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 Ratterree ligature
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2005-01-04 22:36

Rummaging through my 40 yr old box of ligs/m/p's, whilst carrying out my first New Year's resolution, one of the box side flaps would not flatten down. Secreted below this flap I came across a black plastic strap ligature for Bb with the insignia:-

PAT 3-618-440
Bb (nothing else stated anywhere)
RATTERREE

I've run a BB search for the above ligature with a nil result.
I did a search for the trade name (I sincerely hope "ratterre doesn't simply mean "ligature")
I have also tried to run a Patent search and this has brought nothing as yet.

It's probably not US patent as US is not mentioned.
nor is it likely to be a UK pat as the numerical config does not conform.

The lig is a simple black plastic strap 8mm wide and 1mm thick, with 4 small projections and a simple plastic screw of the same material. The projections are situated two for the reed and two for the side of the mouthpiece, the circle being closed by the screw. It looks like someting I could have knocked up in my dental lab!!

Apart from a shoelace, this is the simplest ligature I've seen. When in place it is very firm and allows the reed to speak very well. I have no idea when I acquired this - it may have been a swap for my last playable Vandoren reed - so that would be many years ago.

I know we have some patents professionals here - can they shed any light on it please? I'd be grateful.

Thanks.

BobT

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: John Stackpole 
Date:   2005-01-05 00:26

Your description sounds a bit like the Rovner.

Take a look at

http://www.rovnerproducts.com/ligatures.htm

and see if it looks familiar.

Maybe you have an early prototype because the one I have (from 30 years ago) is much wider - 2.5 cm. - and has the screw mechanism shown on the web page.

Also FWIMBW this page mentions a Jack Ratterree:

http://www.nvcc.vccs.edu/home/nvfayxj/bibl.htm

who is, (or was) from what I see on other pages, a clarinet professional.

The Web, and Google, are amazing..... Search on "ratterree clarinet" and you'll see what I mean.

Maybe you should return Jack's ligature to him?

;-)

JDS

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2005-01-05 02:21

Hi,

Jack Ratterree was also a student at Interlochen when I was there in 1953; he was a very outstanding player and was 1st chair in the HS band and may have been also in the orchestra. He preceeded Larry Combs and Gene Zoro by a couple of years.

I belive that Jack was principal clarinetist with the Phoenix Symphony for many years and on the faculty of ASU. He may well have messed around with some ligature designs but I have no knowledge of it.

I have not heard that name in many years. He is probably close to or has retired since a search of the Phoenix Symphony does not list him.

HRL

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: earlthomas 
Date:   2005-01-05 03:51

In the spring of 1953, Jack Rateree took some lessons from me in Oklahoma City. I believe he had just finished High school at the time. I think he was a native of Oklahoma. Anyway, he was accepted into Curtia and I believe studied with Gigliotti there. After that, he was engaged as principal in the Phoenix Symphony, and for a time served as their personnel Manager, I believe. I lost track of him after those lessons, but, I do recall that he had considerable talent. I'm delighted that he was well received at Interlochen, but i did not know about that. I imagine the Ligature is something he developed, and it's probably pretty good! He was a very pleasant young man. I hope that he's OK!



Post Edited (2005-01-05 03:55)

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2005-01-05 07:05

John, Hank and Earl,

Thank you all for your swift and informative returns.
John - no - it's nothing like these Rovners - much much simpler - I'll attach a picture later today if I can.
Very interesting about Mr Ratterree. Certainly could be the connection, but this appears NOT to be of US origin, however my knowledge of "patent things" is non existent, so I'm still interested in the patent side of the story.

BobT

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2005-01-05 07:44
Attachment:  ratterree 006.jpg (59k)
Attachment:  ratterree 007.jpg (46k)
Attachment:  ratterree 008.jpg (81k)

OK First attempt to attach pics.

Sorry out of focus - printing not visible but content previously stated.

Bob T

BobT

Post Edited (2005-01-05 07:47)

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Pappy 
Date:   2005-01-05 11:21

Looks very similar to my beloved Luybens.......very simple, very inexpensive and very effective.



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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: GBK 
Date:   2005-01-05 12:24

Looks very similar to my beloved radiator hose clamp .......very simple, very inexpensive and very effective....GBK [wink]

/glad it works - enjoy!!

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2005-01-05 13:12

Hi,

The ligature really looks like it would work very well. I'll bet there are not very many of these around and it could be worth quite a bit to a collector.

One email I got though from Bernie Portnoy though said his ligature was just too expensive to produce. He said "use a Bonade, it is just the same." Well, it really isn't just the same and I think the Portnoy is better (but then I have been playing a Portnoy BP02 for a very long time).

Maybe the Ratterree ligature, although simple in design, might have been too expensive to produce. My cousin is a retired professor from Tufts who designed the Reach Toothbrush and the Goodnews Razor. He said that for a product to be marketable, it must cost no more than 9 times the manufacturing costs. If more than that, the price would be too high.

HRL

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2005-01-05 14:11

Hi Bob - Yes it is a US patent, your # is correct, but needs commas, not dashes for retrieval 3,618,440, well expired, also before 1976 so is not readily viewed. The easiest way is to go to USPTO, databases, patent quick search, Ratterree AND ligature, which brings up the 7 patents in which it is cited as prior art [similar, later pats]. Then click on the #, which brings it up from the old file, where you can read [and copy print, maybe not pics]. Of course, you have LOTS of help already, but thot you might like to know my routine. Congrats and luck, Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: William 
Date:   2005-01-05 14:19

"He said that for a product to be marketable, it must cost no more than 9 times the manufacturing costs"

Hmmm......does that mean that my new $5000.00 bass clarinet only cost Buffet about $555.55 to manufacture??? Instead of playing them, maybe I should start selling--those "middle men/women" must be raking in most of the $$'s difference.

Regarding the lig, I seem to remember a similar plastic ligature being given away to band directors during a Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic many years ago. I think I gave mine to a student, but remember that it played remarkably well for its simple design. Sorry that I have no real useful info.

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2005-01-05 15:01

Yup , it looks, in the fig 8, very much like a half of a Gigliotti, to me. Will look again at the later inventors who had to "fight their way" over this citation, if anyone is still interested, I'll comment further. don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2005-01-05 15:48

Hi William,

The 9 times figure was of the actual manufacturing/production costs (raw materials, fixed and variable shop expenses, etc.) and does not include administrative costs, advertising & marketing expenses, sales commissions, profit expected, numerous fixed & varaible costs incurred, etc.

Not quite as pretty a picture, right.

HRL

PS My cousin taught product design at Tufts for many years and told me these are pretty standard numbers that one should deal with before even contemplating bringing a new product to market.

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2005-01-05 16:45

Well, thanks again to everyone -
I'll hang onto it and use for my C clarinet in "A Chorus Line " in a few weeks.

Great stuff and yes Don, I'd be very interesed in your diggings.

BobT

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2005-01-05 18:12

Don,
Many thanks for the system of links to USPTO etc.
I live in Scotland so I wonder if there is an international block of some sort, on the pictures (drawings) and pages of these patents. I don't seem to be able to access them even to view.
Sorry to ask but can you advise here ?

BobT

(should I contact you off board or would others here benefit ?)


[ Briefly posting the info is fine - GBK ]




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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2005-01-05 18:32

bob49t wrote:

> I live in Scotland so I wonder if there is an international
> block of some sort, on the pictures (drawings) and pages of
> these patents. I don't seem to be able to access them even to
> view.

Check http://www.uspto.gov/patft/help/images.htm for the instructions on how to download the image viewer plugin ...

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Pappy 
Date:   2005-01-05 18:41

Quote:

Looks very similar to my beloved radiator hose clamp .......very simple, very inexpensive and very effective....GBK



LOL! [grin]



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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2005-01-05 18:59

Bob49t - Yes, we have "touched base" before [am 25% Scotch [have Brander and Seaton in my ancestry} and am working on its increase!]. Our speedy MC [master of ceremonies as well] has given you the ?Adobe? Reader site for "old" US patent retrieval. Will check out my accessibility to text and pics, when I can. So far, Winslow and Hite had to distinguish their invention over R's [may have commented on R?] as well as others. E Pluribus Unum [one of/from many} lig pats, try a search, most of these are well before the EP and World patent systems, and the "Home country " of the inventor is the best pat office to search, dont know of a web-site for the GB PO, will look. TKS, MC, is this short enough, GBK? Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: jez 
Date:   2005-01-06 12:21

bob,
I possess and occasionally use one of these ligs. I like to use it when i'm trying reeds as it's so easy to just slip on and off.
I think it was made (it was certainly marketed) by Fox, who make among other things, plastic bassoons.
jez

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: johnprib 
Date:   2008-12-31 19:45

I was a student of Jack Ratterree at Arizona State University.

He did design a clarinet ligature. I tried it out but I found it didn't hold the reed securely enough. I

I preferred the Gigliotti ligature.

He was the principal clarinet for the Phoenix Symphony.

John R Pribula

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: mrn 
Date:   2008-12-31 21:34

You should also be able to access U.S. patent images in PDF form by visiting http://www.pat2pdf.org or through the European Patent Office website at http://ep.espacenet.com (just prefix the patent number with "US" on the European site to distinguish from other countries'/regions'/NGOs' patent documents).

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: whole note 
Date:   2009-01-01 15:24

Another very simple/minimal ligature is the Bois which I used for a while and liked very much. It took a while to get used to how to get the reed in place, since it's just a simple ring that slides on, but once I got the hang of it--it was quite easy.

Because it is thin like the Ratterree pictured in this thread, it allows the reed to vibrate very freely.

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: donald 
Date:   2009-01-01 18:52

In 1987 a German clarinet player called Andreas Weiss visited NZ on tour with the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra and stayed a few nights with my parents. As a ligature he used the front half of a Luyben plastic ligature that he had cut in half. I remember him telling me where/who had given him this idea but now can't remember this detail. I do remember him telling me "I will never go back to string". This set up would have been very similar to that shown above.
dn

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 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: HenrySpencer 
Date:   2013-04-01 18:46

I have one his early prototypes.... a plastic piece with one screw, rails on top and bottom if I remember.

I studied from Jack Ratterree at Arizona State University in 1962-1963. Jack was the principal clarinetist in the Phoenix Symphony for several years.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ratterree ligature
Author: HenrySpencer 
Date:   2013-04-01 18:55

Jack retired a few years ago... hearing problems. Richmond Johnson played second chair to him in the Phoenix Symphony for many years also. I saw Rich at a reunion a few years ago and he was still playing in the symphony but Jack had retired.

I was 1st chair in the ASU Symphony Orchestra when I was a senior, I studied with Jack and Rich was second chair in the orchestra that year as a sophomore.

Henry Spencer

P.S. I did not go on to become a professional - and yes, Jack was very very good.... he studied with Anthony Gigliotti of the Phila. Orchestra and I'm sure you know who he was!... my hero when I started playing the clarinet in 1950!

Jack went to Curtis and was 1st chair there too.

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