Five Flutes | Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection
  • DCM 0001 (Fife Fragment)
  • DCM 0010 (Gold Flute)
  • DCM 0011 (Glass Flute)
  • DCM 0079 (Transverse Flute)
  • DCM 0916 (Quantz Flute)
  • Full Shot, Color Full B&W Image Key Closeup Mark
    Key Close-up
    Full Flute Full Flute
    Key Detail Mark Detail Keys Detail

    Pieces of Flute
    Flute Sketches
    (by Miller)
    Miller photograph
    of gold flute in detail.
    News Clippings

    Time Record
    Two 1904 letters regarding Miller's
    attempts to obtain 22K gold
    tubing for production of
    the flute.
    "Time Record" & cover (from Case School of
    Applied Science, where Miller taught. Shows
    Miller's time record of his labor in making
    the gold flute.)

    DCM 0010
    (Gold Flute)

    At the turn of the twentieth century, Dayton C. Miller entertained the idea of purchasing a gold-alloy flute from the highly respected firm of Rudall Carte & Co., London. Facing the reality that he could not afford to buy one in the foreseeable future, he decided to attempt making such a flute himself. He did so over a three-and-a-half-year period (1902-5), and he included several fingering and tuning features not incorporated together on any other instrument. During the process, Dr. Miller kept an elaborate log of each procedure and the time required to complete it.

    The standard modern professional-model gold flute is usually made of 14-karat gold alloyed with other metals to ensure strength and stability. The Miller instrument is a seamless, one-piece tube of 22-karat gold (24 karats is pure gold), and the mechanism is made of 18-karat gold. However, Dr. Miller intended this instrument for his own use at home, and it is still in beautiful and playable condition a century after he finished assembling it.

    Miller's ledger entries for each of his instruments state their cost to him, including packing and shipping when applicable. The sums in parentheses indicate his estimated monetary evaluation at the time. His entry for the gold flute estimated it to be worth $2,500.

  • DCM 0001 (Fife Fragment)
  • DCM 0010 (Gold Flute)
  • DCM 0011 (Glass Flute)
  • DCM 0079 (Transverse Flute)
  • DCM 0916 (Quantz Flute)

  • Five Flutes | Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection