Historical information

Used on Ade Monsbourgh's Recorder in Ragtime album of 1956 described by Bruce Johnson as "a unique exercise in jazz on recorder."


The significance of this recorder lies in it being both an early example of recorder making in Australia and its connection with internationally recognised Australian jazz musician Ade Monsbourgh.

The Pan company was the first to produce recorders in Australia. It was established by jazz musicians Ade Monsbourgh and Don Roberts in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, Victoria in 1951. The company manufactured affordable wooden recorders for school students. Instruments such as this were made using local timbers and featured an innovative section of the mouthpiece (the block unit or windway) which was removable and made of plastic, possibly to allow easier cleaning to occur for the sake of hygiene. It is unknown in what numbers these instruments were made.

Ade Monsbourgh (1917-2006) was one of Australia's pioneering jazz musicians especially in the period following World War 2 when he played in Graeme Bell's band. As a talented and influential saxophonist he toured several countries, as well as playing with other leading Australian musicians including Bob and Len Barnard. He was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to music in 1992. Don 'Pixie' Roberts (b.1917) was also an early figure in the Australian jazz scene from the 1930s and, in particular, the Australian Jazz Convention of 1946. He also played with Graeme Bell's band.

Physical description

Alto Recorder belonging to Ade Monsbourgh