maybe Stratton set up his factory just before the crash and the picture shows a royal visit to the new factory? 

Apparently, Preußen Waffenrock was adopted in Sachsen (Saxony) in 1849, but I got that from the internet so it's probably all part of the deep fake violin factory conspiricy. :ph34r:

 

Stratton factory.jpg

 

32 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

More likely fire officials quite understandably inspecting the plant.  I expect that you are aware of this, and are just being argumentative.  :P

Sammlung_historischer_Feuerwehrhelme.jpg.814dd42eecbc83b0e6d10fa45f1e4ec1.jpg

 

There’s a difference between Waffenrock and uniform with Prussian cap and Pickelhaube, as well as Fire guard helmets from different periods, what all can be easily researched in internet documentaries. But that’s a curious sideaspect. 
Regarding the crash in 1873, the point is that the foundations happened mostly before the crash and the bankrupts after this date. So there’s nothing odd with a building pictured in 1872 and a bankrupt of the factory soon after. Probably they noticed that the cottage industry could deliver the instruments much cheaper than the factory ever would produce.

If they had made violins in larger numbers they would undoubtedly be present around here and pop up from time to time. But they don’t.

So the conclusion is that Mr Stratton learned very soon that it was more economical to purchase violins the usual way (from the Mnk/Schb trade) and sold his buildings for other purposes. 

I‘m still curious to see examples of Strattons instruments.

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We would look, according to the given description, for "German" violins not to be made in the cottage industry but with machines, meaning no carved bar, no through necks and insides smooth as machine work. These should be present in big numbers, because "a large portion of the halfway decent, cheap violin you see in the US from that time" (1872-mid 1880s roughly) should come from this factory.

Furthermore there should be a sort of patent or other description, drawing of Strattons fabulous machine, allowing a girl to make 6 times more tops than any handworker.

So where are these?

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35 minutes ago, Blank face said:

We would look, according to the given description, for "German" violins not to be made in the cottage industry but with machines, meaning no carved bar, no through necks and insides smooth as machine work. These should be present in big numbers, because "a large portion of the halfway decent, cheap violin you see in the US from that time" (1872-mid 1880s roughly) should come from this factory.

Furthermore there should be a sort of patent or other description, drawing of Strattons fabulous machine, allowing a girl to make 6 times more tops than any handworker.

So where are these?

Stratton wasn't lying about the King of Saxony paying a visit.  First column, about the third paragraph, starting with "Leipzig, 1. August":

https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht?id=5363&tx_dlf[id]=348696&tx_dlf[page]=2

Stratton served as a machinist's apprentice in his youth.  There was no need to patent his milling machine if he had no intention of selling/licensing it and was confident nobody could come up with something similar.

He did obtain a patent for a steam boiler regulator of some sort, which he licensed to various other companies for limited periods. 

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On 1/26/2022 at 11:00 AM, Hempel said:

Stratton wasn't lying about the King of Saxony paying a visit.  First column, about the third paragraph, starting with "Leipzig, 1. August":

https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht?id=5363&tx_dlf[id]=348696&tx_dlf[page]=2

Stratton served as a machinist's apprentice in his youth.  There was no need to patent his milling machine if he had no intention of selling/licensing it and was confident nobody could come up with something similar.

He did obtain a patent for a steam boiler regulator of some sort, which he licensed to various other companies for limited periods. 

Thanks for the finding. It confirms that Stratton owned a wind instrument factory, nothing about violins. The illustration looks more like a sort of science fiction then.

Stratton news.png

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6 hours ago, Blank face said:

Thanks for the finding. It confirms that Stratton owned a wind instrument factory, nothing about violins. The illustration looks more like a sort of science fiction then.

Stratton's violin (and brass) factory was remarkable enough to merit mention in the Leipziger Tageblatt.  The article, besides describing Stratton's steam-driven machines, also mentioned the factory per annum production of 10,000 stringed and 4,000 brass instruments:

Starting near the bottom of the first column, "Leipziger Polytechnische Gesellschaft":

https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht/dlf/271923/9

Incidentally French fiddle factories, even the late 1800s did not have women laborers.  Stratton was all about minimizing labor costs and moved his factory from Markneukirchen to Leipzig-Gohlis to make use of UNSKILLED labor (i.e. non-professional musical instrument makers). 

So Stratton could not have cribbed those woodcut illustrations from the French posted earlier in the thread.

 

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4 hours ago, Blank face said:

Thanks for the finding. It confirms that Stratton owned a wind instrument factory, nothing about violins. The illustration looks more like a sort of science fiction then.

Stratton news.png

 

1 hour ago, Delabo said:

He sold  musical instruments including violins.  A couple of the violins in the picture are in the white ready for varnishing.

 

 

557244281_johnfstratton.png

 

https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/1219

That photo is from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.  Note that the violins are associated with the Leipzig factory, while the brass were made in New York.

Here's a couple of annotated timelines for Stratton's business ventures, confirming his Leipzig area factory:  https://www.brasshistory.net/Stratton History.pdf

https://www.horn-u-copia.net/Reference/display.php?thisrec=698 

The only possible "science fiction" that I see in the earlier illustrations (the machines being belt-driven from a central steam engine are typical for the time) is the all-female workforce, which would be somewhat unusual for the era, though sometimes seen in certain industries (e,g,, textiles). 

Oh, and I don't see any chips or shavings, or anyone pushing a broom to get rid of them.  :lol:

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From reading the catalogue and elsewhere, Stratton only seems to claim to have used machinery for thicknessing the plates. Other than that, and considering he also seems to previously have had a wind instrument factory, in Markneukirchen, and therefore presumably contacts with the violin trade, is it not plausible that the methods employed to assemble the parts were similar to those typically used in Mk/Sch. i.e. built on the back?

His catalogue also states that some of his factory instruments were stamped with e.g. 'Ole Bull' and 'Paganini' which are both types I have seen in the UK. Maybe they never made reference to Stratton and  so people have assumed they were the normal dutzendarbeit MK output?

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One can only argue (till the cows come how or what's the usual phrasing) that there were uncountable alleged "factory owners" and the like presenting violins at exhibitions, winning meadals ad nauseam for violins which they purchased from the Markneukirchen trade, varnished, unvarnished, with case and bow or without and so on.

Lowendall, Juzek, Altrichter, Heidegger and endless more. This was the typical business model of the period. What I've seen stamped Ole Bull, Paganini, Amati, Stratuari ...... all were typical Markneukirchen Dutzendarbeit and nothing else. There's no reason why somebody had established a factory elsewhere to produce instruments the same as what could be easily bought from the Vogtland, with the even cheaper Schönbach a footwalk over the border away.

The only prove can be to show some of these products and demonstrate what makes them different. That's what I asked for a certain time ago. Without these all drawings, advertisings in magazines, reports, photos of buildings or exhibitions are irrelevant.

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12 minutes ago, Blank face said:

The only prove can be to show some of these products and demonstrate what makes them different. That's what I asked for a certain time ago. Without these all drawings, advertisings in magazines, reports, photos of buildings or exhibitions are irrelevant.

You do, of course, realize that, if Stratton was making violins in the 1870's that didn't look like a Markie, the survivors have all probably since been misidentified (and likely by people who share your logic) as Mittenwald, French, Italian, American, or some such?  :huh:   :lol:

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22 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

You do, of course, realize that, if Stratton was making violins in the 1870's that didn't look like a Markie, the survivors have all probably since been misidentified (and likely by people who share your logic) as Mittenwald, French, Italian, American, or some such?  :huh:   :lol:

As the factory was said to be in "Gohlis", could they have been stamped on the back  "Gohlis" ?

 

Gohlis violin.png

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On 1/25/2022 at 12:37 PM, Blank face said:

I bet that they copied this picture from a Mirecourt catalogue.:ph34r: 

To make it more convincing add some Pickelhauben, and no Frenchman would complain.

BTW, it makes absolutely no sense to invite some Prussian military in a factory located in the Kingdom of Saxony (even after 1871). Certain stupid fakes reveal themselves.

BTW, this illustration did not come from Stratton's catalog, but was published in 1873 by a German firm known for such engravings.  Probably for a magazine, I'm trying to chase it down,  :)

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5 minutes ago, Delabo said:

As the factory was said to be in "Gohlis", could they have been stamped on the back  "Gohlis" ?

 

Gohlis violin.png

Yup, you're on to something here.  Suddenly, I'm finding that a number of them have been auctioned,  It's starting to look like Stratton sold only to the trade, and didn't self-label, but provided unlabeled, or custom-labeled violins.  The man must have had no respect for future violin antiquarians.  :lol:

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37 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

You do, of course, realize that, if Stratton was making violins in the 1870's that didn't look like a Markie, the survivors have all probably since been misidentified (and likely by people who share your logic) as Mittenwald, French, Italian, American, or some such?  :huh:   :lol:

I hope you don't expect an answer for this subterranean logic, which could also prove the existence of reptiloids?:wacko:

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