This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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Pottstown Cornet

13 March 2010

Since I introduced the history of the Eb Saxhorn in the last post, here is a descendant from a few years later. This dapper musician is holding a Top Action Rotary Valve (TARV) Cornet. He is from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. This cornet in Eb is basically the same as the one in my previous post, except here the bell faces forward as with modern trumpets and cornets. The camera angle unfortunately does not provide a good look at the instrument but it is similar to another cornet in the collection of the National Music Museum. Slater Cornet in Eb

The uniform is military-like but not really connected to any of the U.S. military bands of this time. It might however indicate a professional musician from one of the many bands of Eastern Pennsylvania. Pottstown is about halfway between Reading and Philadelphia.

The back shows Thos. Taylor, Photographer, Pottstown, Pa.. The US Census of 1880 lists Thomas Taylor, age 35, occupation: photographer living with his wife Lillie in Pottstown, PA. But the earlier census of 1870 shows Thomas Taylor working in Reading, PA as a photographer. By the 1900 census, Thomas Taylor still lives in Pottstown but is now listed as newspaper proprietor.

These dates would suggest that this is a photograph from 1875-1885. It is a carte de visite size and probably survived this long in a family photo album. Unfortunately, as with so many photographs of this period, the identity of the subject remains unknown.

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