My 1921 Conn Victor Cornet(serial# 189,7xx)
This horn was found by a friend in an attic. I bought the horn and had it restored by Rich Ita in 1998.The Conn Victor is a very unique, historically interesting, and fine-playing instrument. Unique features include an enormous 0.484" bore, an "opera-glass" vertical tuning slide near the mouthpiece, and a mechanism that adjusts the three valve slides automatically when the main slide is pulled out to switch the horn from the key of Bb to the key of A. In addition, this model came with an extra set of four slides (three valve slides plus the"opera glass" slide) used to convert the horn from standard 440Hz A to the old "high pitch"with A around 452 Hz. This would seem to place my instrument in the "model 81A" category.
Ralph Jones' data on Conn cornets | The MusicTrader's Conn serial number dating chart
The Conn Victor cornet has excellent playing characteristics, and has been used by professionals for over 75 years. Perhaps the most famous player to adopt this model was Bix Beiderbecke , who played a Victor from around 1921 until maybe 1927 or 1928. He liked the horn so well that when he left the Wolverines band, he insisted that his replacement, Jim McPartland, buy one. He even took McPartland to the instrument store, picked one out for him, and advanced him the money for the purchase! (Some sources say that Bix gave him the horn outright).In modern times, one of the better known performers currently using this horn (a 1927 model) is Jim Cullum of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band (JCJB), heard weekly on Public Radio International on the show "Riverwalk, Live From The Landing"
Click here to see a great picture (big--about 500k) of a 1927 Conn magazine hilighting Conn's horns of this era.

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All images and text, ©1999 Alan Rouse.   All rights reserved.