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Philip J. Kass

(b New York, NY, May 29, 1877; d Chicago, IL, May 9, 1955). American writer, publisher, and expert on violins. He studied violin and viola as a boy, and from 1893 to 1926 he worked for John Friedrich & Brother in New York as secretary, treasurer, purchaser, writer of catalogs, and publicity manager. From 1926 to 1937 he was with the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., working first as assistant to the violin expert J.C. Freeman in New York and later as manager of the violin department in the Chicago store. He prepared catalogs for the company, including a famous one of 1931 that listed an enormous collection of violins and had a separate section devoted entirely to bows. In 1937 he opened his own shop in Evanston, Illinois, and began publishing a magazine, Violins. In 1941 his business was bought by the Chicago firm William Lewis & Son, with whom he worked as a salesman and magazine editor until his death....