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Thread: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

  1. #1

    Default Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Those were the days of certain innocence, when the carnage of WWI was still years in the future, and bowl back mandolins were selling briskly in the States by the flourishing Lyon and Healy Co.
    (The third L&H ad is obviously not about mandolins, but I think it is worth posting as the anguished expression of Beethoven's bust adds old time hilarity to the drawing.)

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    Last edited by Peter K; Dec-12-2019 at 5:54am.

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Here's a few I have in my files. I assume you only want Lyon & Healy ads?
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    Jim

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    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Lyon & Healy was huge! Our mandolin history is important to know. It’s not all about last week, or last year!
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  7. #4

    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    In the manufacture of their carved top/bottom style A,B,C mandolins, L&H must have adopted some violin making methods such as plate graduation and tuning. However, in their advertising they do get carried away in their relationship with violin lutherie by making an amusing claim their Washburn mandolins have the "Cremona tone". Hey, if that helped them sell more of their mandolins, what the heck.
    Cremona-like or not, according to a pretty much universal consensus, those A,B,C mandolins have a superior tone, not to mention a peerless styling as well as craftsmanship.

  8. #5

    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Epilogue: In 1928 Tonk Bros Co. bought the L&H mandolin line, including the Washburn brand. This is how they marketed the top L&H mandolin known to us today as Style A. The "Washburn" model name was retained, but sadly, "L&H" is gone from the mandolin model name. However, not long after that, the Tonk Bros Co. succumbed to the Great Depression, and that probably meant the end of the venerable L&H carved plate mandolin production. Sic transit gloria mundi.
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    Last edited by Peter K; Dec-14-2019 at 6:22am.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    However, in their advertising they do get carried away in their relationship with violin lutherie by making an amusing claim their Washburn mandolins have the "Cremona tone". Hey, if that helped them sell more of their mandolins, what the heck.
    Hey, Gibson was no slouch when it came to effusive language. In fact they called their finish for the F-5 Cremona brown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    Epilogue: In 1928 Tonk Bros Co. bought the L&H mandolin line, including the Washburn brand. This is how they marketed the top L&H mandolin known to us today as Style A. The "Washburn" model name was retained, but sadly, "L&H" is gone from the mandolin model name. However, not long after that, the Tonk Bros Co. succumbed to the Great Depression, and that probably meant the end of the venerable L&H carved plate mandolin production. Sic transit gloria mundi.
    On the other hand the Lyon & Healy Company to this day still manufactures quality harps.
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  11. #7
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    Epilogue: In 1928 Tonk Bros Co. bought the L&H mandolin line, including the Washburn brand. (...) The "Washburn" model name was retained, but sadly, "L&H" is gone from the mandolin model name.Click image for larger version. 

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    At least „Lyon & Healy“ remained on the tail piece.

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Hey, Gibson was no slouch when it came to effusive language. In fact they called their finish for the F-5 Cremona brown.
    True, but for my money those old Gibsons are best looking when left in natural finish. Gibson's white, Sheraton brown, Cremona brown, red etc. dyed mandolins do not quite agree with my peasant sense of aesthetics. Sunbursting of any type makes it only worse.....again, that's just silly old me.

  14. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    I actually like the sunbursts that Gibson used on their F-5s and actually used that same finish on some 1921 F-4s. A friend of mine has one and I like how it looks compared the the usual reddish F-4. I think even the pumpkin top Gibsons were stained and not completely natural finish.

    As far as using Lyon & Healy for their mandolins, before the use of the company name on their carved models Lyon & Healy was used for some lower end models. I am not really sure why.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    I have this receipt for 1923 for a L&H A:

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  17. #11

    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I have this receipt for 1923 for a L&H A:
    For $108 US paid for that mandolin in 1923, the inflation calculator gives me around $1,600 US in 2019 $.
    If we assume a working class American in the manufacturing industry was making perhaps $24/week in 1923, then buying such mandolin at $108 would have been a major expense for them.
    One could also say that in the case of L&H mandolin Style A, the real asset appreciation since 1923 has outrun the inflation rate probably by 100% or so.
    Last edited by Peter K; Dec-15-2019 at 3:13am.

  18. #12
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    f we assume a working class American in the manufacturing industry was making perhaps $24/week in 1923, then buying such mandolin at $108 would have been a major expense for them.
    This is a really interesting dynamic, Of course these were pricey for their time, and it would appear they were aimed more toward the upscale or aspiring customer, probably playing parlor music. Same could be said for the Gibsons of the day. Today we often assume these instruments were associated with the traditional music styles we use them for today, but I suspect that came later.
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  20. #13
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    The closest Gibson mandolins get to a "natural" finish is the A2Z and occasional blond F4 or A4.
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  22. #14
    Registered User Craig the Mad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon and Healy 1890s Advertisments

    Slightly off-topic, maybe, but how would you describe the differences in sound or feel between vintage L&H and Gibson mandos? I've only played Gibsons (and an old Martin that sounded nice, if kind of tinny, but wasn't in the best of condition).
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