The other day a collector in California informed me that pictures of my EMG Mark IX horn was circulating on the forum and that there was concern of it's authenticity. I had purchased the machine from this fellow and he felt the story needed to be told. He was given some limited history on the machine which is mentioned below.
When I first saw the Model IX it was fresh from being stored in an abandoned automobile, a van I believe, with the two piece horn still on the machine. It was clear that moisture had taken a toll on the paper mache and the bell had collapsed such that it was facing down, resting on the lid of the machine! My friend bought it with the hope of finding someone to restore it but as fate would have it he scored an Oversize X needing virtually nothing freeing up the IX for someone more daring, that being me.
The case was weathered as well and was of late production with a small Garrard electric motor installed. Taking pity on the disgraced machine I purchased it and brought it home to much disapproval from my other half.
After studying the damage and determining that the bell down to it's wooden flange was solid I could see the repair would be to the boot side. The blessing of the project was the two piece construction of the Export style. This was accomplished using two round wooden flanges, one on the bell side and the other on the boot side that were then bolted together. Edwin Ginn didn't mince words over his displeasure of the design. From my standpoint this made the boot side small enough to work with on my kitchen counter so I happily embraced the love knot that hallmarks export horns.
I had already acquired the James book and owned a Model X with a conventional model IX horn so was familiar with the lore of how the horns were constructed. The damaged horn area revealed late 1930s English newspaper print featuring Princess Elizabeth.
Remembering paper mache projects from school I devised a sub structure of wooden craft sticks (popsicle style) and construction paper strips held together with water based craft glue. This formed sufficient rigidity and I soon had a lumpy but structurally sound boot again. To build up and level the surface I used the pulpy paper of grocery store shopping bags inside and out. The final smoothing step before the decorative paper was from my hometown newspaper which still used the old style newsprint paper, much thicker than the modern slick type used today. Future owners will scratch their heads when finding a layer of the Buhl Herald extolling virtues of farm living in Southern Idaho mingling with tales of pre war England!
One of the pictures posted on the forum shows the freshly patched horn in my dinning room in California. The patch is clearly visible. The next step was finding a paper for the top layer and thanks to the Internet that was easy. The paper I chose, which is seen in the photo of the horn in shipping mode, was from India which seemed fitting for something from the United Kingdom. The green felt gasket was original and still sound. For that reason I saved and reused it.
Again, the two piece construction, and I swear it's genuine, made the daunting repair so much easier and I still wonder how they papered the insides of the standard IX and larger X horns.
I'm sure plenty of people here will feel I could have repaired it differently, but had they seen the before state they might also say it wasn't salvageable. Here in the States beggar's can't be choosers so when anything EMG or Ginn shows up we need to make the best of it no matter how forlorn the machine may appear.
One statement I read questioning the need to split a IX horn since it wasn't of huge size needs to be answered. Anyone with a model IX and the correct horn will realize that while they are dwarfed by their Oversize cousins, they are still large enough to present difficulty in moving. They will not fit in the trunk or back seat of today's medium size cars. This machine was actually ordered from England by a homesick War Bride and shipped to the US after the war. Due to the scarcity of the export size I will surmise that it is one of few built, perhaps even a prototype. Also, the visible news print appeared to be prewar vintage and so was possibly constructed long before being shipped overseas in peace time.