Reynolds Serial Numbers

July 2023 update

I've made two changes to the production estimates for the first decade of manufacturing, 1936-1946:

  • First, I've aligned the earliest military serial numbers with known contracts awarded to Reynolds during WWII (1943-). While it's possible that there were earlier contracts, this has resulted in a more conservative estimate of the number of Reynolds horns produced in the earliest years (when production of the Ohio Band student horns would been the focus).
  • I've also pushed out the date of the vertical monogram engraving pattern to 1946 (based on a personal note received about the timing of the redesigned logo). It's now likely that the engraving pattern change coincided with Foster Reynolds leaving the company in spring 1946 and Scherl & Roth taking over operations.

Finally, a Contempora trumpet has been documented with SN 179xx (1949), making it the new "earliest known" Contempora instrument. There's been a slight ripple in the years immediately before/after to align the production dates.

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.


Reynolds serial numbers are typically found in the following locations:

Piston valve instruments (trumpets, cornets, baritones, tuba, etc.)

The serial number is stamped on the 2nd-valve casing. Earlier instruments (pre-1965) are stamped horizontally; later instruments may be stamped vertically along the valve length.


The serial number is located on both the slide handpiece and the bell section, both near where the two pieces join together.

French horns (and other rotary valve instruments)

The serial number is located on the 2nd-valve casing, typically near the valve arm assembly.

In 1970, manufacturing was consolidated at F.E. Olds in Fullerton, Calif. after CMI sold the Abilene (Texas) plant to Conn. The F.E. Olds and F.A. Reynolds lines began to merge and instruments for both came off the same production lines. There are many examples of these later Reynolds instruments with F.E. Olds serial numbers, e.g. higher than 600000. There are number of Olds serial number charts available; see this one for example.

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The primary Reynolds serial number sequence dates from 1936-1979 and includes all Reynolds instruments with the following exceptions:

  1. Any instrument marked "Made by Ohio Band Instrument Co." (includes Regent, Roth, Paramount, etc.)
  2. 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.
  3. All Medalist instruments made between 1961 and 1964 (SNs below 200000).

For these exceptions, please see the "Ohio Band / Roth" serial number list.

Roth / Ohio Band

Instruments that were originally made by the Ohio Band Instrument Company used a different serial number sequence than those produced by F.A. Reynolds. This includes the instruments listed as the exceptions to the primary Reynolds list (left).

When RMC-Reynolds introduced the Medalist line in 1961, they either continued using this secondary serial number sequence, adding another 50,000 horns before the company bankrupted and was sold in 1964, or used a new sequence from EK Blessing, who made many of the instruments. There is some crossover in the serial numbers of late Roth models and early Medalist production, presumably as Reynolds used up existing inventory of Roth production.

Serial No.DateNotes
11936Production estimated at 3750 instruments/year for 1936-52.
225001942SN 22466 first recorded Roth instrument (cornet).
450001948Roth “Tone Tempered” produced with nickel-silver bell flare; SNs 45xxx-53xxx.

SN 54155 last recorded "Regent" model horn (with exception of silver clarinet, which was produced well into the 1950s)

SN 55696 last recorded "Roth" horn made by Ohio Band

Roth SNs 55xxx-60xxx are branded “Made by F.A. Reynolds”.

600001952Begin use of "Roth-Reynolds" name. Please note that this serial number sequence applies to the Roth *model line* and NOT to other instruments marked Roth-Reynolds that were made between 1952-1961. See the primary Reynolds serial number table for other Roth-Reynolds instruments.
800001959SN 79xxx trumpet corresponds to 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalog illustration, not 1958 catalog.
900001960SN 89695 with October 1959 warranty card. SN 98xxx last known "Roth" brand horn.
950001961Medalist instruments were manufactured for RMC/Reynolds by EK Blessing (Elkhart, IN). Early Medalist SNs range from 96897-137359. Medalist serial numbers were reset at 200000 and sequenced with the rest of Reynolds' instruments after the manufacturing moves to Abilene and Fullerton in 1964.

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 are not related or associated in any way to the former or current F.A. Reynolds Company.

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