Jul. Heinr. Zimmerman, Important German Whistle Manufacturer, Maker, History & Samples by A. Strauss, + Catalog Pages ( (Under Construction)

Julius Heinriech Zimmermann, (1851-1923) was a large musical instument maker , publisher, and whistle maker, his family kept his buisness runing but at some point they had abandonened whistle manufacturing in favour of music publishing. 

(Please allow time for catalog pages to load.)

== Zimmerman Addresses & Branches ==

Factory ; 17 Seqan St. Liepzig, Germany
Shop and show rooms; 26-28 Quer St. Liepzig

 Branches established year

St. Petersburg in 1875
Moskow 1882 
Liepzig in 1886
London 1897
Riga 1905

Zimmerman became one of the most important merchants and manufacturers, with branches in Moscow, London, Riga and Leipzig. Although at the beginning the clientele consisted mainly of amateur musicians, professionals were not far behind. 

                                            == History ==

The Zimmermann family was of German origin. Musikverlag Zimmermann traces its roots back to a shop for German musical instruments near the Nevsky Prospekt established by Julius Heinrich Zimmermann (1851-1923) in 1876.
In 1880 he set up a factory for brass instruments. Soon he began publishing methods for all instruments, the first official publication was a Method for Flute by Ernesto Köhler in 1885.
Zimmermann also developed new designs for flutes and was one of the first German saxophone manufacturers. The company also commenced production of string instruments.
Zimmermann firm made violins as well , see note*

From 1891 on, the firm produced also mechanical musical instruments.
Later the company was prominent for its balalaikas, developed by Vasily Vasilievich Andreyev.
In 1901, Zimmermann was bestowed with the Order of Saint Stanislaus by tsar Nicholas II of Russia, beginning an association with the Russian tsar, as well as becoming exclusive purveyor of brass instruments to the Russian army.
At that time he signed on Riccardo Drigo and published his most famous ballets.
By 1904, Zimmermann acquired the piano factory of Gustav Fiedler in Leipzig.
It produced then Jul. Heinr. Zimmermann pianos, harmoniums and mechanical musical instruments as well as musical boxes and speaking machines.

From 1905 until 1919, Julius Heinrich Zimmermann was deputy of the German Reichstag and opened a distribution of his company in Berlin. The Russian branches of Zimmermann were nationalised by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

August Zimmermann (1877-1952), son of the founder and general manager in the Saint Petersburg branch, left the country.
The younger brother Wilhelm Zimmermann (1891-1946) was imprisoned and fled for his life to Germany some years later.
Zimmermann published jazz music by German composers and the first German book about this genre. Additionally, the company began offering light music for orchestra. The publishing company was separated from the instruments factories in 1928. August Zimmermann led the instrument sector until the insolvency 1933. Wilhelm Zimmermann became sole owner of the publishing company. Being of part-
Jewish ancestry, he was officially prohibited from operating his business from 1933, but still managed his company during the whole Nazi regime.
After his death, his widow Edith Zimmermann (1900-1975) did not receive a license from the
Soviet military authority to continue publishing and the firm was formally confiscated by the East German authorities. She reached the west, and established the company in Frankfurt. She extended the catalogue with new, young composers and educational publications. When she died in 1975, she had rebuilt a world-renowned venture. Her daughter Maja-Maria Reis (1929-2000) became managing director. Due to her foresight, the company joined with Robert Lienau in 1991. Today the Zimmermann catalogue presents about 3,000 books, including copyrights by Keiko Abe, Siegfried Behrend, Cesar Bresgen, Siegfried Fink, Kurt Hessenberg and Paul Juon.

A picture of his workshop circa 1899 , on the shelves on the right hand side one may see a variety of whistles.            

                                                        == Catalog and samples  ==

His 1899-1901 Whistle catalog is the earliest and largest German one I had found.
In fact it is the 2nd largest catalog of whistles from the 19th Century.
Catalog Pg of 1899 , 1901 Catalogs
Pg. 128 of a Large whistle catalog named " Diverse Signalinstrumente "
I will continue the article later /
Mean while I believe you may see here some whistles collectors meet and were unidentified. 

From top to Bottom

A high quality double end Beaufort and round pea whistle for policemen. 75mm
note the price is Just under 1 Mark while the next one costs over 3 .
2nd from top
A Horn with valve piston and reed whistle used for hunting andf Firemen. 16 cm.
3rd same as two but it has a small round pea none reed whistle for another signal sound , constructed on top.
18 cm.
Last is a two piston valved horn which was used in band and marching bands and comes with an album of musical reportoire for marcheing bands.    
Catalog Page Number 131 of 1899
Showing top to bottomn ,
Model # 6421 A Torpedo siren whistle , 65 mm in  heavy cast brass case, the top turns and comes of to reveal the vents ,
the top is held by a pin.
An early "London ype" Escargot whistle , Model # 16420 without compass and # 16422 with Compass ,
Heavy nickel plated brass  with embossed circle within circle pattern which was popular at the time and late up to late 30's.
A quality whistle made to a high standart , also made by Martin's signal in later years.(with different model names as 'Mephisto' and others)
A 2 note French style fife used for army , made of Nickel plated brass. ( French made noted were made of cast lead).
A Boatswain's. Bosun whistle (14 cm.) early pattern that was later adopted by U.S Companies,and navy .
Note its price is double of the Torpedo siren , because its made of silver.
and became identified with U.S.A. Bosun whistles. 
13 types of Bird and animal calls for hunting.
Pg. 129 shows some rare whistles
seldom met with even by experienced collectors.
Model # 16402 is a double end whistle that has a reed whisttle with a horn bell to amplify the sound and the other end is a round whistle.
These whistles were made mostly for the german and french markets .
Thje next two models of round whistles one is larger and has a pea.
The last one on this pg. #6413 was made in England as well by few makers in the Mid. 1890's
and are very hard to fond short Bosun type with  complete round ball .

Pg. 130 Brass , slide whistle
Variations of Pressed Horn made whistles 
and another siren brass whistle called torpedo as well used for bicyclists and
simmilar to the one disscused in a former entry about F. Mosseberg Co.

To be Cont
there were violin made with a No. from 4000 to 4065 - Village-violin (from 5,--M), Beginner's violin (from 7,--M), Schoolviolin (from 8,-- M.), Orchestra Violin (from 15,-- M.), Copies after italien. Master Amati/Guarnerius/Stradivarius/Maggini (from 25,-- M.), Solo-Instruments
(from 60,-- M.), violin with whole back side and carvered Snake (from 75,-- M.), Concertviolin (from 100,-- M.) und Masterviolin (from 150,-- M.). 

 List of violinmaker, who worked for  Zimmermann: Robert Hammig, Reichel, Roth, Bohlig und Paulowitsch,


Whistle museum article and photos and content by Avner Strauss, all right reserved , 2008 
no part of this webpage is to be used without the explicit permission of the owner.


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  • 5/18/2011 10:51 AM Evelyn - Christine Martin wrote:
    It was very interresting to read this article, Julius Heinrich Zimmermann was my Great Grandfather but I never new about the wistles, I am living in Australia now and am researchich my family history. I new about the music business in Russia and I have quite a few photos and music sheets from my family. Christine Martin
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  • 2/5/2014 11:10 AM Saskia Bieber wrote:
    Dear Mrs. Martin, by chance I found your entry. Please be so kind and contact me. Our company is the successor of the above firm. I am writing on a book regarding the company history, but also the family history. We could change our information. I would be very much interested in photos.
    Thank you. Best wishes, Saskia Bieber
    Reply to this

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