Recorder, soprano, wood / plastic, made by Pan Recorder Company, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, probably 1951-1970
The significance of this recorder lies in it being both an early example of recorder making in Australia and its connection with internationally recognised Australian recorder maker Fred Morgan.
The Pan company was the first to produce recorders in Australia. It was established by jazz musicians Ade Monsbourgh and Don Roberts in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, Victoria in 1951. The company manufactured affordable wooden recorders for school students. Instruments such as this were made using local timbers and featured an innovative section of the mouthpiece (the block unit or windway) which was removable and made of plastic, possibly to allow easier cleaning to occur for the sake of hygiene. It is unknown in what numbers these instruments were made.
Ade Monsbourgh (1917-2006) was one of Australia's pioneering jazz musicians especially in the period following World War 2 when he played in Graham Bell's band. As a talented and influential saxophonist he toured several countries, as well as playing with other leading Australian musicians including Bob and Len Barnard. He was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to music in 1992. Don Pixie Roberts (b.1917) was also an early figure in the Australian jazz scene from the 1930s and, in particular, the Australian Jazz Convention of 1946. He also played with Graham Bell's band.
The company is also significant because it is where recorder maker Fred Morgan (1940-1999) worked making recorders before gaining a world wide reputation as a recorder maker. He worked at Pan from 1959 to 1969. In 1970 he won a Churchill Fellowship to study "Recorder Manufacture and Usage" in Europe, making drawings of instruments in museums and private collections and meeting internationally acclaimed recorder virtuoso Frans Bruggen. Soon after he also worked for a couple of months at the von Huene recorder workshop in Boston, USA then returned to Australia, perfecting his designs and selling his first instruments in 1972.
Johnson, Bruce; The Oxford Companion To Australian Jazz (UOP, Melbourne, 1987)
Lander, NS; The Recorder: Instrument of Torture or Instrument of Music.
Lander, NS; Recorder Home Page: Original Recorder Makers & Collections
Sydney Morning herald; It All Came Easy To The Master - Ade Monsbourgh Obituary.
Waterman, R; Recorders...and all the jazz in The Recorder, Journal of the Victorian Recorder Guild 6, 2006, pp26-27.
Curator, music & musical instruments
Manufactured by the Pan Recorder Company in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1951-1970.