S. Nathaniel Adams

Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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About On my website, I focus on obscure instrument builders, unique facts, and clearing up rumors using historical data and research. There ...

About

On my website, I focus on obscure instrument builders, unique facts, and clearing up rumors using historical data and research. There are no ads on this website, no affiliate links, and the only money that is exchanged is the $12 a year I pay for the domain name. 

I have a number of sources that I regularly go to from Ancestry.com to online archives of the Music Trade Review to Newspapers.com to public domain items on Google Books. Every time I use an image or reference a fact, I cite sources in no particularly fancy format so that they can be easily followed to prove what I am saying. 

I do this for the love of the history and to help people with identifying instruments and eras of manufacture and have received hundreds of emails asking for additional help or thanking me which I respond to when I have time

However, on February 10th, 2024 I received an email from Steve Brown from the website www.VintAxe.com
Nat. Take down the catalog scans you stole from VintAxe.com or I will contact your internet service provider and they will take down your website until you remove the unauthorized content. 

I replied asking for clarification and he replied:

... You are not the first person to steal and post images from me, I know how to handle the situation. Do yourself a favor and do the right thing. You know you are wrong, admit that and take down my catalogs.

I apologized and began removing any images that originated from his website. He then replied including an email with Michael Wright who is a collaborator at Vintage Guitar Magazine and has written a book which has compiled most of the Kay guitar knowledge. 

Thanks Michael. I will give him once more chance to remove the unauthorized content. If he refuses, I will contact his hosting site (Google LLC) and file a claim for a Digitial Millennium Copyright Act violation. For me, here is the violation:

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal for someone to remove your watermark. If you can prove that someone removed or altered the watermark used in your image in an unauthorized manner, you may be able to recover fines up to $25,000 plus attorneys fees for the infringement.

 For you, the violation is a copyright infringement. With your permission, I will include you on the complaint as a copyright violation

I respect the work of Michael Wright and own one of his books and to hear that he would consider legal action against me really brought me down. Mr Brown was roping another person in and, it sounded like, trying to build a case that could wreck my life with legal fees. I certainly don't have $25,000 to pay for even one violation.

I wrote a cordial reply explaining I did not scan Michael Wright's book but screenshotted 3 lines from a PDF that is on the Kay Vintage Reissue guitar website showing a guitar model and the year it was manufactured. They have scans from Wright's book that are provided freely and with the wording 'courtesy of Michael Wright'. I had taken a snip of a small section of text and put that in my website with a citation to Wright's book and page.

I recognize now that I could've just used the text and that was a misstep on my part. I believed it had fallen under fair use but have since removed the offending image.

The Kay Vintage Reissue web page also has multiple catalogs that are scanned in full and are an excellent resource ,which I pointed out. Of course, Steve claims that they were stolen from him as well:
Yeah, vintage reissue stole the pages. The guy also stole from me claiming he bought the brand name and therefore he owned everything Kay. At the time, I didn't fight him on it, but all the images on his site are mine.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The gist of this act is that it protects copyrighted works from digital reproduction with exceptions carved out for libraries, educational institutions, and reasons that fall under Fair Use. Copyright protects those who create against those who only copy

The folks at VintAxe firmly believe that the scans that they sell on their website are copyrighted since their watermark is on the page. From his email, it sounds like I am not the first person he has threatened and I can only image what money he might've been able to wring out of people who would rather it be over and done with. But as this website attests to, I love asking questions and diving down 'rabbit holes' of information until I can figure something out.

The layman's understanding of copyright

There is a TON of information out there about copyright and most of it doesn't apply here, but its important to know how it works for this situation. Any written work published before 1929 (95 years since 2024) is public domain. Anything published before 1978 but after those 1929 is protected for 95 years after publishing and anything after 1978 is protected for the life of the author plus 70 years [1].

What this means is that the catalogs on VintAxe are either in the public domain or still under the copyright of the original owner. Neither of which would make Mr. Brown eligible for damages that he claims come from the copying of his work. Would they?

According to the United States Copyright Office:
Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, an adaptation of that work. The owner of a copyright is generally the author or someone who has obtained the exclusive rights from the author. In any case where a copyrighted work is used without the permission of the copyright owner, copyright protection will not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully. The unauthorized adaptation of a work may constitute copyright infringement [2].
Has VintAxe obtained permission from each author of every catalog that they have digitized? 
Are the original authors aware that VintAxe is selling access to copyright works and claiming them as their own?

The layman's understanding of fair use

There are four criteria used when reproducing copyrighted work to determine if it is fair use and allowable under law:
  1. Whether the work is being reproduced for not-for-profit education use
    1. I am not an educator and not affiliated with an institution but my articles are freely available and I earn nothing from them
    2. VintAxe's business model revolves around reproducing copyrighted work and selling access to it. 
  2. Nature of the work, whether it is a book, song, published article, etc
  3. Amount of the copyrighted material used
    1. I use snippets of the catalogs, usually focused on a picture of a guitar or text
    2. VintAxe uses the source material, verbatim, leaving nothing out.
  4. Effect on the market for that potential work
    1. My articles provide information to expand upon the original work
    2. If you pay VintAxe, you will no longer need to purchase anything in their repository

The layman's understanding of watermarks

Watermarks are text or images that are superimposed on a picture in such a way that they are difficult to remove or alter. It is useful to keep track of images. I focused on the contents of the images and not the watermarks, they did appear in some of what I had used either in full or partial and that would've been a failure on my part to keep them whole. As mentioned, I cited my sources with the website name and a link to the page

However, the claim that altering or obscuring the VintAxe watermark is a violation of the DMCA depends on a very important detail, one that Mr. Brown from VintAxe was more than willing to leave out:

The Law Office of Jason H Rosenblum, an intellectual property lawyer, writes:

Again, the watermark itself is not a copyright. Your work is already protected by copyright the moment it is created and the watermark can serve as a reminder to others not to steal your images because you are copyright protected.

Though you are granted copyright protection for your work the moment it’s created, you cannot sue for copyright infringement if you don’t take the extra step to register your work with the US Copyright Office. It is the only way that you will be able to bring your case to federal court and obtain a monetary reward for damages if your work is stolen or improperly used [3]. 

A Watermark is not a substitute for copyright protection, it is a reminder, like the © symbol, that this work is protected. Now the question is whether Mr. Brown and VintAxe own the copyright for the content that they have threatened me over.

Can you claim copyright on a digital scan of someone else's work

No.
Duh...

According to United States Copyright Office, "you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent." [2]. 

Unless VintAxe has obtained permission from each company featured on their website, they are not able to charge for copyright work and they are certainly not able to enforce copyright on it. Mr. Brown & Co could Photoshop small dogs onto each page and they would not be eligible for copyright on these catalogs. They could write paragraphs of explanation and historical context after each scanned page on their website and while the text would be eligible, the images would still not belong to VintAxe.

The law carves out exceptions for teachers photocopying worksheets or sections of books for their students because photocopying is a violation of copyright if you do not have permission. To claim that the same laws that prevent photocopying of copyrighted work also transfer the copyright of a work when it is photocopied is absurd and I think Mr. Brown is aware of that.

I were to drive to Barnes & Noble, purchase a copy of The Hobbit, come home and scan each page, apply a watermark of "Nathaniel A, photocopier extraordinaire", and put those scans up on my website I would be breaking the law and violating the copyright of the Tolkien Estate. If I attempted to exercise any legal rights over the scans I had watermarked, I would be laughed out of every lawyers' office in town. If I had charged money to view my scans, I would be a damn fool.

Summary

I trusted that Steve Brown and his associates at VintAxe.com were within their rights to sell access to guitar catalogs because I was ignorant about copyright law. After consulting with individuals far more educated than myself, I now realize that a lawsuit would require Mr. Brown to prove his ownership of the copyright he claimed I violated. I also recognize that I was unknowingly paying for access to stolen goods and supporting intellectual property theft and while ignorance is no excuse, I will no longer support his operation.

Mr. Brown and VintAxe are profiting off the compositions of individuals far more talented and far more deserving and I will not pay them a cent more. At $50 a year or $10 a month for access to stolen property and over twenty years of their website, I have no doubts that tens of thousands of dollars have lined their pockets. Money that belongs to the rightful owners of the printed work and not to a man with a photocopier.

To keep my past work crystal-clear, I will continue working to remove all images and content originating from VintAxe. And as a gesture of good faith towards the companies who's copyright was violated, I will continue to reach out and inform them of the violation and threats of litigation. 

I do not have the resources to fight a legal battle, as I do not have a trove of copyrighted content I can sell, so I will comply with this ridiculous request. But I will continue to write freely on guitar history and continue to put together resources that help the community of vintage guitar collectors, families who inherit old instruments, and casual musicians who got a deal on Marketplace. Everything I do here is available for free, all I ask for is a simple citation and I am thrilled when I see my work cited on Reverb listings, articles, and Youtube videos. 

Nathaniel

Sources

About After hours spent coming through the factory records and learning how to decipher old cursive, to the best of my ability, I have come ...

About

After hours spent coming through the factory records and learning how to decipher old cursive, to the best of my ability, I have come up with a list of all the Schwarzer guitars that were recorded and to whom they were sold. My intentions with this list are to hopefully track down all of the guitars and photograph them and record their stories.

Production Totals

The Schwarzer books indicate that 159 guitars were constructed but I was only able to record 152 orders and 1 repair. Its more likely that I missed some entries than a counting error on their side. If you are interested in seeing what the Schwarzer guitars looked like, I have uploaded scans here: Franz Schwarzer Guitar Full Catalog

Style 4, Total Built: 1
Style 32, Total Built:1
Style 72, Total Built:1
Style 20, Total Built:1
Style 24, Total Built:1
Style 402, Total Built:2
Style 403, Total Built:2
Style 404, Total Built:2
Style 502, Total Built:25
Style 503, Total Built:11
Style 504, Total Built:13
Style 505, Total Built:2
Style 506, Total Built:3
Style 602, Total Built:16
Style 603, Total Built:16
Style 604, Total Built:9
Style 605, Total Built:2
Style 702, Total Built:8
Style 703, Total Built:8
Style 704, Total Built:2
Style 705, Total Built:2

If anyone knows any detail about this guitar that appeared on MandolinCafe, please reach out as it appears to be a Style 604 or Style 704 but no serial number was provided.

The same to be said about this wildly ornate instrument from Acoustic Guitar Forum, that guitar is outrageously decked out.

Franz Schwarzer Guitar Orders

5527 - Bohl - #4 concert size
5553 - Harold - Regular standard size
5554 - Harold - Small
5581 - Harold - #32
5582 - Harold - #72
5617 - Harold - #20
5618 - Harold - #24

5464 - Grohe - #602 w bridge

This refers to Otto and Charles Grohe who were retailers in New York.

5749 - Howard Farwell & Co - #503
5750 - Howard Farwell & Co - #703

Howard Farwell & Co was a piano manufacturer (or more likely a distributor) from St Paul, Minnesota.

5754 - Hoffman - #703

5765 - Alfred O. Müller - #604

The best lead I have here is for a Missouri man named Alfred Muller who was born in 1878 and worked as a banker. He would've been 16 when the guitar was ordered. He died in 1913.

5983 - Otto Grohe - Guitar #special amaranth

Otto worked for his brother C. E. Grohe as a large shoe retailer in New York. Amaranth is an archaic term for the species of wood that we know as 'purpleheart' which is unconventional in acoustic guitars. It may be veneer as the Schwarzer craftsmen was very experienced with veneer 

5793 - Howard Farwell & Co - #502
5794 - Howard Farwell & Co - #503
5795 - Howard Farwell & Co - #602
5796 - Howard Farwell & Co - #703

5839 - Otto Grohe - Amaranth guitar special
5892 - Hawley - #502
5894 - Howard Farwell & Co - #602
5895 - Howard Farwell & Co - #503

5918 - W. E. Grierman (crossed out) Wurlitzer & Co - #704

I have no leads on Grierman but Wurlitzer & Co is the Rudolph Wurlitzer company started in Cincinnati and became a massive distributor all over the country. 

5924 - E? B? W. Gallenkamp - #603

Edward William Gallenkamp was born 1855 in Washington, Missouri and worked as a "druggist" in town. He died in 1925 having spent his life in Washington.

6027 - Preston N. A. February 4/95 - #502
6028 - Preston N. A. - #503
6029 - Preston N. A. - #504

The best lead I have is Nancy Ann Preston, a mother of nine who lived in McBride, Perry County, Missouri. It was not uncommon for women to teach music as a part time job and ordering instruments for students was very common. She had been married to Anton Feltz for a decade by the time of this order so I can't imagine why she would be using her maiden name. I may be completely mistaken on this.

6030 - Stever B? Y? (crossed out) Jan 12/95 O. Ruge 6/22-1895 - #603

6048 - George P Garcelon 3/18/96 - #705 guitar amaranth 
6049 - George P Garcelon - #504

George P Garcelon was a music teacher based in Joplin, Missouri and regularly ordered instruments for his students.

I have spoken with the owner of #6049 and seen photos to confirm its existence and relatively nice cosmetic condition. 

6076 - Muehl T - #504 
6109 - Stever ?? - #504
6121 - Henn & Haynes - #703

Henn & Haynes was a high-end jewelry store from Chillicothe, Ohio

6128 - Greive Hey? - #602
6190 - B? B? Ptever? (crossed out) Joseph B Stamm 11/22/95 - #604
6254 - Stever? B? Y? - #604 amaranth
6483 - Tippman - #504
6488 - Howard Farwell and Co - #602 
6516 - Peter Herr? Hern? Kern? - #603 
6519 - Tippman - #504 white top
6525 - Howard Farwell & Co - #502 
6529 - Stever - # 604 white top
6590 - Howard Farwell & Co - #504 
6692 - Garcelon (crossed out) Henn & Haynes - #403 special amaranth guitar
6712 - Garcelon - #502 small guitar lady model
6726 - Garcelon (also has written F H Raw 3/5/94) - #603 Style B E Maple Guitar
6729 - Herkstroeter - #502 lady size 
6746 - Mrs V. F. Hines - #505 

6763 - McElvain Bros - #504

A retailer based in Kansas and Nebraska

6776 - Garcelon - #703
6782 - Henn & Haynes - #502
6862 - Howard Farwell & Co - #502
6863 - Howard Farwell & Co - #502
6864 - Howard Farwell & Co - #603

6895 - M. M. Meyer - #602
6896 - E. F? Busch City - #603
7012 - George P Garcelon - #502
7116 - Fr? Sr? M Becilia 4/22/98 - #503
7140 - F. Bonnet - #602
7211 - P. J. Looney - #602

7461 - Dr J. J. Fowler - #503

Dr Joseph J Fowler was a Sedalia, Missouri based physician born in 1864 or 1865.

7530 - H. E. Hubbell - #603

Possibly Harry Hubbell born 1872 in Monticello, Illinois.

7574 - Henn & Haynes - #502 rosewood

7577 - Forney Mercantile Co - #504

A retail store based in the small town of Forney, Texas. The building now holds a historic society and I had reached out to them as they had ordered a number of instruments. 

7609 - F W Woodward - #402

7719 - August Wehmueller - #402

August Wehmueller was born 1848 in Washington, Missouri. He was a cabinet maker and worked at a pipe factory (likely the corncob pipe factory in Washington).

7809 - Henn & Haynes - #404 
7811 - Henn & Haynes - #404 
7812 - Henn & Haynes - #604 also #6692 amaranth guitar (perhaps in for repair?)
7832 - Henn & Haynes - #403
7861 - Henn & Haynes - #504 amaranth
7895 - Day Haid Jr? - #504
8016 - W. C. Raw - #502 double back guitar

A double back guitar is a construction method found in some classical guitars. 

8196 - Schulz - #602 steel string
8212 - Miss A Gamerdinger - #504 standard (B E Maple)
8300 - Leslie Murphy - #703 large (imitation rosewood sides bottom)
8301 - Leslie Murphy - #603
8302 - Charles S Senu - #502 standard

8303 - Dr W. F Hempehmann - #703 large (top celluloid bound, extra fine inlay)

William. F. Hempelmann was born in March of 1866 in New Haven, Missouri to Henry and Marea. When he ordered this guitar in 1901, he was boarding at a home in New Haven, Missouri. By 1920 he had moved to Washington where he ran his own dentist office. He passed away in 1941.

8341 - William Guese - #702 natural finish

William Guese either refers to a farmer from New Haven, Missouri who was born in 1872 or a German-immigrant working as dry goods salesman in St Louis, Missouri and born in 1848. The former has the close proximity to the factory while the latter might've had the wages to afford a large guitar. 

8358 - Miss Bertha Schenker - #502

Bertha Schenker was born May 1881 in Jackson, Missouri and would've been 21 when she ordered her Franz Schawzer guitar. She later married and her name became Bertha Hutchison. 

8404 - Harry E Woods - #603

Harry Woods is either a St Louis resident born in 1872 or a resident of Kansas City born in 1873. Assuming it belongs to someone living in Missouri.

8558 - Gaulin Hy - #605 steel string

Henry Gaulin, haven't found anything beyond that.

8627 - George W. Boblett - #602 steel string

George W. Boblett was born in Ohio City, Cleveland, Ohio in 1876. He was working as a clerk in every city directory I found. He died in Delong, Fulton, Indiana in 1925.

8662 - School Sisters De Notre Dame Westphalia, Missouri - #502 gut strings

Westphalia is a small town in mid-Missouri with about 300 residents today and in 1903. The convent was demolished in 1989 but the school and church they helped establish remains. 

8679 - Henn & Haynes - #602 steel strings
8694 - G. P Garcelon - #503 imitation rosewood
8782 - A. L Ludwig - #602 mahogany
9005 - S. K. Woods - #502 

Might refer to Stephen K. Woods who was born in 1858 in Virginia and lived in St Louis, Missouri

9010 - F Linstromberg - #504

Possibly August F Linstromberg, born 1885 in Missouri and lived in Lyon, Missouri which was close to Washington. 

9029 - Hy. Sprawhorst - 12 string guitar

It is hard to express just how exciting the prospect of this instrument is, Schwarzer was not the first builder to experiment with this configuration but this would make his company one of the earliest. The sad reality is that twelve string guitars are under such massive tension that they tend not to age well and guitar bracing at this time (1905) is relatively 'weak' by today's standards. All it would've taken was some doofus in the 1960s to slap steel strings on it and the guitar would've self-destructed. 

9034 - C. Hausdorf - #602
9039 - Altmueller (crossed out) Ray & Dillworth - #502
9054 - Ray and Dilworth - #502

Ray and Dillworth was a jewlery store in Salem, Missouri formed by Bill Green Dillworth and Ben Ray in 1898.

9099 - C. J. Hausdorf - #602
9253 - Holling - #505 special 7 string EBGDAEC (high-to-low)

Another unique instrument with an extra string on the bass side. It might be related to seven string guitars that were popular in Russia.

9254 - C. E. Grohe - #702
9283 - Sisters of Notre Dame Jeff City - #502

The School Sisters of Notre Dame had convents established all over the state of Missouri.

9338 - Ray & Dillworth - #704
9348 - C. E. Grohe - Harp Guitar 12 string
9506 - Mrs F. C. Ramm - #702
9650 - Ant. Tischerner - #506 harp guitar
9548 - Jul. Rother - #603

Julius Rother was born in Germany on November 18th, 1871. He married his wife Anna around 1898. He worked as a machinist for the Stupp Iron Co in St Louis, Missouri and lived specifically in South City. He purchased this guitar in 1911. Julius died in 1951.

9701 - C. E. Grohe - #702 celluloid bound top
9769 - Lornenberg & Meyer - #503
9776 - Charles E. Grohe - #702 celluloid bound top
9800 - Mrs Ramm-Haeckn - #603 special
9803 - Mrs Laura Ramm - #603 special
9825 - J. F. Schaefer - #604
9865 - L. F. W. Jones - #702
9903 - Althmueller Bros - #702

This may be the most well known Schwarzer instrument because of the article written on its discovery.

9914 - School Sisters of Notre Dame - #502
9927 - Jul. Fellinger - #702

Julius Eugene Fellinger was born in 1873 and spent the first half of his life in Kansas City, Kansas. He then lived in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, before moving back to Kansas City in the late 20s. He died December 3rd, 1930. 

9929 - School Sisters of Notre Dame Jeff City - #502
9936 - E. Stacey (Lohr) - #506 harp guitar 12 string

This harp guitar was ordered by E. Stacey through Theodore Lohr's store in New York in 1912. I received photos of the instrument confirming its existence as a double neck guitar with 6 contra bass and 6 standard guitar strings.

9980 - Jan. Kujania - #703
10003 - Garcelon - Guitar (no model number given)
10050 - E. Feldmann - Harp Guitar DEAGBF contra
10211 - F. Kriedl - #503
10233 - Oscar Knecht - #503 steel string
10315 - Phil C Harding - #506 harp guitar
10343 - F. Shipporeit - #502 mahogany
10377 - R. B?F?. Hagemau - Oblong guitar
10459 - Fred Lorenz - #603 law?baw? mahogany
10461 - J. B?. Baw (S. Hersking) - #604 law?baw? mahogany
10513 - Mrs M. Derndl - #502 thin neck
10517 - Mrs Robert Wellisch - Repaired old A. H. guitar Pins silk & gut.

Mrs Robert Wellisch refers to Emma Lawrence who married Robert. She was born in 1863, had a guitar repaired by the Schwarzer company in 1920, and died in 1951 in Maplewood, Minnesota. She lived in that city during the 1920s as well based off her husband's death in 1922 in Maplewood.

10540 - Tony Godetz - Special 18 string guitar 

Tony Godetz was a Chicago-based music teacher and musician. He was born in 1876, came to the US in 1904, ordered his Schwarzer guitar in 1920, married Louise Curdts in 1922, and died in 1943. They don't appear to have had any children. His guitar may have ended up in the hands of a student. 18 strings is absolutely nuts unless this was a harp guitar.

10568 - Mrs Minnie Flick - 602 mahogany, no ivorine binding

I have spoken with the owner of this instrument but have not seen any photos

10584 - Theo Schuermann - #604 law?baw? guitar mahogany
10587 - Hy B Hess - #603 guitar law?baw? mahogany
10600 - Augustus Ottowitz - #602
10649 - Fred Ehehalt - #502
10658 - Max Lehman - #605
10666 - Otto Krog. - #602

Otto Krog was born on the 5th or 6th of March, 1880 in Washington, Missouri. He grew up in the town and worked as a post office clerk. In the 1910s, he moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where he worked on X-Rays at Eastman Kodak. He ordered a guitar in 1924.

10672 - D. O. Wilkie - #705
10699 - Mische Lawrence - #603

Lawrence Mische was a resident of Washington, Missouri and was born in 1906. This guitar was ordered in 1922 when he would've been 16. He later married Adele C and had two sons Larry and Lonnie. He passed away in 1995.

10704 - Erik-du-Rietz - #604
10728 - Lascallas & Co - #502
10729 - Lascallas & Co - #503
10732 - Salzar? - #603
10770 - Johnson - Guitar
10780 - Dress - Standard guitar
10810 - Special guitar

This is the last guitar ever produced by the Schwarzer company and would've been built by Albert Hesse as he was the last employee of the company. The instrument has remained with the family of its original owner and I was lucky enough to meet with them and learn about the importance of the guitar to their family. I held the guitar and found the construction to be a unique blend of European and American influence. 








Drome Racing Challenge The Lego Drome Racing Challenge was an online multiplayer game from my childhood that combined my younger self's ...

Drome Racing Challenge

The Lego Drome Racing Challenge was an online multiplayer game from my childhood that combined my younger self's interest in cars, Lego, and video games. It is a super nostalgic part of my life and finding small pieces of that game help return me to that era in a way. Six years ago I compiled some information. You can view that here: https://www.snathanieladams.com/2018/06/lego-drome-racing-challenge.html

A redditor replied to an old comment of mine discussing the game and mentioned that he had found a number of the game's files and sent a few screenshots. This brought back all the enthusiasm for the game and I reached out to him but after a few days I hadn't heard back and got antsy. So I went looking, again, for any trace of the game and realized it had been right in front of me the whole time.

I was familiar with the BioMedia Project which has a large repository of old Lego games and focuses on documenting the Bionicle line from the same era. What I didn't notice the first time was that there was a folder called Broken.zip which contained a number of games that were not playable. That is accessible via this Web Archive directory if you search for the word "broken".

The Archive

The first file is the loading page but you'll notice the images are missing. I am not sure how this repository was gathered but there are enough core pieces missing to prevent this from being a complete game.


Further in are the incomplete files that form the game. I was aware the game was built on Macromedia Flash but I did not know that it was built within a program called Macromedia Director. After Macromedia was purchased by Adobe, they continued to update the software until 2017 but it has since been abandoned with Flash's discontinuation.

I found a version of Director which was released just before this game was released and I assumed that would be the version that would be most compatible with the game. Also I'm not sure how to get an Adobe Director license nor do I want to pay for it. Archive.org had a copy of Macromedia Director with a serial number that I installed and tried to open some of the files. Unfortunately, these files are locked with some sort of protection that required the use of another program to bypass. Projector Rays  is a free Shockwave decompiler which I was able to use to decompile the .cct and .dcr files into their editable versions (.cst and .dir). Now I can finally take a look at what is in here.

Content

Having never used Director, it looks like we have some sounds, sprite sheets, scripts, and some incomplete "director" files which appear to coordinate how everything works together. So its part of a game and missing a lot of what really makes it work. In order to run the existing director files with missing assets, I selected random existing assets so some of the sprites don't make total sense.

This is part of the garage tutorial
This was a compiled version of 'raceengine.dir' which is missing some assets (and has others that I substituted) which I recorded and believe to be the only gameplay from the game that has survived.


Here are some sprites and assorted images I grabbed from the files
Team Nitro Cars
Team Zero Cars



1901 Arling Shaeffer Patent 674618 1917 Louis C Schermerhorn Patent 1244549 1919 Charles Graiver  Patent 1339953 Otto Mueller and Ladislav K...


1901

Arling Shaeffer
Patent 674618

1917

Louis C Schermerhorn
Patent 1244549

1919

Charles Graiver 
Patent 1339953


Otto Mueller and Ladislav Kaplan

Patent 1363902



1939

Stanley Kaplan

1948

Jan Komis Jr

1962

John L Martin

1963

Daniel Mari
Patent 3,313,196

3313196

1984

Ernie Ball
Patent 4581976




Alvin B. Clark c.1906 About Alvin Billings Clark was born on June 8th, 1822 to Elizabeth and Newton Clark in the small town of West Turin in...

Alvin B. Clark c.1906

About

Alvin Billings Clark was born on June 8th, 1822 to Elizabeth and Newton Clark in the small town of West Turin in New York. A town whose population is roughly the same today as it was when Clark was born. As a farming family, Alvin grew up around tools and a self-sustaining way of life. He showed a particular knack for mending tools and farm implements inspired by the positive comments that he would receive from his, usually critical, father. One of his earliest interests was in the work of Italian musicians and the craftsmen behind their instruments. The Clarks supported Alvin's desire to tinker and build but forbade him from playing the violin believing it to be a tool of the Devil.

His first violin was made around 1846 using wood sourced from the family farm. It was nicknamed "Old Dutchman" by a Methodist minister who would frequent Alvin's shop. In the 1850s, Alvin and his first wife (Julia Ellen Church) separated and he left his young son. 

By Alvin's own account, he had moved to Richmond, Indiana in 1859 or 1860 but Civil War Draft Registration Records show him residing in Canton, Iowa in 1863. Either way, he had settled in Richmond and began renting a storefront on Main Street. He erected a single sign "A. B. Clark. Violin Maker, Construction and Repairing" which was the only advertising he ever participated in.

In Richmond, he was married to Mary Jane Peebles and they had a daughter born in 1867. The art of violin building by itself wasn't enough to support Alvin and his family so he likely would've sold sheet music and supplies out of his shop. The repair work was said to provide enough to support the family although it did slow the building of his instruments. Alvin could build a violin in a month if he focused solely on the instrument and it would sell for no less than one-hundred dollars.

By 1870, he was working as a music dealer and in the 1880 census listed his occupation as a music merchant. The earliest city directory I was able to find was from 1883 and described Alvin as a violin maker and repairer of musical instruments whose shop was at 413 or 412 Main Street and he lived at 206 N 11th Street. In the mid 1890s, he moved to 310 N 9th Street and his shop was relocated on Main Street.


Around 1902, Alvin and Mary moved into 426 Main Street. In 1905, the address was listed as 430 Main. Sadly, Mary died in 1905 and Alvin left the hustle of Main Street for a home on South 5th Street where he continued his work in house number fourteen.

Alvin was featured in two different newspapers in 1906 after news broke that his very first violin, The Old Dutchman was brought to him for repair. Both intervies in the Palladium-Item and The Indianapolis Star were incredible resources on his life. At the time of writing, he had estimated that he had built over one-hundred violins and that he still was unable to play the instrument. 



The Palladium-Item had also written on Alvin that year when a Mrs George Chrisman found a violin with the name "Stradivarius" written inside and convinced the owner to let her take it to the city for evaluation. Alvin deduced that the instrument could not have been made more than 50 years ago and was a German copy.

Alvin died on September 7th, 1911 in Reid Memorial Hospital after contracting pneumonia. Sadly, he passed days before a benefit concert was set to be held as an appreciation of Alvin's life and work. He was transported to Minos Falls, New York to the home of his brother Austin for burial. The newspaper notes that some believed the concert should still been held and that his possessions should be donated to Earlham College. It doesn't appear that this was done and the committee had opted to cancel the concert instead.

The Guitar

The Richmond Item 
May 4th, 1883

The Richmond Item
May 19th, 1883


The Richmond Item
April 7th, 1883

The Richmond Item
August 31st, 1883


Patents

Alvin was also an inventor looking to improve their modern world and also amass a fortune which almost certainly would allow him to build the instruments he desired
The Richmond Item
February 22nd, 1889
  • 60,833- January 1867 - A magnetic tool to flip sheet music
  • 74,502 - February 1868 - Washing machine
  • 80,600- August 1868 - A post driver attached to a wagon
  • 120,493 - October 1871 - Improved tack for fastening curtains on carriages
  • 267,151 - November 1882 - A device for planting corn with efficiency
  • 301,676 - July 1884 - Roller skates with elastic tires and with a set of swivel wheels positioned between the front and rear wheels
  • 302,984 - August 1884 - A self-closing hinge for gates
  • 305,793 - September 1884 - A tensioned piece of metal used to secure the bolts holding railroads together
  • 411,374 - September 1889 - Harmonica holder
  • 579,042 - March 1897 - A bicycle

Sources

[1] https://www.newspapers.com/image/246681859/?terms=%22a.%20b.%20clark%22%20&match=1
[2] https://www.newspapers.com/image/465087842/?terms=a.%20b.%20clark&match=1
[3] https://www.newspapers.com/image/118638474/?terms=a.%20b.%20clark&match=1
[4] https://www.newspapers.com/image/250389680/?terms=%22a.%20b.%20clark%22%20&match=1

The Schireson Brothers Nathaniel Wise Schireson was born June 15th, 1887 in Tauroggen, Russia (now Lithuania). He travelled to Bremen, Germa...

The Schireson Brothers

Nathaniel Wise Schireson was born June 15th, 1887 in Tauroggen, Russia (now Lithuania). He travelled to Bremen, Germany to board the Kronprinz Wilhelm and arrived in New York on November 11th, 1902 [1]. Jacob Schireson was born September 3rd, 1883 also in Tauroggen. He left for the United States from Hamburg, Germany aboard the Hamburg American Line and arrived October 14th, 1904 [2]. They had seven other siblings.


In 1907, Nathan and Jacob went into business together and opened a jewelry store on 108 Commercial Street in Los Angeles, California. They lived with their two other brothers, Max and Bernard, at 330 Buena Vista [3]. A year later, all four brothers were in business together with Max having experience as a jeweler and Bernard having worked as a bank clerk previously [4]. By 1910, Nathan and Jacob had moved out and found board in the house of Abraham Finkelstein on California Street [5]. They continued to operate a jewelry store.
    
Spanish advertisement in La Prensa in Texas c.1919
Image Credit: Newspapers.com

Around 1914-1915, Nathan and Jacob expanded the Schireson Brothers business in a different direction and opened a musical instrument store at 340 North Main Street [6]. Their brother Max also opened his own store at 367 North Main Street and operated under the name M A Schiresohn (an early spelling of their surname) [7]. I assume it was a fairly friendly sibling rivalry. They also kept the jewelry store operating at 240 North Main Street [8]

1929 ad in the Los Angeles Evening Express
Image Credit: Newspapers.com

By 1924, the Schireson Bros music store had three locations at 349 North Main, 111 South Main, and 112 West 3rd Streets [9]

Schireson Brothers advertisement (left) behind the St Elmo Hotel C.1930
Image Credit: University of Southern California Digital Library

The Resonator Patents

On October 29th, 1931, Nathan filed for patent on a guitar with an amplifying unit inlaid into its top. Sufficient volume had always been an issue for professional musicians and the Schireson brothers believed they  had an innovation ready for market. The amplifier (or 'concavo-convex member' as he calls it) was to be made from thin aluminum formed into the shape of a bowl to reflect the sound coming from the instrument. The bridge of the guitar actually sits atop a wooden disc which rests on the rim of the aluminum bowl. Holes are drilled in the wooden disc as well as decorative holes in the top of the guitar in order to allow the sound to pass through.

A year later, Nathan had expanded on his original design to forgo the wooden plate and instead mount the bridge directly to the bottom of the aluminum resonating bowl. Anticipating the additional stress placed on the bowl, he designed a wider ring to sit under the lip of the aluminum bowl.

Schireson cone on a Kay-made tenor resonator
The patent number stamped on the cover plate

Legal Trouble

In 1937, Nathan and Jacob Schireson were brought to court by George D. Beauchamp, of the National String Instrument Corporation, who claimed that their design infringed on his patented (US1,808,756) resonator design from March of 1929 [10].
Image Credit: Google Patents

The courts found that Beauchamp's design was similar to three previous American patents "Notable among such prior patents are three to J. Dopyera, No. 1,741,453 granted December 31, 1929; No. 1,750,881 granted March 18, 1930; and No. 1,762,617 granted June 10, 1930, each for stringed musical instruments.". John Dopyera and George Beauchamp were business partners and this likely didn't have an effect on the case but was used to determine whether Beauchamp's patent was truly for a new invention [10]. 

"It is one thing to hint at or suggest the solution of a problem that advances an art, and quite another thing to solve the problem by producing an instrumentality that takes the forward step. Dopyera did the former; Beauchamp accomplished the latter." [10]

While John Dopyera set up the 'framework' for building a resonator, the court decided that Beauchamp had accomplished it and met the standards for a new invention. His invention had found commercial success with, at the time, a reported 37,000 instruments sold using his design [10]. After establishing the validity of George's patent, the court reviewed the claims of his patent as they pertained to the Schireson Brother's invention.

"The evidence shows that the defendants have commercially made and sold three types of metallic resonators for operation in combination with guitars which they also sell at their place of business in Los Angeles, Cal. The defendents' devices are marked in the record as plaintiffs' Exhibits 1, 2, and 3 respectively and have been correspondingly referred to in this suit as small bridge type, large bridge type, and grid type.

The only difference in structural aspect between the two so-called bridge types is in the diameters of bridges and the positioning of the bridge to the concavo-convex diaphragm or resonator. In the case of the small bridge type the fastening of the bridge to the resonator is by means of a screw which indents and extends through a washer and the resonator into a block. The larger type does not employ this screw and washer construction. With this dissimilarity, these two types may be described thus: "A concavo-convex thin metal resonator, presenting substantially spherical surfaces, provided with a bead, and a flat surface inwardly adjacent thereto, having a central annular bridge receiving portion formed by indenting a central part of the cone on which portion a bridge of substantial diameter is mounted, forming annular engagement therewith."

The so-called grid type also includes a thin metallic concavo-convex resonator presenting substantially spherical surfaces, provided with a bead and a flat surface inwardly adjacent thereto, above which is positioned a circular grid carrying the bridge, reinforced by transverse cleats or ribs the ends of which rest on the flat surface mentioned at intervals around the circumference of the grid. All of the resonators of defendants' construction are mounted in the guitar with bases or mouths upward instead of downwardly as shown in the patent in suit." [10]

The Small Bridge Type model appears to be referring to the second of Schireson's patents while the Large Bridge Type is unknown to me and the Grid Type is likely referring to some type of spider bridge design.

"The only claims that remain in issue in this suit that have not been discussed in relation to the structures of the defendants are claims 1, 3, and 4 of the patent in suit. In view of the findings and conclusions of infringement by defendants of claims 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the Beauchamp patent, No. 1,808,756, it is considered unnecessary to discuss these three remaining claims. Suffice it to state that each of these claims contains obscure verbiage that may render these claims too uncertain upon which to predicate infringement thereof by the defendants under the record here presented. We conclude that it is not necessary for this court to pass upon any of these three claims at this time, other than to say that neither a "cover plate" feature in claim 3 nor a "transverse guard member" mentioned in claim 4 amount to invention." [10]

The grand conclusion: Nathan and Jacob Schireson had infringed upon George Beauchamp's patent and were liable for damages

Instruments

Schireson resonators are relatively uncommon today due to their short production. Based off the date of the patent and the lawsuit, I'd estimate years of production to be 1931 to 1937. How many instruments they produced is also unclear, I saw a claim of 25 for the Hollywood instruments but I couldn't find any evidence to back that up. 

Kay

Interestingly, the Kay Musical Instrument Company of Chicago used Schireson resonating cones. These Kay resonators appeared for a very short time in the 1930s and are usually attached to laminate maple bodies with poplar necks and pearloid faceplates. 

I've owned two (one S. S. Maxwell tenor and an Artist Deluxe six-string). Both were in a sorry state with the S. S. Maxwell missing most of its fingerboard and the Artist Deluxe having an aluminum pie tin where the Schireson cone used to be.

S. S. Maxwell tenor resonator made by Kay and using a Schireson cone

Hilariously, Kay sold those exact same bodies (minus the hardware) to Beauchamp and Dopyera for use on the National El Trovador resonators. I wonder if someone at Kay accidentally let slip some information they shouldn't have thus bringing down the Schireson Bros...

Hollywood

Hollywood was the brand name used for the Schireson Brothers' own line of instruments. Their resonator guitars can be identified by the "H" shaped f-holes.
"Curly Brooks" labelled Schireson resonator
Image Credit: Reverb.com - antique fretted instruments





Sources

[1] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1203203452:3998?tid=&pid=&queryId=54915665be5b200d7e74e0b7ea87f37b&_phsrc=OTJ1721&_phstart=successSource
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/4063912:1193?tid=182928970&pid=382500375525&queryId=cbd2501c26e27d09692607601421dcc2&_phsrc=OTJ1724&_phstart=successSource
[3] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/234605665:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375525&queryId=91550e06137816840c78d44e45a2b076&_phsrc=OTJ1725&_phstart=successSource
[4] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/227925446:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375525&queryId=91550e06137816840c78d44e45a2b076&_phsrc=OTJ1725&_phstart=successSource
[5] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1225572:7884?tid=182928970&pid=382500375525&queryId=91550e06137816840c78d44e45a2b076&_phsrc=OTJ1725&_phstart=successSource
[6] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/232604572:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375418&queryId=7a5dc0c1cf3ebe65af8c1c43d7cdd629&_phsrc=OTJ1759&_phstart=successSource
[7] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/235322869:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375418&queryId=7a5dc0c1cf3ebe65af8c1c43d7cdd629&_phsrc=OTJ1759&_phstart=successSource
[8] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/226701795:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375418&queryId=7a5dc0c1cf3ebe65af8c1c43d7cdd629&_phsrc=OTJ1759&_phstart=successSource
[9] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1479161373:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382500375418&queryId=820d3040df94fe3095ceed74a597bf58&_phsrc=OTJ1761&_phstart=successSource
[10]  https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16288292738607649902&q=Beauchamp+Schireson&hl=en&as_sdt=6,26

  "4/8" Beading Plane sold by Julius Morisse & Co True manufacturer unknown About Julius Morisse was born on July 19th, 1821 i...

 
"4/8" Beading Plane sold by Julius Morisse & Co
True manufacturer unknown

About

Julius Morisse was born on July 19th, 1821 in Abbehausen, Germany (near Bremen). Immigrating to the United States in 1836, he found himself working for a successful immigrant by the name of Henry Shaw Shaw had been in the United States for about 20 years prior and amassed a small fortune in the hardware business. Shaw retired in 1840 and Morisse began working for Thomas F. Meier until 1847 when he set out to form his own company [1][12]. Julius's legacy was one of highest quality tools and was well regarded. Morisse would continue to expand and rub shoulders with like-minded men in St Louis such as Oscar J Schroeter, Charles Fach, and E. C. Simmons [7][11]. 

1850 Advertisement from St Louis Business Directory [8]

Locations

  • 1850 - 179 Third Street [8]
  • 1852 - 171 and 179 Third St (between Green/Christie St and Morgan St) [13][14]
  • 1860 - 164 and 285 Broadway [10]
  • 1864 - 165 and 285 Broadway [3]
  • 1870 - 706 Broadway [9]
  • 1872 - 708 Broadway [2]
700 Block of Broadway/Third Street
Bounded by Morgan and Green/Christie
1870 Whipple Map - Block 67  [16]
  • 1882 - 813 North 4th adjacent to the St Nicholas Hotel [5]
  • 1884 - St Nicholas Hotel destroyed by fire, Morisse suffers losses due to fire and water damage
  • 1891 - 811 North 4th [4]
800 Block of Fourth Street
Bounded by Morgan and Franklin
1870 Whipple Map of Block 94  [16]

Schroeter Bros and Death

Due to his declining health, Julius sold his company to employee and young entrepreneur Oscar Schroeter and his brother Charles who took over on July 23rd, 1891. They later purchased the company of E. C. Simmons when he retired [7].

Julius Morisse died on December 25th, 1891 from flu-induced pneumonia and his wife Caroline died two days later. Their funeral services were held at 3pm at the (long since demolished) Reformed Episcopal Church at 23rd and Pine Streets. It was described as having a long procession and the chapel being "far too small to admit all who attended". The pall-bearers were friends of the couple and include some relatively famous St Louisians: Frank Shapleigh, George S. Drake, James and E. F. Kaime, James Yeatman, Charles Scudder, (last names only from this point) Hayne , Saunders, White, Schroeter, Demcke, and Thuger. Their caskets were furnished by Smithers and Wagoner and taken to Mount Hope Cemetary in Rochester, New York for vaults. Their home at 2815 Morgan Street was willed to their housekeeper Catherine Kennedy [6].

Sources

[1] St Louis Globe Democrat December 28th 1891 https://www.newspapers.com/image/571302087/?terms=Julius%20Morisse%20%26%20colorado&match=1
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1093919239:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382472552489&queryId=76db245a16b3801a943eb6ff7662f96c&_phsrc=OTJ1583&_phstart=successSource
[3] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1094463655:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382472552489&queryId=76db245a16b3801a943eb6ff7662f96c&_phsrc=OTJ1583&_phstart=successSource
[4] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1097212879:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382472552489&queryId=76db245a16b3801a943eb6ff7662f96c&_phsrc=OTJ1583&_phstart=successSource
[5] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1097463679:2469?tid=182928970&pid=382472552489&queryId=13c142abad828d5e419c08f0b4f8064b&_phsrc=OTJ1589&_phstart=successSource
[6] St Louis Globe Democrat December 29th 1891 - https://www.newspapers.com/image/571302181/?terms=Julius%20Morisse%20%26%20colorado&match=1
[7] https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Reality_Record_and_Builder/I7dJAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=RA11-PA1&printsec=frontcover
[8] https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Saint_Louis_Business_Directory/_nYBAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA109&printsec=frontcover
[9] https://www.google.com/books/edition/A_Business_Directory_of_the_Missouri_Pac/LfQNAAAAQAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA117&printsec=frontcover
[10] https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Missouri_State_Gazetteer_and_Busines/s80yAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA521&printsec=frontcover
[11] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Encyclopedia_of_the_History_of_Missouri/tg_VAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA408&printsec=frontcover
[12] 1844 directory - https://www.google.com/books/edition/Green_s_St_Louis_Directory_etc/O_UBAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA127&printsec=frontcover
[13] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Morrison_s_St_Louis_Directory/VHhQTpx4Y7EC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA180&printsec=frontcover
[14] http://digital.wustl.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=whi;cc=whi;idno=whi1874.1874.001;size=s;frm=frameset;seq=34
[15] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Henry_Shaw_s_Will_Establishing_the_Misso/ThUPAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Julius+Morisse+%26+Co&pg=PA15&printsec=frontcover
[16] http://digital.wustl.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=whi;cc=whi;idno=whi1870.1870.001;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=186