Peeler Fifes











Fife Models

Peeler Metal Fife
Peeler Metal Fife

During the mid 1900's, there were several fife makers in Connecticut producing quality, metal fifes from plated brass. Since these fine instruments are no longer being produced, I have been told that it has become, at times, extremely difficult to outfit a new fifer with a quality, metal fife.

After being approached by several corps members over the last few years, Peeler Fifes has decided to re-create these quality instruments. The result is the fife you see pictured today on the Peeler Fifes website. These are finely machined, heavy gauge, chrome-plated brass instruments. Each fife has the decorative knurling that is reminiscent of the style produced by Patrick Caccavale. They are Bb Fifes.

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Peeler Standard
Peeler Standard Model Fife The Peeler Standard Model fife is an instrument that will give the Civil War re-enactor the look of a traditional Cloos or Crosby fife while providing greater tone in the lower range of the instrument. The bore of the instrument is based on the "Ferrary" model reproduction fife. This is excellent instrument that will work well with other instruments with similar styling.

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Ferrary reproduction
Ferrary Reproduction Model Fife During the mid to late 1900's the Ferrary fife was the instrument of choice for fife and drum corps throughout the Connecticut River Valley and beyond. It possessed a clarity that was distinctive to this instrument. Today, a fife made by Ferrary sells for two or three times it's original asking price on auctions held online.

To meet the need for such an instrument today, Ron Peeler has re-created the traditional Ferrary fife in both look and playability. The Peeler "Ferrary" Model fife has shorter polished ferrules that were a trademark of this instrument. It is an excellent choice for the Ancient fifer, as well as the Revolutionary War or Civil War re-enactor.

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Firth and Pond reproduction
Firth and Pond Reproduction Model Fife The Peeler Firth and Pond reproduction fife is a reproduction of a true Civil War fife. This is the only Civil War reproduction fife available today!

Bazelon and McGuinn's 1999 book "A Directory of American Military Goods Dealers and Makers 1785-1915: Combined Edition" provides a brief history of Firth, Pond & Co. In that book they state, "Firth, Pond & Co., NYC. Had an Army contract dated Jul 6, 1861 for 4,000 drumheads batter and 4,000 drumheads snare. This firm dated to at least 1845 as Thaddeus Firth, Firth & Hall, & Firth, Hall & Pond at 239 B'way. Listed from 1861 - 63 as Firth, Pond & Co. at 547 B'way .... Firth, Pond & Co. had an Army contract on September 26, 1862 for 1,000 cocoa wood fifes." This listing documents that Firth, Pond & Co. was known by this name only during the Civil War and only from 1861 to 1863. This instrument is modeled after fifes made by this company during that period fife.

The Peeler Firth & Pond is an excellent instrument with a clear tone that will complete your authentic impression. The fife features nickel-silver tapered ferrules rather than the standard brass ones. While both types were used the nickel-silver tapered ferrules give the fife a distinctive look.

Peeler Fifes offers the "Firth and Pond" Model with your choice of two different style finger hole patterns. A brief discussion of "Modern" and "Historical" finger holes is provided to assist you in making your decision. The model with the "Modern" finger holes is by far the more popular model. If you have any questions after reading the differences in the finger holes, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Modern Finger Holes:
This is what you probably have on any fife purchased in the last 125 years or so. On standard Peeler fifes the finger hole sizes starting from the fingering end are 0.25", 0.28", 0.25",0.28",0.28", 0.25". As you can see holes # 1,3 & 6 are one diameter and holes 2,4,& 5 are another. With some minor variation this is what you will find the majority of the one piece fifes being produced today. If you are going to be playing with other "Modern" fifes, this is what you should choose..

Historical Finger Holes:
This is the typical design found on so many civil war era fifes and earlier. When I began to produce the F & P, I took measurements from several original models that can be traced back to the mid 1800's. As on the original fifes, the finger holes on this instrument are an exact reproduction of those found on the original fifes that were produced by Firth and Pond. When comparing these finger holes to the "Modern", fife you will see that finger holes are smaller and all the same 0.22 inch diameter. There is also a larger spacing between the 3 & 4th hole. This F & P with the traditional finger holes has the same look as the original with only a few minor variations. This type of fife is for the hard core civil war re-enactor and those with a penchant for historical accuracy. Because it is a direct copy, it plays with all the flaws (flats and sharps) of the original. IT WILL NOT HARMONIZE WELL WITH FIFES USING THE MORE MODERN STYLE FINGER HOLES

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Fifes in the key of D
Fifes in the Key of D I now have have 2 model D Fifes available. D Fife with a short, brass ferrule and D Fife with a long, nickle silver ferrule. Each style is available in either Grenadilla or Mopane. If you're playing along with guitar, banjo or fiddle, these key of D fifes are just the ticket.

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Multi-Colored Acrylic Resin Fifes
Multi-Colored Acrylic Resin Fifes Made with the same care and exacting standards you're used to in a Peeler product, these are not "pipe" instruments. They are each individually turned, drilled and fitted from solid blocks of resin. With bright swirls of color each fife is as unique as a piece of burled hardwood.

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Miscellaneous Items
Periodically I run across an instrument that intruges me; or someone suggests a product that I just can't resist attempting. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don't. But they seldom fit easily into any of the above catagories. So check here for my more eclectic offerings...




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