Sunday, November 24, 2013

Introduction of the 3100

Inside of 1999 catalog

We were looking through the archives and found a Powell catalog from 1999, which marked the introduction of a new model known as the 3100.  Made of Powell's patented Aurumite® 9k, the 3100 joined the 2100 in a category known as the Conservatory Flutes. The story behind the 2100 and 3100 Conservatory flutes was noted in the catalog as follows:
The name "Powell" has meant excellence in flutes since Verne Q. Powell established his own workshop  in 1927. Mr. Powell made his first conservatory flute in 1928, called the Commercial Model.  These flutes had extruded tone holes, and plain cups with Y-arms.
The Powell shop discontinued the Commercial flute in 1988 but continued to receive requests for a conservatory model instrument.  Since flutists were expressing a preference for French-style pointed arms, rather than the Y-arms found on the Commercial Model, Powell embarked upon a complete redesign of the old Commercial Model in 1991.
Artisans at Powell set to work on the new design. Finally, after two years of development, during which it was tested by customers around the world, the new flute was introduced.  It was named the 2100 in anticipation of the twenty-first century.
Soon after Powell introduced the 2100 flute, flutists began asking for a gold version of it.  The craftspeople making the 2100 were inspired to use Powell's patented Aurumite® technology to achieve this.
Aurumite is the unique combination of sterling silver and gold, developed by Powell in 1987, and used for some of its Handmade Model flutes since then. Through a patented fusion process, Powell produces flute tubing made of interlocking layers of gold and silver. 
The Conservatory Model version of Aurumite is called the 3100.
The 2100 and 3100 flutes were offered with several options: pitch of 442 or 444, B foot or C foot, inline or offset G, and French or American cups.  For the 2100, there was a 2100 headjoint available in either sterling silver or Aurumite.   The 3100 had an Aurumite headjoint.  Both models came in cherry wood cases -- the 2100 with a nylon case cover (option to upgrade to leather), and the 3100 with a leather case cover as a standard feature.

The 2100 and 3100 number designations were dropped in 2002, and a new model name was introduced -- the "Handmade Conservatory" models -- in either silver (former 2100) or Aurumite (former 3100).

Close up of Conservatory section
The story of the 2100 
Spec chart for 2100 and 3100

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