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William Hall & Son 10-Keyed Flute

William Hall & Son 10-Keyed Flute

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Description (Brief)

This flute was made by William Hall & Son in New York, New York around 1848 to 1857. It is a 10-keyed flute made of rosewood with silver ferrules and keys. This flute is stamped:

WILLIAM HALL & SON
239 BROADWAY
NEW-YORK
8311

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
flute
Date made
1848-1857
maker
William Hall & Son
place made
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
rosewood (overall material)
silver (overall material)
Measurements
foot joint: 17 1/8 in x 1 1/2 in; 43.4975 cm x 3.81 cm
head joint: 9 9/16 in x 1 1/8 in; 24.28875 cm x 2.8575 cm
screw driver: 3 7/8 in x 1/2 in; 9.8425 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
MI.387979
accession number
191245
catalog number
387979
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Deparment of the Interior
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Flutes
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Comments

This flute is patterned after the 1846 design by Abel Siccama. The addition of a key for the third finger of each hand enabled the tone holes to be more accurately placed while providing a comfortable reach for the fingers. This design may have become the standard if Theobald Boehm had not patented his design the following year. Whereas Siccama sought to retain the fundamental design of the flutes of his time, Boehm chose to start from scratch and thus came up with the flute design that has endured to this day. Still, Siccama's design was a big leap forward and was owned and cherished by Robert Pratten, whose own design is avidly sought by players of traditional Irish music.

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