Important A. Zildjian Article - "King of Cymbals" - Mechanix Illustrated, Aug. 1954

Franklin Nigel Stein

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Give it a read. Really interesting stuff. I took quick pics with my phone instead of scanning it, sorry about that.

Some things of note stated in the article:

1. Cymbal theft in 1934ish caused Zildjian to install multiple cymbal vaults like the pictured example on the first page, which gave them a safe place to store a large number of cymbals.
2. Cymbals were (as of 1954 anyway) cured from 1-15 years before sale.
3. As of 1954, Zildjian was selling about 20,000 cymbal a year.
4. About 10% of cymbals cracked during forming.

Well written and the author seems to have used primary sources for the article.

edit - I limited the resolution for upload but I could increase it if needed
 

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Franklin Nigel Stein

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On the 1-15 year curing statement in the article, I would guess that this really just refers to the sales limitations of the Great Depression followed by WWII. I doubt Zildjian WANTED to cure them that long, it just sounds better to say that instead of "we couldn't sell them at the time".
 

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(members of the now defunct Cymbalholic.com read and were made aware of the article 12 years ago) Carry on.
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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(members of the now defunct Cymbalholic.com read and were made aware of the article 12 years ago) Carry on.

Doesn't surprise me. Though that leads to this question: How is it that I've been informed for nearly a decade, by various "experts" on dating A. Zildjians who were apparently aware of this and other data that I was wrong on theories validated by this and my other posted journal article? (I've also seen those same theories posited by others on various websites, only to be equally derided)

That ain't a good look.
 
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squidart

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I don't think any "experts" are saying your theories are dead wrong. They are just that, theories, and the folks who've been gathering info for years all admit that their research is far from definitive. When stated as unequivocal fact and proclamations are made as such that's when it gets dicey.
 

Cliff DeArment

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Dating a stamp or dating a cymbal are two very different things.

"I doubt Zildjian WANTED to cure them that long". How long does it take to raise the pitch? That's part of what curing really means in Avedis world at that time. As long as it takes. 15 years is obviously very long. Avedis had more often say up to 7 years. These days companies finish a cymbal and send it out. Zildjian doesn't make a new K Constantinople and put it in a vault anymore. They make it and sell it.

I hired a bronze maker to create a special set of instruments. It was in tune when I got it. Over time it went out of tune (high, as expected). I re-tuned it 3 years later, which I usually do if something was newly made. After that time it was stable and haven't had to tune it again. (I don't do that on a cymbal, as I can't lathe in that way. I do it by hand with a special chisel.) It's also common to check it after 10 years. If you want a cymbal in tune, that's the deal. Wait.

PS... I'm dyslexic, and sometimes I'll say high when I mean low, etc., and even become confused on all kinds of words, so be easy if I say something wrong. Anyway... From the set of instruments, there are 15 bronze bars per instrument. When I started tuning them, a few were still in tune right where they should be. Some were close and others way out. Every bar was made the same day. That shows how some could be ready to sell, just as a cymbal, and others wouldn't be ready. Bronze is bronze and they do what they do. It's complicated, but you get the idea. I've tuned bronze for more than 35 years with 3 different teachers. I'm hired by Universities and studio guys in LA. The latest was for Richard Gibbs (from Oingo Boingo, Woodshed Recording). This is why I started thinking of pitch with an Avedis cymbal. Most are in tune until the 60's, so why? How? Why sit in a vault that long? That's why.
 
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Franklin Nigel Stein

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I don't think any "experts" are saying your theories are dead wrong. They are just that, theories, and the folks who've been gathering info for years all admit that their research is far from definitive. When stated as unequivocal fact and proclamations are made as such that's when it gets dicey.
You’re completely correct. The problem is that after learning that the two articles I referenced, I went back over a LARGE number of queries about cymbal stamps and age (Trans stamps specifically) on websites I long haunted.

When addressing questions of age and marking, I couldn’t find one single time when people who were aware of this information said something to the effect that, “while we’re pretty certain the stamps were embossed in 1953 (or whenever) but there’s substantial evidence that some significant number of Trans stamped cymbals were actually produced up to 15 years prior”.

Nada. Not one single time. And that is a big problem. It’s misleading and its really just a “Lie of Omission”. That information instantly changes the discussion and should have been freely included in discussions on sites other than Cymbolholics.

edit - it was the same regardless of the question being about stamp or year of manufacture. (Vintagedrumforum et al)
 

Cliff DeArment

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Was never a problem for me. I'd ask, usually Zenstat. Find all of Zenstat's writings and you'll see.

The idea of 15 years is highly overrated (or even a typo?). We're talking about a cymbal made in 1935 stamped in 1950. Find a pre-war bell that can pass muster with a post-war stamp. As far as I can tell, after years of working on them, there isn't one.

Misleading what??? Ask and you shall receive. Show us a cymbal and we'll try to find out what you've got. That's how it works.

Complaining BAD
Learning GOOD
 
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that reply hits many if not all the peculiar to 'A' points and i second them
 
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Franklin Nigel Stein

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Was never a problem for me. I'd ask, usually Zenstat. Find all of Zenstat's writings and you'll see.

The idea of 15 years is highly overrated (or even a typo?). We're talking about a cymbal made in 1935 stamped in 1950. Find a pre-war bell that can pass muster with a post-war stamp. As far as I can tell, after years of working on them, there isn't one.

Misleading what??? Ask and you shall receive. Show us a cymbal and we'll try to find out what you've got. That's how it works.

Complaining BAD
Learning GOOD

Actually, as the article was printed in 1954, that would be a 1939 cymbal. I personally own two cymbals, one with a pre-war stamp and one with a trans stamp. Other than the hammering (one is a 15, the other a 16) they're nearly twins.

As for your last comment, when you leave important research details out of the conversation, it calls into question ALL of your research. Familiar with research from Tobacco companies? Lots of top flight scientists with tons of degrees. Even though a significant amount of their research was and is excellent, nobody outside of their industry pays them any attention anymore because of what they left out.
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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To my eyes, it's a FAR better discussion to compare how a large number of trans stamps look positively old next to Zildjians from the mid 1950s. I would say it's about half of them. THAT is what really tells the tale.

And as for your opinion, I'm fine with that. What I strongly object to is that some person or persons didn't think that I needed the information they withhold. That would get ANY researcher fired in an academic setting.

edit - and a misprint?!? Really? It seems a virtual certainty that the author met with and interviewed 1st generation Zildjians. There is NO research on cymbals in decades that can even come close to that. It fits in perfectly with what companies were dealing with during both the Depression and WWII. The first new design car didn't even hit the market until 1949 (Ford). That was the situation for the pretty much the whole world, the same one that Avedis was stuck in.

That really sounds to me like, "I reject your reality and substitute it with one of my own."
 

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Cliff DeArment

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I could research the differences between the two bells, but we already have a magazine from Mechanix Illustrated! :)
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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I could research the differences between the two bells, but we already have a magazine from Mechanix Illustrated! :)
Nah, that’s ok. I’m good with solid research methods over observation and opinion any day.

Now, if you were to get a soothsayer who used a ouija board to contact Avedis while holding tarot cards in one hand and Dungeons and Dragons dice in the other, well then, THEN you’d have something!

I mean, how can you argue with someone who says sooth?
 

Cliff DeArment

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What researcher would this be? H.W. Kellick? You?

So, having 100 cymbals in your hand doesn't count? I truly have exactly 100 Avedis Cymbals from 30's 40's 50's and 60's. (I checked yesterday to make sure and it's 100.) Working on them for 8 years, almost only on bell types and traits, is maybe useless. What about seeing many other pictures to compare? Nah... Frank, tell us about your solid bell research methods. I'm waiting.

Maybe find Mechnix Illustrated, May 1954, by H.W. Kellick - "Electronic-Music Maestro". He's a solid researcher on that, too. :rolleyes:
What about "TV House of Magic", 1953? How about "He Makes Mink Telephones"? "Candles Lighted Their Way to Fortune"? "Eggs Laid While U Wait"? "Spudnuts"? "They Lassoed a Fortune"? "How You Help Draw Comic Strips"? "He Found a Fortune in an Ice Cream Cone"? It gets better and better LOL! Thanks, Kellick! Now we know! :)
 
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Franklin Nigel Stein

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What researcher would this be? H.W. Kellick? You?

So, having 100 cymbals in your hand doesn't count? I truly have exactly 100 Avedis Cymbals from 30's 40's 50's and 60's. (I checked yesterday to make sure and it's 100.) Working on them for 8 years, almost only on bell types and traits, is maybe useless. What about seeing many other pictures to compare? Nah... Frank, tell us about your solid bell research methods. I'm waiting.

(Maybe find Mechnix Illustrated, May 1954, by H.W. Kellick - Electronic-Music Maestro. He's a solid researcher on that, too. :rolleyes: )
Clearly the author of that article could only have come by the photos and information contained therein from one single source, Avedis Zildjian. That's what makes your assumptions wrong, not the magazine's name.

I'm sorry that its a train wreck for the prevailing Cymbalholic theories about early A. Zildjians but that's the reality of the thing. And now I know why I read the various theories that were out there and thought to myself, "that just doesn't make sense".

edit - and I should add, not a bit of that article doesn't fit perfectly with what was going on in American business in the 1930s and 1940s. . . right down to the pride of first generation immigrants who were at the forefront of the "Make Do" message of sacrifice started during the Depression and popularized during WWII.

But, that's another story for a different website.
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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And if there's an interest out there, it's a pretty safe bet that the smaller Trans Stamp cymbals are the most likely to have been made in 1938-42, while the larger ones not common in the 30s were the main production focus after WWII.
 

Cliff DeArment

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And if there's an interest out there, it's a pretty safe bet that the smaller Trans Stamp cymbals are the most likely to have been made in 1938-42, while the larger ones not common in the 30s were the main production focus after WWII.
I wasn't part of Cymbalholic or VDF. Just here on DFO to share.
What happened about that 15 years?
 

Cliff DeArment

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Just had another look at my smaller Trans'. Not one single Trans shows a pre-war bell. Just sayin...
 


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