|Brilhart mouthpieces with serial numbers|
|Text updated 18. April 2017|
Brilhart put serial numbers on his mouthpieces from the start in 1939, alledgedly to make it possible for a customer to get an exact replica of his mouthpiece should it be lost. In reality, I think, it made it possible to follow the popularity of the individual models, as witnessed by the use of parallel lines of serial numbers in the New York (Large Font/AT) period. For examples, see page 9 (Doubles) of the spread sheets.
With my present data, it seems that there were individual serial number lines for Hard Rubber, Ebolin, Tonalin, Tonalite, and within these, for tenor and alto. I am in doubt about clarinet, baritone and bass clarinet. For the time being, it looks like the clarinet pieces shared serial number lines with tenor pieces.
By 1946 the company had moved to Mineola, N.Y. where they were until 1951. The mouthpieces that have the "Large/AT" font, but no Great Neck, N.Y. stamp on the shank, were likely made in this period.
In 1951 the company had moved to Huntington, N.Y. and here, in January, Brilhart started production of the Personalines, changed the font for the serial numbers from "Large/AT" to "Small/Arial" and at the same time started all over with the serials. At this time the "ligature line", which shows the proper placement of the ligature, disappeared. (Thanks to Toshio Yashiro, Tokyo for bringing this to my attention). The separate serial number lines were abandonded.
(The font used in Great Neck and Mineola resembles the American Typewriter font which is why I dubbed this AT. The numerals look like this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0. The font I call Arial and Theo Wanne calls Small Font resembles Arial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 (or Courier 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ) (See "How Old is my Brilhart")
In 1954 the company moved to Carlsbad, California, and continued the "Small / Arial" serial numbers. On the boxes, the serial number now is written in hand, while it was printed while they were in New York, including Huntington. Thus, the change from printed to handwritten comes after the change to "Small / arial" font.
From November 1966, after Selmer took over the company, the serial number system was simply the date of production, e.g. 16 April 1967 was 041667. By end of July, 1967 (My latest observed serial is 073167) they ceased to use serial numbers except for the Level-Air metal mouthpieces.
Because of this complicated serial number system, I have decided to place the data in different ways on separate spreadsheets, in the hope that a pattern may make itself appear. Anybody out there is welcome to download the data and use it as they want.
Below is an explanation of each page on the spreadsheets.
|Download spreadsheets here
For questions or comments,
send an email to:
(Substitute @ for AT)
How old is my Brilhart ?
||Raw data collected
from ebay and other sources, arranged chronologically
||Before 1951, the serial numbers were printed with the font AT (Called "Large Font" at Theo Wanne's site). After 1951, the font was Arial ("Small font" at Theo Wannes site). AT came in larger or smaller version.||On the earliest "Designed by..." mouthpieces, and only on Hard Rubber pieces, the font resembled Arial. I call this "Arial-like"/ arial|
||Data arranged by
increasing serial number. This makes it possible to find doubles (Collected on page 9)
||On top of this page, I have listed the various year-related happenings in the history of Brilhart.
||Data on clarinet, bass
clarinet and baritone mouthpieces. Subarranged by model
||Data on tenor
mouthpieces arranged by model
||Data on alto
mouthpieces arranged by model
on tip openings. Now available for download as a separate xlsx spreadsheet here
||The intended tip openings are marked, based on a table published around 1980 by Arnold Brilhart in connection with the introduction of the ARB mouthpiece line.|
||Sax by Model
||Sax data arranged by
model: England / Marked Great Neck / Personaline (including clarinet) /
Special / Streamline / The rest.
||Clari by serial
||Clarinet data arranged
by serial number (except the Personalines)
||Lists the sets of two
mouthpieces with the same serial number.