Strange Sweet Sounds; Max Pottag

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Who Am I?

I recently purchased a page from a 1943 House Beautiful magazine on eBay. I thought that it would make another nice framed piece for my home office. We have a collection of vintage mid-century artworks in our house and this fits right in.

It depicts a middle-aged horn player with the caption “The strange sweet sounds that issue from the labyrinth of the French horn prove again the uncanny fidelity of the Scott!”

That tag line is priceless.

Scott Radio Receivers was a company based in Chicago from 1924 to the mid-1960’s when its business faded away, no doubt due to the growing popularity of television. “The fine things are always hand made” was the motto of company founder E.H. Scott.

These radios were known as the “The Stradivarius of Radio Receivers” and their advertising attempted to reflect this. Scott owners included Sir John Barbirolli, Eugene Goosens, Lauritz Melchior and Arturo Toscanini. These names attest to the authenticity of the sound produced for that period.

Vibrant as a woodwind, resounding as a trumpet, the French horn is one of the rich and radiant elements of an orchestra. But even a moderate amount of “radio hum” will dim that golden voice, and a muzziness [sic?] of radio tone will dull its splendor.

Given the Chicago-based location of Scott Radio and the resemblance to other photos, I presume that the horn player in this particular advert is Max Pottag.

You can click on the image for a larger view.

University of Horn Matters