Please note: Except for a fragment of late production data from 1964-1979 that was preserved in the Allied Band Supply catalog, I am not aware of any surviving official records for serial numbers of Reynolds band instruments. Due to the lack of these records, identifying an exact manufacture date for any given serial number is inherently inaccurate.
The serial numbers and estimated dates presented below are based on the visual observation of engraving patterns and design and trim details on hundreds of instruments that I've cross-referenced against catalog illustrations and descriptions and historical company information. While an exact date may never be able to be accurately verified for any given serial number, I believe that the general progression of these lists is defensible and represents Reynolds instruments through the company’s history.
This primary Reynolds serial number sequence dates from 1936-1979 and includes all Reynolds instruments with the following exceptions:
- Any instrument marked "Made by Ohio Band Instrument Co." (includes Regent, Roth, Paramount, etc.)
- All Roth model instruments (including those marked "made by F.A. Reynolds" or "made by Roth-Reynolds"). All other model instruments marked "made by Roth-Reynolds" are included in the primary serial number table.
- All Medalist instruments made between 1961 and 1964 (SNs below 200000).
For these exceptions, please see the "Ohio Band / Roth" serial number list.
|Serial No.||Est. Date||Notes|
|1||1936||F.A. Reynolds Co. begins factory operations in mid-1936.|
|4000||1941||Many instruments with SNs 4xxx-21xxx have the "U.S." military-contract bell engraving and/or are a documented wartime purchase.|
|8000||1945||Reynolds engraving pattern on trumpets, cornets and trombones begin to change to vertical "monogram" style; date of design change confirmed as shortly after WW2 ended. Earliest examples documented are SN 8393 (trumpet), SN 8500 (cornet), SN 9582 (trombone).|
|9000||1946||F.A. Reynolds Co. becomes a division of Scherl & Roth in spring 1946. Production now estimated at 3000 instruments/year, as post-war focus shifts from Ohio Band to Roth and Reynolds.|
The Contempora brand was introduced in May 1949 according to U.S. trademark applications—the earliest documented Contempora instruments are SN 19054 (tuba), SN 21025 (trumpet), SN 24063 (cornet).
Two physical design changes happened around the time of the Contempora introduction: (1) redesign of trumpet/cornet valve buttons and bottom caps; and (2) redesign of brace ferrules on the trombone lines.
|30000||1953||Instruments start to be marked as "Made by Roth-Reynolds" instead of "Made by F.A. Reynolds".|
|37000||1955||Reynolds "Hi-Fi" cornet introduced c.1955 (39243 lowest serial number recorded).|
|40000||1956||Contempora trumpet SN 41902 purchased June 1956.|
|45000||1957||Allen Ostrander acquired "Philharmonic" Contempora bass trombone SN 45190 in early 1957; received one of three prototype "Stereophonic" Contempora bass trombones, SN 49479, in late 1957.|
|50000||1958||Chambers Model horn delivered Fall 1958; 52xxx lowest serial number recorded.|
|55000||1959||Argenta brand introduced 1959; 545xx lowest serial number recorded. "Hi-Fi" trumpet and trombone introduced.|
|60000||1961||Most instruments between SN 60000-79000 bear the RMC shield, corresponding to the 1961-1964 period that Richards Music owned Reynolds.|
|80000||1964||Serial numbers after 79000 may have been made in Abilene or Fullerton with Cleveland-made parts.|
|85000||1964||SN 85459 last known Reynolds serial number before sequence was reset to 200000.|
Abilene, Texas; Fullerton, Calif. (1964-1979)
The serial numbers and dates list below are reproduced from production data published in an Allied Band Supply catalog. This is the only known surviving serial number data from Reynolds.
|200000||Nov. 1964||Serial numbers for Reynolds instruments were reset in 1964 after the company moved operations from Cleveland to Abilene, Texas and Fullerton, Calif. The new sequence started with 200,000 and was used for all instruments until 1977.|
|250000||Nov. 1969||In 1970, all Reynolds instruments are produced in Fullerton and are marked with "Made in USA". Instruments with very high serial numbers (600,000+) likely have Olds serial numbers and are not accounted for in this table.|
|310000||Aug. 1976||SN 314587 (Oct. 1977)|
|A00001||Oct. 1977||In October 1977, Reynolds and Olds used a joint serial number sequence that started with the letter "A". Fewer than 50,000 instruments were made before the company ceased operations in July 1979.|
|A05000||Dec. 1977||A05266 (Dec. 1977); A06741 (Jan. 1978)|
|A10000||Early 1978||A10066 (Jan); A12537 (Feb); A16496 (Apr); A18163 (May).|
|A20000||Mid 1978||A20876 (Jun); A24470 (Jul); A24706 (Aug); A28375 (Sep).|
|A30000||Late 1978||A31565 (Oct); A34616 (Nov); A37470 (Dec)|
|A40000||Early 1979||A40550 (Jan); Production ceased July 1979.|
The purpose of this website is to preserve the history of the F. A. Reynolds Company and the distinctive qualities of its brass instruments. Contempora Corner and contemporacorner.com are not related or associated in any way to the former or current F.A. Reynolds Company.