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
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The P&O Band of Canton, Illinois

28 March 2015

The 34 musicians of the P & O Band have shiny golden instruments, including the band leader's gold baton. But these bandsmen probably handled cast iron more often than brass. They are factory workers from Canton, Illinois, members of a company whose trademark two letters separated by ampersand were once familiar to every farmer. This was the band of the Parlin & Orendorff Plow Company, once considered the largest and oldest plow and farm implement manufacturer in the world. 

Source: Farm Implement News 1904 Buyer's Guide
The factory was established in 1842 and proudly stated that it had the most complete and comprehensive series of Riding and Walking Plows, Cultivators, Harrows, Drills, Stalk Cutters, Corn and Cotton Planters, Potato Diggers, etc. made by any one factory in the country. There were between 1,500 and 2,000 workers at the Parlin & Orendorff Co. which made it Canton's largest employer. The factory's products were used on every size farm and with every type of agriculture.

Source: Farm Implements, Vol 26, Jan. 31, 1912

The P & O Band was the pride of the city as well as the company. According to this article from the January 31, 1912 edition of Farm Implements, Vol. 2, published in Minneapolis - St. Paul, the P & O workers established their first band in February 1851 as the Canton Brass Band. With the outbreak of war in 1861, it served as the regimental band for the 55th Illinois Volunteers. In the years later it became the musical representative for both the company and the town at many county, state, and even world fairs. In Canton it played concerts on every Saturday  throughout the summer. This 1912 article used the same photo of the band as the colorized postcard and identifies the band director with the gold baton as Frederick D. Walker, who it says received his musical training at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

The postcard was sent on July 30, 1914 to Master James Siffle of Pekin, IL from Claude.

Source: The Harvester World, Vol. 11
November 1920

In May 1919, the International Harvester Company, a kind of General Motors of agricultural equipment, bought out the Parlin & Orendorff factory and product line. The P&O brand name continued for a time on International Harvester machines and its factory workers still enjoyed a regular lunch time concert by their band as described in this article from a 1920 edition of The Harvester World. The company band was admired as a symbol of the plow workers pride and solidarity with their community and their farm equipment products.  The band continued under the IHC name until 1985 according to this webpage on the Canton Band history

My interest in this postcard of the P & O Band was due to a cast iron seat made by the Parlin & Orendorff Co. that I have in my workshop. The plywood stand is my own design and I have made several stools like this using other iron implement seats, often erroneously called "tractor seats". My choice of color is perhaps not the correct P & O hue, but it is a very stable and solid stool.

In this advertisement for the latest 1908 P&O Riding Cultivator, the seat is shown hanging precariously on the left side. The name Jewel Hammock implies a embellished level of precision and comfort that only a non-farm worker might believe. According to my dad who knew far more about farming than I ever will, on a full day in the field these seats are best experienced with a gunny sack of hay to pad the tailbone.

* * *

I very occasionally collect interesting non-musical photos and this one seemed appropriate for a story about farm implements. It shows a monstrous harvester machine being drawn through a wheat field by 33 horses, all carefully arranged according to color. The photo is actually a pair of images from a circa 1902 stereo view card produced by Underwood & Underwood Publishers of Arlington, NJ. The card has the must wonderful title:

(54)-6226 Evolution of the sickle and flail —
33 horse harvester
at Walla Walla, Washington

The back of the card has a very detailed summary  of the geography and 1902 agriculture of the mellifluously named Walla Walla, Washington, and includes this description of the multitasking machine in the photo:

A "combined harvester" like this here at work includes in one machine a header, thresher, separator, fanning-mill, and sacker; it will cut from 60 to 125 acres and thresh from 1700 to 3000 bushels in a day. Sometimes a traction engine is used in place of horse-power.

The stereo view card's title is repeated in 6 languages including, Swedish and Russian.

* * *

I do not think any book on physics could explain the term horsepower any better than this photo.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
click the link for more stories of farm machinery.


A Trio of Mules

20 March 2015

Red Mule

 Black Mule

White Mule

A Trio of Mules

Three mules and three army muleteers stand for the camera somewhere along a wide river in Europe, location unknown. The men are soldiers in the uniform of the American Expeditionary Force of 1918, but their names are unknown. The mules are standard issue but might easily be of Spanish, French, or American origin. They were secured by the Remount Service of the U.S. Quartermaster Corps which supplied the American troops with everything from food, equipment, uniforms, and even laundry service. Though the Great War is usually depicted as modern mechanized warfare with powerful battleships, submarines, airplanes, Zeppelins, and tanks, there were many aspects to the conflict that were no different than the warfare of ancient times. The common mule was still the favored pack animal to move military supplies to the battlefield.

The AEF commander, General John J. Pershing (1860-1948), rode a horse as a young cavalry officer in New Mexico and Montana, and as a general he undoubtedly recognized that mules were essential to efficient military supply. By the end of 1918, the Remount Service had purchased 135,914 horses and mules from the French, 21,259 from the British, and 18,462 from Spain to add to the 67,725 received from the United States which made a total of 243,360 livestock serving the American campaign.

Most of these draft animals were mules, the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). A mule is favored as being more patient and sure-footed than a horse, and more intelligent and faster than a donkey. But they also can carry more weight than a horse while subsisting on less fodder.  This excerpt on British Army mules comes from Gallipoli’s War Horses by Jill Mather (2014).

Mules required less food than horses. They were more tolerant of extreme heat and cold, and they could go for longer periods without water, critical in battle where clean water was so scarce.  Mules were proven to be more resistant to diseases and disease-bearing insects, very low maintenance and seldom needed shoes.  Less than half the mules died from infected bullet holes compared to the percentage of horses killed.  The first ship of animals departed (England) in November 1914, and in the four and a half years of war 287,533 mules and 175 jacks were purchased.

The three soldiers may have been part of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. a service that had just been established in 1916. When Pershing and the first US troops arrived in France in May 1917 they neglected to include any veterinary personnel. It soon became apparent that veterinary hospitals would be vital to caring for the many animals needed for the war effort. Once America joined the war, the army procurement office immediately put out orders for hundreds of escort wagons, combat wagons, drinking water wagons, dump wagons, buckboards, ration carts, and horse ambulances. All drawn by horses or mules. Transporting these animals overseas required specially outfitted ships with careful attention to food and water. Once in port they were put onto livestock rail cars that took them to resupply depots before they were assigned to the front lines. 

The typical American transport ship only held 500 to 800 animals. Considering that American forces were only effectively in the war for 6 months, the Remount Service moved an extraordinary number of animals with minimal casualties. But the allied powers of Britain, France, Italy, Russia, as well as the central powers of Germany, Austria/Hungary, and Turkey consumed hundreds of thousands of draft animals during the full course of the war. This map comes from a book entitled:  First World War Atlas by Martin Gilbert (published 1970) and shows where Britain secured horses and mules during the war.

Map of Allied Horses 1914-1918
Source: First World War Atlas by Martin Gilbert (1970)

By 1918 the British forces alone had 475,000 light draught (draft) horses and mules engaged in the war. Statistics of the Great War of course focus on human causalities, but just on the Western front, the British lost over 256,000 animals who died during the war. Mules carried packs of food and water, pulled wagons, and hauled munitions and weapons over terrain that the motorized trucks of 1914-18 were incapable of negotiating. More information on the wartime contribution of these wonderful animals can be found at

This next video comes from a newsreel made during the war and shows a line of British soldiers and pack mules crossing a very rocky slope. The location and date are unknown, but the un-level landscape is certainly not some field in Flanders and looks more like an Italian mountain range to me.

* * *

 * * *

Mules are still useful in mountainous terrain and the US Army added mules to a few units deployed in Afghanistan. But military muleteers may soon exchange traditional skills with pack animals for training with modern robotic technology. A company called Boston Dynamics is working on a new military vehicle that is a mechanical robot mule. This video shows a test in rugged California desert hills and in deep Boston snow of the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), a four-legged robot that can travel 20 miles on rough terrain while carrying 400 lbs of load.
 * * *

* * *

The company has also just released a lighter weight model called Spot, a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head to help it navigate and negotiate rough terrain.

At one point in this video, I guarantee you will go, "Aww! How can they mistreat it like that!"
Mules, whether natural or artificial, never get the respect they deserve.

* * *

* * *

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where images of more traditional horses can be found.

The Band of Metlakatla, Alaska

13 March 2015

In the 1900s the humble postcard served as that era's Social Media. For a few pennies a traveler could buy a few postcards from a newsagent, scrawl a quick message, drop it in a village postbox, and magically connect to friends and family thousands of miles away. If you were confined to days aboard a ship, you might purchase several postcards expecting to send them all at the next port of call, but as often happens on holiday trips, some cards are mislaid and never make it into the post. I think this postcard is one of those. A brass band poses on a dock. The caption reads:

A Portion of Metlakahtla Indian Band,
on wharf at Metlakahtla with
Rev. Wm. Duncan

This postcard was never mailed so there is no addressee or postmark, but the undivided back dates it to before 1907. On the front an anonymous traveler wrote a brief all purpose message. The kind one would repeat on multiple cards.

  I have been here Nothings but Indians live here Nice little place 

The 11 musicians all have brass instruments except for two clarinetists on the right. They do not wear uniforms but are dressed in proper town suits of the period. Each bandsman holds sheet music and there appear to be more part books scattered on the deck next to an open case. Behind them stands a man with a white beard.

William Duncan (1832 – 1918)
Source: Wikipedia
His name is William Duncan (1832 – 1918), an Anglican missionary from Yorkshire. As a young man he joined the Church Missionary Society, an English evangelical group esttablished to support Protestant missions around the world. In 1856, the CMS sent Duncan to the Pacific coast of British Columbia where he worked in the Tsimshian communities near Prince Rupert, B.C. With his first converts he founded a Christian community in Metlakatla, B.C.

Reverend Duncan was a product of the changes taking place between the so-called high church and low church theologies in the Anglican church. As a missionary living with aboriginal people, Duncan developed an independent style that increasingly put him at odds with CMS and Anglican doctrine leading to his expulsion from the society in 1881. Still committed to his followers in the Tsimshian tribe, he then remade his mission into a nondenominational "Independent Native Church."

In 1887 Duncan moved his small church community to Annette Island, Alaska, about 300 miles south of Juneau, AK on the territory of the Tongass tribe of Tlingit, bringing approximately 800 Tsimshians in a canoe voyage from "Old" Metlakatla, B.C. to "New" Metlakatla, Alaska.

* * *

From his first encounters with the Tsimshian people, Rev. Duncan recognized a musical ability in his congregants that he felt would respond to Western music. In 1871 he acquired enough instruments to create the first brass band of native people in British Columbia. He arranged for a former Prussian bandmaster to spend a couple of months teaching the native men and boys how to play music. This photograph of 8 Metlakatla musicians was taken in 1885, though eventually there would be 21 players in the band. This image and the ones that follow are all borrowed from Wikimedia and preserved in the U.S. National Archive.

{Click on images to enlarge them to full screen.}

Metlakahtla Brass Band, c1885
Source: Wikimedia

This excerpt, which I found on the website History of Brass Bands in British Columbia by Brian Stride, comes from The Devil and Mr. Duncan, A History of the Two Metlakatlas by Peter Murray and gives an account of how Rev. Duncan's brought music to Metlakatla, B.C.

"In Ireland Duncan bought a weaving machine which he learned to take apart and reassemble. Then he boarded a steamer for New York. He had to wait almost a week in San Francisco for a ship to Victoria, but made good use of his time by learning a new technique for dressing deer-skins, and visiting another spinning mill. He also took music lessons on a brass band set donated in England for the mission. A quick learner in both mechanics and music, he grasped enough about each instrument to teach the natives the basics."

"When they first saw the instruments the Indians thought they were magic. Their only music apart from drumming consisted of a "croaking noise," as Duncan described it, made by blowing into an animal bladder, as well as the sound made by blowing on blades of grass. Otherwise, the men chanted and the women clapped hands. "I took a cornet and played a tune they knew, God Save the Queen," Duncan recalled. "They were all amazed and looked at one another in surprise. I took the instruments down off the wall and gave one to each and told them to go out in the bushes and blow. It was bedlam." But the Indians had a flair for music and it was not long before they were playing enthusiastically and well. A music teacher was imported from Victoria for two months to give advanced training. A brass band was formed, the first on the coast. It became a trademark of Metlakatla. Duncan later acquired some old U.S. army uniforms from Alaska for the bandsmen to wear. They polished the brass buttons as brightly as their instruments."

* * *

The village of Metlakatla, Alaska is about 120 miles north of Prince Rupert, B.C. by the sea route, as there are no roads that connect this coastline of hundreds of islands.  In 1900 the population was only 465 residents, but the community resembled prosperous Pacific coastal towns of larger size. This may have been the result of the great 1896 Klondike Gold Rush.

Metlakatla, Alaska 1889
Source: Wikipedia

This next image shows 21 bandsmen posed on a street in the village. Their fancy uniforms may be the surplus military uniforms that Duncan got from Alaska, though like most manufactured things in the Pacific Northwest, they most likely were imported from San Francisco. Notice that on the left this brass band has a clarinet and piccolo, the woodwind exceptions typical to this era, that played the high treble parts of the brass band's music.

Metlakahtla Brass Band, c1885
Source: Wikimedia

The traditional band formation for outdoor performances was to have the musicians stand in a circle, facing inward toward the bandmaster. This undated photo shows the village during some kind of patriotic celebration, perhaps the Fourth of July to judge by the several American flags, with the band playing in a circle and townspeople looking on. In the background left is the church that Rev. Duncan built for his congregation.

Celebration in Metlakatla, Alaska c1899
Source: Wikimedia

Here the Tsimshian band is lined up in front of that same church. No date is given, but probably around 1900. The large windows, decorative exterior trim, and gas lamp suggest it was a cultivated community by this time.

Band in front of Church at Metlakatla, Alaska
Source: Wikimedia

This photo shows the band and congregation marching from the church with an Alaskan mountain range in the background. 

Band marching in front of Church at Metlakatla, Alaska
Source: Wikimedia

* * *

In the postcard, one musician on the far right looks directly into the camera. He cradles a small E-flat clarinet in his arm and the music part books are at his feet. When I was doing the research on Metlakatla, British Columbia, the Wikipedia entry had a list of its prominent people. One name was Benjamin A. Haldane, photographer with his own Wikipedia page which included his photograph.

Benjamin Haldane (18724 – 1941)
Source: Wikipedia
I feel certain it is the same man who looks at us from the band postcard. His full name was Benjamin Alfred Haldane (1874-1941). Born in Metlakatla, B.C., at age 13 he and his family went with Rev. Duncan on that long canoe trip to Alaska to establish Duncan's new Tsimshian community on Annette Island.

Despite a limited formal education, which Duncan restricted for the Tsimshian people under some notion of controlling them, B. A. Haldane found ways to learn new skills and became a successful merchant and grocer in Metlakatla. In the 1890s he became interested in cameras, and in 1899 opened his own photography studio which he operated until around 1910. His camera recorded the Tsimshian people and their life in Metlakatla during a time when their age-old Indian ways were evolving into modern 20th century customs. His photos might have been lost forever had they not been rescued from the trash dump in the 1990s. They are now considered a treasure of his Tsimshian people, and indeed of all the people of North America..    

Benjamin Haldane was also a talented musician who not only played in the Metlakatla band but became its leader too. In addition to the band, he performed as organist and choir master at the Metlakatla church.

Rev. William Duncan was a man with a vision who succeeded, arguably for better or worst, in changing a community in a very dramatic way. Today there are still troubling conflicts as Native people like the Tsimshian struggle between preserving their ancestral traditions and living with the complications of the 21st century. What I find interesting is how a simple postcard can contain not only the history of a place, a time, and a people too; but also tell the stories about two individuals who used music to change lives.

Calling Metlakatla a Nice little place, now seems a gross understatement.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone loves puppies.

Miss Oda Rudolph, Trombone Soloist

06 March 2015

It's her breath that gives this photograph life. A quick inhalation that takes only a split second, almost a kiss, before her lips begin to vibrate in the mouthpiece and send sound flowing through the trombone. Her head and torso tilt in anticipation of a conductor's downbeat, while her right wrist bends gracefully, ready for a quick action with the trombone's slide. A corsage adds texture to her white gown that sparkles with sequins. Her photograph is a special favorite in my collection.

Her name is Oda Rudolph and she played the trombone.  

The fine camera of Mr. Bigelow's Central Gallery of 4th and Edmond Sts., St. Joseph, Missouri caught this moment. He advertised in the 1898 St. Joseph city directory as being a Flash-Light Expert and General Photographer. The flash light was a new explosive device for photography that added stronger artificial lighting and allowed a photographer to extend their work hours into the evening in spite of losing daylight, which at that time was the only way to illuminate a camera studio. 

Source: St. Joseph Businesses in 1898

By coincidence the photographer's image of "Dollie's Wash Day" comes from the same year as when he took Oda Rudolph's picture. She signed the back of the cabinet card photo:

     For Anna –    
     Sincerely –    
   Oda Rudolph  
    Dec. 25 -98-    
    Massilon, O.    

Goshen IN Pioneer
October 8, 1896

Massillon, Ohio (as it is correctly spelt) is a good distance east of St. Joseph, MO but not far if you took the train. And Oda was very familiar with trains as she was a musician in a traveling orchestra called the Clara Schumann Ladies Orchestra. This musical ensemble of 16 young women was put together in Chicago around 1895. It was one of several all-women professional orchestras and bands that were formed in America in the 1890s. These ladies orchestras performed with the lighter sound of string instruments which necessitated playing indoor concerts mostly for society events. The more successful groups toured the country getting bookings at Chautauqua and YMCA lecture series that were popular family entertainments because they combined quality musical and wholesome novelty acts with educational and religious speakers. 

Their concert programs included familiar classical overtures, marches, and popular tunes that were very much like the music played by wind bands. Despite the exaggeration of advertisements promoting them as the biggest, largest, etc., these ladies orchestras never had the full instrumentation of a symphony orchestra. All their music was arranged for much smaller numbers and using alternate instruments than the composers intended.

Oda had been a trombonist with this group since at least 1896 and was a featured headliner on some of their advertisements. Anytime an orchestra concert was booked in a girl's hometown or state, she was sure to have her name mentioned in the local newspaper reports.

* * *

Ft Scott KS Daily Monitor
November 26, 1901

Many of these women musicians came from musical families where one or sometimes both parents were musicians, so very often the orchestras listed 2 or 3 sisters on the roster. For at least two seasons Oda toured with her sister, Sarah Rudolph, who played string bass.

Oda was a frequent soloist and received many "complimentary" reviews like this one from the music critic of the Toronto Daily Mail and Empire published on April 21, 1897:

Miss Oda Rudolph, trombone, Miss Florence E. Beckett, flute, and Miss Alice N. Mead, harp, in their respective solos, surprised the audience by their technical ability. Certainly, in the case of the trombone, it is a novelty to hear a lady play this instrument.  

Since nearly every musician was unmarried, proper young ladies of the 1890s did not travel about the country without a chaperone. The Clara Schumann Ladies Orchestra were led by a gentleman who served as music director and stage manager. The group's first conductor was Frank Irwin, followed by Charles E. Perry, and then in about 1897 Frank W. McKee took over the baton. In later years his wife played first violin in the orchestra.

In the 1898-99 winter season, several of the Clara Schumann musicians along with McKee joined the Boston Ladies Symphony Orchestra. This orchestra came from arguably the most important center of music in America. There were already several successful female ensembles from Boston that were performing in cities and towns across the nation and even in Canada. The name, Boston Ladies Symphony Orchestra, sounds very grand but there were only 20 musicians including the conductor with 10 strings, 3 woodwind, 3 brass, (one string bass doubled on tuba to make a brass quartet), a drummer, and a harpist.

* * *

Clay Center KS Times
November 7, 1901

The theater circuits followed the rail lines and much of middle America heard traveling groups from Boston or New York that arranged concert dates in between larger bookings in the major cities. The small town of Clay Center, Kansas, population ± 3,069 in 1900 and  located on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad line, hosted the Boston Ladies Symphony Orchestra in November 1901. The local paper printed a large advertisement with a photo of the orchestra. Oda is third from the right. There are also two photos of solo musicians not dissimilar to Oda's photograph from Mr. Bigelow of St. Joseph.

We can see the same image of the solo cornet player, Elizabeth Banks-Allen in a promotional flyer for the Boston Ladies Symphony Orchestra which was distributed to event planners through the Chautauqua booking agencies.  And just above her is another image of Oda Rudolph with her trombone and wearing what looks like the same dress, but this photographer stayed with a more conventional pose. Perhaps Mr. Bigelow's photo was considered too daring, too brassy shall we say, for conservative small town tastes.

I found Oda Rudolph's name on only one census, the 1900 U.S. Census for Milwaukee, WI. She was sharing rooms there with two other musicians: Zeta McDonough, the violinist whose picture was on the lower right in the ad for the Boston Ladies Orchestra; and Alice Cheatham, a cornet player who once played with the Clara Schumann Ladies Orchestra. All three listed their occupation as musician and had the same address at a rooming house on a side lane off of River St. in Milwaukee. The spelling is not correct for the other two, but Oda's is right. However her birth date is recorded as Mar 1878, age 22, but from other documentation I learned she was actually age 26 and born in 1874. That would make her the older of the three women.

From one end to the other, River Street, Milwaukee is less than a half mile walk along the east side of the Milwaukee river which parallels the Lake Michigan shoreline. Today it is the main district for the city's food and culture. The Marcus Center For The Performing Arts is a stone's throw from where Oda and her friends lived in 1900. But of course in 1900 it was a center for industry and business of a different kind than today's trendy restaurants and galleries. 

Below is the complete census page for the 1st precinct of the 7th ward of Milwaukee, Wisconsin enumerated by Cornelius L. Van Ess in fine neat handwriting on the eight day of June, 1900. Oda and her two girlfriends are marked in the center. You can read their place of birth and their occupation on the right. But there something odd about this census record that caught my attention.

Can you spot anything unusual about this neighborhood?

Click the image to enlarge

Mr. Van Ess had beautiful clear penmanship on all 27 pages for this precinct, and there was one word that gave him a lot of practice — Prostitute. It was the occupation of 17 women who resided near Oda's rooming house on River St. There were 21 prostitutes on the page before. And 23 more on the page after.

In my reading of hundreds of census records, I have never encountered this occupation Prostitute as entered here. It certainly is not in the official Occupations at the twelfth census, 1900, Volume 1 published by the United States Census Office. Was Mr. Van Ess making a joke or just being truthful? 

So I decided to count them. Since it was also odd that 5 men listed their occupation as Saloon keeper or Bartender, I counted them too. And musicians too, of course. Each page has 50 rows for each person's name and data. There are 27 pages for this precinct, the last with only 44 names, making a total population of 1344 people. Of that number, 291 women made a living as a prostitute (21.6%); 93 men were either a Saloon keeper, Barkeep, or Bartender (6.9%); and 29 people were musicians including 4 actors (2%).

That is not a demographic of a typical city.

When I asked the oracles of the internet about this, I discovered a webpage from the Wisconsin Historical Society with a very rare document, a Ledger kept by a Milwaukee house of prostitution from 1909 to 1910. The book gives the income and expenses on each woman who worked at this brothel. The address for this place was 502 River St. – line 55 on the census page above!

This is page 14 from the same precinct. To his credit Mr. Van Ess never resorted to using " ditto. There are 46 Prostitutes and 2 Saloon Keepers and 1 Bartender.  We should make no judgement about Oda, Zeta, and Alice, as they were only struggling young musicians. It was a rough neighborhood.

Click the image to enlarge

By 1901 Oda Rudolph was clearly an accomplished professional trombonist who had performed on hundreds of theater stages from Boston to Kansas City to San Francisco. By demonstrating her talent on a musical instrument that was considered a bit unseemly, even unfeminine, to the society of this era, she made it acceptable and even worthy of admiration for other younger women who chose to make it their musical voice too. That was no small thing for any trombone player to do.

Though I found a citation for her in an 1894 Grand Rapids city directory as a music teacher, I have unfortunately found little about her beyond 1903. There is a gravestone in a cemetery near Flint, MI that records Oda Rudolph, 1874-1927, but though I believe it is her, I can not be certain it is the same person.

This story of Oda Rudolph is just part of a much larger history project about women musicians in America that I plan to write over several posts in the next year. The phenomenal popularity of ladies bands and orchestras created a wave of enthusiasm for more female musicians. Many of these musicians played in several bands and orchestras. The cornet player Nettie Reiter who was in my recent story, Cornets and Apples, was also a soloist with the Boston Ladies Symphony Orchestra as well as Helen May Butler's Ladies Band. Tracking down the names of these musical ladies is not unlike following the career of ball players moving from team to team. 

The inscription on Oda's photograph read: For Anna. She turned out to be a musician with this traveling ensemble too. But Anna's story is for another time. Stay tuned.

I've used this video before, but I think it deserves to finish Oda's story.
Here is the Bavarian Polka played by trombonist Daniëlle Elsinghorst
with Herman Engelbertinck and his Egerländer Musikanten band.
When you hear Daniëlle's triple-tongue virtuosity
you are hearing Oda Rudolph too.

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This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone loves to dance the polka!


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