Keefer-Williams JR-2 Trumpet












































































Brua Keefer Co.
Williamsport, PA
#25773 c.1930

This trumpet was a real wreck listed on ebay from England and at first I didn't want to pay what I thought was a high asking price. On the positive side, it came with its original case and even a little oil can; both of which I wanted for my other trumpet.

You really have to take a chance on how good the valves are when buying from someone who has no idea what they are selling. I generally go by the amount of wear on the silver plating or lacquer where the hands have held it but that is not always accurate. The main problem with this was the broken lead pipe. I could tell by the photos that someone had dropped this on the mouthpiece then tried to remove it using a hammer. The end result was a broken lead pipe with a beat up mouthpiece still stuck inside. Here it is as I received it. Not only was the lead pipe broken but all three finger pads were broken or missing. It came from the Staffordshire area from an estate sale.

Keefer Trumpet

Here are some shots before any work was done.

Keefer Williams Trumpet

The replacement lead pipe shown here came from a Besson 2-20 parts horn with serial #445051. This had the exact taper needed for both ends and looks good since it's also vintage and not perfect. The only down side was the Besson had two valve braces where the Keefer has one so you can still see the marks. Thankfully the bell was really straight and only needed some minor work.

The new lead pipe all assembled.

All cleaned up and ready for assembly. It turns out this has gold plated caps and water key which always is a plus. The finger buttons from my parts bin match well but are not the original style. I also had to replace the missing lyre holder and used a part from a 1920s Vega. The lyre I found in my collection and not only fits the socket perfect but is an identical match to an original Keefer from another trumpet I have.

Keefer Trumpet

Keefer Williams Trumpet

This is what I call the squiggle-style engraving. These are very crude compared to what Keefer was doing in the teens and twenties so my guess is this is from the 1930s after the long-time engraver, Charles Otto, had retired or was let go in the Depression.

This identifies it as a Keefer-Williams model with the "2" being the bore size which is 0.435". I have a "1" bore K-W trumpet which is 0.458". The "JR" is still a mystery and doesn't appear on all trumpets from this period. It may be that Brua Keefer Jr had his hand in making this one.

Keefer Williams Trumpet Case

Here is a side-by-side comparison view of my three Keefer trumpets. From top to bottom are #10060 JR-2, #25341 Keefer-Williams 1, and K-W JR-2.