B-Flat Cornet used by Walter F. Smith

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Description (Brief)
This cornet was made by C. G. Conn in Elkhart, Indiana in 1915. It is a B-flat cornet, New Wonder model serial #139231, made of highly engraved silver plated brass with gold plate inside the bell, and has 3 piston valves. The bell is engraved:

NEW WONDER [/] MADE BY [/] C.G.CONN [/] ELKHART [/] IND.

This cornet was previously owned by Walter F. Smith (1859-1937), cornetist in the Sousa Band (1893-1896) and the United States Marine Band (1885-1893 and 1898-1921).

Walter F. Smith joined the Sousa Band in 1893 and was made acting leader. In this role, Smith conducted Washington, D.C. concerts, various touring concerts, and also went with the band to perform in the inaugural ceremonies for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This experience was a huge success and an article from the Stanley Barney Smith Collection in the Western Michigan University Archives states:

“Played to an audience of 50,000… Although the hour set for appearance of Sousa’s old organization was 3 o’clock, the crowds began pouring into the great playground after luncheon… By 2 o’clock the crowd extended from Van Buren Street to Harrison, lined the East side of Michigan ten to twenty deep. Conductor Smith began his part without any delay and without any preliminaries… Every number was enthusiastically cheered and it is scarcely necessary to say the program was as near perfection as may be.”
Location
Currently not on view
user
Smith, Walter F.
referenced
Sousa, John Philip
maker
C. G. Conn
place made
United States: Indiana, Elkhart
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
silver (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 17 1/2 in x 5 in x 6 1/2 in; 44.45 cm x 12.7 cm x 16.51 cm
cornet: 17 1/2 in x 7 9/16 in x 4 3/4 in; 44.45 cm x 19.20875 cm x 12.065 cm
mouthpiece: 2 3/8 in x 1 in; 6.0325 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
1981.0425.01
accession number
1981.0425
catalog number
1981.0425.01
serial number
139231
Credit Line
Gift of Edna M. Smith
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Military
Cornets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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