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Confederate Infantry Fifer Marching
Boys were often used as fifers if they had the skill and sufficient lung power. Fifes throughout the 18th century were nearly all made of boxwood. This specific type of “tonewood” possessed tonal properties that make them a good choice. Turkish boxwood was preferred, as it was thought that the dry climate might produce wood less susceptible to warping, but in truth, all boxwood, unless perfectly seasoned and used in extremely short pieces, tended to warp. At least one Philadelphia maker was known to use tropical tonewoods such as rosewood, and by the 1820-30s American manufacturers had virtually abandoned the use of boxwood.
Single figure in box