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McIntyre System, Patent: 1959 (US) 3015981

- Robert J. McIntyre

- Thomas F. McIntyre


c.1959 / Connecticut USA

Key/Pitch (MHz) Improved Boehm System Bb Clarinet *Original McIntyre-Booklet/Fingering Chart


Grenadilla, Nickel plated keys

Full Marking

" (crown) / (lyre) McINTYRE / SYSTEM / MADE IN FRANCE " : barrel, upper joint and bell

Additional Marking



  655 mm. / 590 mm. (without mouthpiece)


         From a private conversation with a person who had worked with the McIntyre brothers in designing and promoting this system when it first introduced in 1950s. (The McIntyre System was granted patent in 1959)


             "Thomas and Robert Mclntyre had a music store in Naugatuck, CT and were repairmen and engineers. They worked many years on a new configuration that would eliminate the problem of "Cross the Break"  Thomas McIntyre had made many prototypes to test. After they had come up with their best model, they applied for, and eventually were granted a patent. After their new invention was introduced, it was well received and even the famous clarinetist Bonade endorsed it. They had the clarinet bodies and keys made by a company in France (Thibouville Freres, Ivry-la-Bataille) and they assembled them in Connecticut.

           It is a hard sell because it has to use different fingerings in throat-note. But the biggest drawback to their clarinet was the weight and complexity of the new mechanism. They had solutions for it, but by this time, they were out of money and couldn't make the improvements on their own. (They funded all of this on a shoestring and through banks and mortgages) They went to a major clarinet manufacturing company (for legal reason the name will be disclosed) to try to sell their idea to them and work with their engineers on the remaining problems. It  was well received, but the company stipulated that the only way they would do it was if the Mclntyre brothers sold their patent to them. They refused the offer and Tom mentioned  that the president of the company was so angry that he told him, he would see to it personally that the clarinet would fail.

            They continued selling and marketing the clarinet on a small scale, but indeed the 'word' was spread that this was a bum invention".


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