CG Conn Elkhart Model 9H Orchestral Tenor Trombone
The Conn trombones from the early 1900s-1940s fascinate me, as there were lots of custom instruments as well as the largest variety of trombones from a major factory ever offered. As most instrument makers at the time were focusing on models aimed at the dance band and popular music markets, Conn was offering trombones for the symphonic market. A lot of the orchestral trombonists of the period in the US had immigrated from Europe and you find principal players in areas of the country from Germany, Italy, Portugal and France. Of course, these players brought their instruments along and I can speculate that these European trombones were influences for the orchestral instruments that Conn would create. All of the sudden you find trombones built in thin red brass, large bores with big bell flares, valve extensions with string linkages, and French rim designs. Of course, many craftsman came to the US today and settled building instruments in the midwest. It was a "perfect storm" of makers, players and movement and you can see all of these in the instruments from this period. This 9H is one of these trombones, created at CG Conn before model numbers were established. What is so striking about this trombone, built in the mid teens, is how similar it is to a modern Conn 8H! The bell is an 8" diameter, the slide is a .540" narrow slide and takes a modern bass trombone shank mouthpiece. The bell section is all made from seamed red brass, while the outer slide tubes are bronze (95/5 composition). As a nod to the German makers, an original snake guard is on the bottom crook. Luckily both of the original high pitch and low pitch tuning slides survive intact, with the original mouthpiece and case. I'm really lucky to have this beautiful instrument in my collection as it is likely one of the earliest symphonic trombones made in the USA in this style.