October 24, 2007 at 12:44 am #70124
Does anybody know the reason why some early L&H harps were labeled “Washburn by Lyon & Healy”? (Washburn was George Lyon’s middle name.) The ones I’ve seen have straight soundboards and are not highly carved. I had read that the Washburn guitars made by Lyon Healy were their higher grade instruments, and another sorce stated that the Washburn guitars were sold from catalogs, such as Sears. Roslyn Rensch’s book “The Harp” doesn’t mention Washburn harps at all.
Thanks.October 24, 2007 at 1:15 am #70125
I’m sure Sam Milligan will have a lot more to say about this, but the short answer is that Lyon & Healy wanted to offer a harp that could be sold in music stores, or possibly through catalogues like Sears or Montgomery ward(not sure about that) but they wanted to reserve the Lyon & Healy name for themselves. So they came up with the name Washburn and in small print it says ‘made by Lyon & Healy.’
I’ve only seen them in the straight soundboard version. They might have been style 16’s or 19’s. Sam will clear that up.October 26, 2007 at 3:21 am #70126
Thanks, Carl. Hope Sam sees this.October 26, 2007 at 7:01 pm #70127joan-steinbergParticipant
My first pedal harp was a Washburn.October 27, 2007 at 4:59 am #70128AnonymousInactive
The Washburn harps were Lyon & Healy’s “second line.”October 27, 2007 at 11:41 am #70129
I told you he’d have more to say! Thanks Sam.October 29, 2007 at 6:44 am #70130
Yes, thanks Sam for sharing your knowledge on the Washburns and adding in the Clarks and Fishers too.October 2, 2010 at 12:27 am #70131unknown-userParticipant
This isMarch 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm #70132Shannon Heather OBrien WallParticipant
Sam, you are truly a wealth of information! I am in the process of acquiring a Lyon and Healy Washburn style G. It needs a lot of work. I won’t know how much until I get it. Do you have any idea how much a fully restored one would be?March 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm #70133Sherj DeSantisParticipant
Sam, what great information! I wish I could see one. I know it’s challenging to post pictures to this column, but I wonder where there are high quality pictures?
Linda Kaiser’s book has been out quite awhile now, and it is wonderful to read. It’s called “Pulling Strings,March 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm #70134Saul Davis ZlatkovskiParticipant
Has anyone found a trace of the music Salzedo said he wrote for the Clark Irish Harp, including Bi-Tonal Jig? Perhaps he never did them, but they are not in his archives and were not published. I wonder if Melville Clark had the only copies.March 15, 2012 at 1:02 am #70135catherine-rogersParticipant
Shannon, any thoughts on who you would like to restore the harp?March 15, 2012 at 2:26 am #70136Shannon Heather OBrien WallParticipant
Thinking about Howard Bryan out of Lynchburg, Virginia.March 15, 2012 at 11:32 am #70137
Shannon- If you can email me several pictures of your Washburn when you get it I can give you a better idea of just what it needs. I’ve rebuilt many Washburns over my career.March 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm #70138catherine-rogersParticipant
Either Howard or Carl would do an excellent job. You can’t go wrong with one of them. Although I love Lyon & Healy harps, I wouldn’t send your particular harp to them only because they have a tendency to try to rebuild the really old harps with new parts which are not appropriate. They will switch out your disc hardware such as the adjustable nuts for newer ones. They did that to my teacher and she called them on it; made them return her original adjustable nuts (they were tapered); there was nothing wrong with the original parts. It was just their policy to do that. Also modern style soundboards are not right for antique harps. Carl and Howard know what is best for vintage instruments and preserve the harps’ structural integrity as far as possible. You can trust them.
However, Lyon & Healy do fine repair work for “modern” harps. They have done great repairs for my harps, but mine were built in the 60’s and 70’s.
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