Though we’ve established that Frank Barstow did exist and shared a shop with R. K. Pelton according to the 1897 Cleveland directory, (see photo) there are records of another Frank Barstow who worked in Pittsburg, New York and Cincinnati in the early 1900’s.
– “Biography of Frank Barstow – John Dilworth; BARSTOW, Frank b. Marietta, Ohio, d.c.1940 Detroit, Michigan USA. Pupil of George Gemunder. Worked for H. R. Knopf in New York. Established his own business in Pittsburgh c.1908-1915, subsequently moving to Elkhart, Indiana, to lead the violin department of C. G. Conn. Fell out with the company and went to Wurlitzer in Detroit in 1935. Small production, using Gemunder’s varnish. ” –
This violin, dated 1894, could be the same person in his younger years working with Pelton but that is supposition. However, this violin does seem to have the afformentioned “Germunder Varnish” which is vibrant red-orange and subject to flaking which would then lend us to believe that there indeed was only one Frank Barstow. The violin itself is quite loud and full tonewise making this a superb soloist’s instrument.