75KB JPEG large image of Orkon
An early wooden Chromette.
Sold on eBay 7/2006 for $245.
Contact me for a 1500KB PDF version of this flyer
The Directions part of the "Chromette" directions and
fingering chart, with "Chromette" crossed out in pencil by E. V. Powell and
replaced with "Orkon", the later name for the instrument.
Contact me for an Orkon Fingering Chart (3.5MB PDF)
(The first page of about 20)
E. V. Powell's Patents
Chromette / Orkon shop in Port Chester, NY
Photo by Nancy C. Jerome
This site is dedicated to the memory of Edward V. Powell, musician and Orkon inventor.
1903 - 1986
|Only a few *hundred* of these instruments were built
between 1942 and 1952, most of them in '51-'52.
There is absolutely no connection between the
company that produced these instruments (Powell Instrument Corporation, owned by Edward V. Powell) and that of Verne Q. Powell
Flutes, Inc., with two exceptions:
If you would like to buy an Orkon or a Chromette, you might try searching on eBay, which is where I found mine for about US$200 in 2002. I'm not able to find one for you, and they are VERY scarce, so you're on your own. Good luck!
The earliest of these instruments was known as a "Chromette", and the earliest of *those* were made of a light-colored wood, an example of which is pictured above. There may also be some that are made of a very dark wood, such as grenadilla, but I don't have first-hand knowledge of these. Later Chromettes were made of the same material (Bakelite) that all Orkons are made of.
Note: Chromettes and Orkons are the *same* instrument with different names. It was a marketing issue that caused E. V. Powell to change the name, not a technical one.
In Nov 2005 a Bakelite Chromette sold for $1,025! So that set a new high-limit for the value of an early instrument until June 2008, when a plastic Chromette sold for an astounding $1302! On the other hand, an earlier wooden Chromette sold for far less money (Jul 2006, $245). Go figure. An Orkon in good condition sold in Aug 2006 in an eBay auction for $510. And one in quite good condition sold in Oct 2006 for a mere $57! I missed that one, because the auction was labelled as "Orkron"!
I have no idea what *your* Orkon (or the one you'd like to buy) is worth today, other than the data points mentioned above. I think I got a good deal on mine!
If you already OWN an Orkon or Chromette, I'd love to hear from you, as I am compiling an Orkon registry to see how many of these instruments are still around, and to share knowledge about them. Please use the contact below.
— Ted Jerome
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